Saturday, April 23, 2011

Law School Exam Survival Guide

It's that time of year again!  Finals!  YIKES!!!!

One of my least favorite things about law school is the grading method.  See, we study, HARD, for three and a half months.  Reading, taking notes, reading, going to class, reading, studying in groups, reading, doing practice problems, reading, making flashcards, reading, outlining, and did I mention reading?  After all of this, you kind of are reduced down to the legal principles and theories that have been consuming your life since January (honestly I can't remember the last time I had a conversation with someone that didn't end with me babbling incoherently about negligence or property rights).  And how are you evaluated?  ONE test.  ONE test decides your ENTIRE grade.  

It's a lot of pressure.  You want to do well for a lot of reasons including the fact that this stuff has taken over your life for the past 100 days to the point that non law school people (including your parents) are getting weary with you and your recommendations to stay in the class action suit they were notified (hear that Mom and Dad?!?).

It's a stressful time.  So much material to review, learn, commit to memory so that its readily accessible on test day.  How is a little law student to survive?!?

Well I've compiled some of the things that I think are essential to surviving the two week hell that is the exam period.

1.  Yoga pants/comfy lounge shorts
     I lived in this pair during winter exams.  Seriously, they stayed on my body until I did laundry when I washed them and then immediately put them back on.  Best.pants.ever.  Its warmer now, so I'm currently rocking my Nike running shorts, but I have a feeling a trip to Target is on the agenda for later this evening for a pair of these.

2.  Running shoes
    In college, I ate my stress.  I also gained about 40 pounds over four years.  In an effort to avoid that, I'm trying this new thing where I work off my stress instead.  Its way better.  I even lost weight last finals period.  Honestly, I'll just be happy to maintain my weight during the next two weeks.  The half hour of exercise also helps me sleep better, which helps me focus more when I'm studying which helps me do better on exams.  All in all, this is a much better plan than the eat-my-feelings method I prescribed to in college.  Really, its win-win-win.

3.  Coffee/Diet Coke
     We all know I'm a caffeine addict.  I don't know if I'd make it through without the stuff.

4.  Wall calendar
     Looking at it reminds me that my current hell is temporary.  I can see my future and it involves freedom, sunshine, and the ocean.

5.  iTunes/Pandora/Complete Friends series on DVD
    I've never been one who can study in complete silence.  I start thinking about how quiet it is and get anxious that people will be annoyed when I sneeze or cough or make any kind of movement/noise at all.  Background noise helps me tune all of that out.  Plus I've only seen every episode of friends at least 25 times, it doesn't distract me anymore because I know I could quote it line for line if I really wanted to.

That's all for now!  

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