Friday, November 02, 2007

Looming Finals

It's the most horrible time of the year.

The ghosts and goblins have gone away for another year, the stores around town are kicking themselves into Christmas Cheer overdrive, and panic is beginning to descend upon law students across the nation.

In case you haven't been paying attention or counting down FINALS are now right around the corner, some maybe even less than a month away. If any of you were like me last year, it is likely that this has caught you off guard and that you too are now starting to panic. Despite the dread you are now feeling, you just have to know that you need to keep going and that eventually all bad things really do come to an end. It may not seem possible right now, but I really can promise that there is a light at the end of the first semester law school tunnel.

I think one of the reasons I panicked the most was because everyone was talking about this mysterious thing called "Outlining" but I had no idea what the heck an "Outline" for a first year law course was supposed to look like by the time I was finished. This paralyzed me somewhat and I ended up with 10 Days until my first exam and I still had NOTHING done, not even 1 outline was started!

While I certainly don't recommend this approach to anyone, I can say that I survived my first semester and I came out ready to face second semester with a different approach to studying that ended up resulting in higher grades in my second semester.

What you should be doing at this point of the semester is either continue staying on top of your studying/outlining/flash cards/ or you should spend this weekend drafting a "study plan" that you are comfortable with so that you can get started on preparing and still leave yourself some free relaxation time to recover a bit over Thanksgiving weekend. I have been procrastinating as usual, but I do have my "study plan" for this semester ready to go, I'm posting my schedule for my Evidence material since that is my first exam of the exam period:

Nov 5- Nov 7: Outline Relevance (Rules 401-404)
Nov 8 and 9: Outline Character Evidence (Rules 406-412)
Nov 12-15: Outline Hearsay and Exceptions (Rules in the 600's)
Nov 19 and 20: Outline Expert Witnesses and Testimony (Rules 701-704)
Nov 27-19: Review outline, make changes, and add material from class lectures on Nov 20 and Nov 27.

You'll notice that I have scheduled nothing on the weekends (this is to preserve my sanity) and that I have taken a break for the entire thanksgiving period.

Good luck to everyone as you start getting ready for finals!!!


nicolle said...

great advice about setting a study schedule that avoids weekends and holidays. i don't ever set formal study or outlining schedules...but when i get a general idea of which time i'm going to study when deciding how far before a test i start studying, i don't consider weekends or holidays at all. studying rarely gets done. sleeping in and taking the time to do fun things that aren't school related will make you happier--and having such breaks is extra-crucial around finals, when school gets extra-stressful.

Phaedrus said...

schedules are great, well, until they go down the shitter.

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