Law school · university

8 Small (But Amazing) Habits That Changed My Life As A Student

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetWhen you’re engrossed in your studies, it’s easy to lose sight of yourself in the process. So many people demand so much from you, and it seems like it takes up all your time. But sometimes we need to take a step back, check in with ourselves and remember who we are.

To be honest, I used to think that sounded like a load of crap. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to the realization that those daily checking in moments are vital to my mental and physical health. So here are 8 small habits that I’ve incorporated in my life, and that have made my life as a student so much better.

Waking up earlier and spending time with myself
You knew it was coming, didn’t you? I know those ”wake up at 5AM and get more stuff done!” articles and books are popular, but that is not the goal here. I used to be terrible at waking up early. If I had class at 2pm, I wouldn’t come out of bed before 9 or 10. And while there is nothing wrong with that – we all have different moments when we are at our most productive – it made me feel less motivated and productive. Even waking up just an hour or an hour and a half earlier allowed me to have so much more time in the morning.

Doing more of what scares me
Speaking up in class, presenting material, volunteering to explain something. It’s all stuff I used to find incredibly daunting. But because I literally forced myself to do it more, it became a lot less daunting and it helped me to feel more confident about my skills. These skills are incredibly valuable and will come in handy at so many points in your life. University isn’t only about getting smarter, but it’s about developing these skills as well. Take on opportunities whenever you can and you’ll notice how much easier those daunting tasks will become.

Being mindful of the time I spend on my phone
We spend so much more time on our phones than we realize. Apple has recently incorporated a screentime feature into their iOS, so if you’ve recently updated your iPhone you can see how much time you’ve spent on your phone recently.. Ready for a wake-up call? There are also plenty of separate apps that allow you to track your time. As someone who is trying to be more mindful of the time I spend scrolling through Twitter and Reddit, it’s perfect. I could do so many more productive things with my time!

Daily cleaning
Cleaning can seem like a huge task if you put it off — believe me, I know. This is why I’ve incorporated daily cleaning into my life. I just sweep through my apartment once or twice a day, picking up laundry, dirty dishes and other random stuff. It takes me five minutes at the most, but it keeps the place clean and tidy. I sweep the floors about twice a week for the exact same reason. I hate dirty floors, so keeping up with them is almost a form of self-care for me, lol.

Spend time studying the material before AND after class
In law school, we need to learn so much material. For tutorials, we need to do a lot of preparing (reading and answering learning goals) and for lectures, we need to read cases as well as material from our textbooks. Although it’s impossible to read everything before AND after each class, I try to spend some time studying the material before and after. That could be rereading parts that weren’t clear, spending time condensing my notes into an outline, comparing my lecture notes to the textbook or even talking about it with a classmate. Continue reading “8 Small (But Amazing) Habits That Changed My Life As A Student”

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Law school · university

Five Thoughts I Had in my First Five Weeks of Law School

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If you read this blog, my tweets or Instagram captions recently, you’ll know that I started law school at the beginning of September — honesty I feel like I talk about it so much that some people might be sick of it at this point, but I love talking about university and studying on here, so that’s what I’m going to do.

I worked towards going to law school for so long and now that it’s finally here, I am diving right in. Law school is very all-consuming, and I really want to talk about it more on this blog, so here are five thoughts I had in the first five weeks of law school to start out with this new ‘law school adventure’ blog post series. 🙂

These law books are SCARY
Law school is pretty much synonymous with ‘big, heavy, dense books’ and lots of reading, and my degree is no different. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty daunting at the start, especially because we also read a lot of jurisprudence. I also needed to learn how to work with our law books. I live in a civil law country, which means – unlike common law countries – we work with law books that have all the important laws you need and casebooks are completely separate. Formal precedents are not a thing, so the actual written text itself is super important. I’m getting muscles from carrying around all those heavy books, at least.

I don’t know what the heck I’m doing
I think anyone who starts law school – or any degree for that matter – will suffer from imposter syndrome in one way or another. Although my classmates are very nice and make me feel like I belong, I’ve definitely had moments where I had no idea what was going on or how I am doing, nor that I deserved to be in law school. I’m the first person in my family to attend University, and it’s all still a little surreal to me sometimes!

This is amazing
I went to journalism school, did a course in social work and now I’m in law school. But until now I have never felt truly challenged in high school or college. I always did well on tests without doing much work, and I sometimes felt like the class would dwell on things that I already understood. Law school demands a lot more from me, and I LOVE that. The work load is much heavier and the material much more challenging.

I’m going to fail this test
If you haven’t noticed already, the first five weeks of school were a rollercoaster. I only take one class at a time, which means I have a serious exam every five weeks. I just did the first one this Friday, and leading up to it I had multiple anxious moments in which I was scared I would fail and had to drop out. I don’t consider myself to be a very insecure person, but regarding school.. It’s something I still work on.

I have never felt more at home
Like I mentioned earlier, I have never felt like the education I got really fit me as a person. That also reflected in the interaction I had with my peers. I liked different things than them, and although that has never been a big problem, it did mean that I was always a bit of an outsider, just doing my own thing. Law school has changed all that, my peers make me feel at home and I can have super interesting discussions with them about all sorts of things. I feel at home!