We all start the new academic year with ambitious goals. We tell ourselves that we will do all of the weekly readings, prepare for seminars and complete our notes well before exams, but before you know it, the term is half over and you’ve barely completed the work for week one. If this sounds all too familiar, here are some tips for how to stay motivated this year…
Long before we even had a glimpse of the summer sun, my mind had already turned to how my summer holidays would be filled. Aware that it would be in my best interests to knock out an elective over the summer, I trawled through the elective list. When I found a “Study Tour” option – the chance to combine international law and travelling – I was actually excited for summer school!
At first the phrase ‘summer school’ reminded me of American teen films. If I was to so selflessly sacrifice my summer break in order to fast track my degree, was I going to be the deflated spirit that I so commonly witnessed moaning and yawning in trashy films?
The short answer is a definitive “nah” and the advantages of summer semester reach far beyond air conditioning. If you’ve been considering summer semester and have yet to take the plunge, here are a few reasons why it could work for you next summer break…
“Being a good law student is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet.” Okay, so I’ve adapted a quote that was originally about writers, but I think it’s also true for law students.
Procrastination, aka “I’ll just quickly check to see if anyone has said something about the property law essay on Facebook”, is where all of the time that could be used for looking up a few more journal articles or reading the minority judgment actually gets spent.
To stop procrastinating, you could follow the lead of one blogger from San Francisco who increased his productivity by hiring someone to watch him work and slap him when he logged onto Facebook… but maybe don’t do that.
Here are some techniques to help you stop procrastinating and clear your to do list…
As a law student (and future legal professional), try as you might, you won’t be able to avoid all that reading. As such, many people will tell you that if you don’t like reading, you’re not going to enjoy being a lawyer. Although I see what might be meant by this comment, I have to disagree. I love to read but I don’t always (if ever) love reading cases, legislation and other legal materials. What I have realised, perhaps far too late in my journey through law school, is that reading for law is a different story to reading for pleasure.
If you’re anything like me, you enjoy being captivated and drawn into the world of a good book and although some cases can be just as captivating (my inner law nerd showing himself) reading cases like novels is not an efficient way to study or work. So to help you out, I’ve put together a list of questions and helpful tips to assist you to read more efficiently and effectively.