“The holidays went too quick.”
“I didn’t catch up on sleep enough.”
“I worked heaps but saved very little.”
I hear you. As much as we’d like to prolong our holidays as much as possible, it’s better to get into the habit of study before the semester starts, rather than procrastinating until something is due. Here a few ways to get back into it for the New Year:
It’s pretty easy to get a hold of the unit guide for each subject. Usually, the most up to date one gets uploaded by the unit coordinator a week prior to the semester commencing, however units rarely change from year to year and older ones can be used to get a head start. If you are unsure how to access older versions, ask a past student to send it to you, or if you’re a part of a Facebook group at your respective university, ask there.
Also, find out ahead of time what the textbook for the subject is going to be and purchase it before the semester starts (or at least in the first week). Organise all that you need, and that includes any new stationery, notebooks and anything else you use for study, so that you are ready to go from day one.
Now that you’ve got your textbooks and unit guides, you can start preparing for the first week. Whilst most of us probably don’t do the first readings it’s good to get yourself into a routine early so that you settle back into study quicker.
I’m sure your desk has been taken over with clothes, rubbish and other junk by now. So I would take some time to sort out what needs to be there, and what doesn’t. Clear it and set it up with all your new material so that you have no reason to delay sitting there and starting study. Something I learnt early on was that a clean, organised study space that is used for nothing else really helps form good study habits.
If you’re a productivity and organisational nerd like me, you’ll love the great experience that comes with buying a planner. It’s like dating and finding The One. Once you’ve found The One – that is, the planner you love the most – you can start pencilling in all your upcoming classes, work schedule, study schedule and any due dates. Colour code it, do whatever you want with it, whatever makes it look more appealing to you and makes you want to stay on track.
If you’re not into paper diaries, there are some great apps (such as iStudiezPro for Mac) that are really great and will send you reminders when something is coming up.
It’s easy to lose motivation and forget why you’re there. So keep reminding yourself of your aspirations and don’t lose sight of your goals, so that you can be resilient about whatever law school throws at you.