The Final Finals

I’m fairly certain I start my blog posts with the same line every time but for old time’s sake I’ll do it again: I can’t believe this is my last semester of law school. Actually, it’s my last semester of school ever for the rest of my life. As someone who came to law school straight through from undergrad, it is both scary and exciting to realize I’m finally done with school forever. It’s been a long, difficult road but alls well that ends well.

So here it is in all its glory, my final list of tips and tricks for my final semester and final finals I’ll ever have to take:

  • Plan. Plan. Plan. I can’t stress enough how important it is to plan, for life in general and for final exam preparation. This semester I had 7 classes which equates to 5 exams an a paper all coming up in these next few weeks. After spending a good amount of time freaking out, I was able to plan out which days I’ll study for which exam and outline all the work I have to do to prepare for each one. Okay, it sounds like planning in itself takes some work. But I personally feel a lot less stressed when I have a plan and you should see if it works for you too.
  • Have a Life. I used to think that studying for finals meant I wasn’t allowed to have fun or talk to people or do things I enjoy doing and that every second of my time should be spent in the law school reading. I realized super quickly that this is a surefire way to make yourself miserable. Studying for law school exams is already a stressful, unhappy experience so why make it worse for yourself? Go out to dinner with friends, have a movie night with people, do things that take you outside of the law school and away from century old cases!!! You deserve breaks.
  • Don’t Hate Yourself for Having a Life. Sometimes I take “Have a Life” too seriously and I go off the deep end a little by foregoing studying for a few days. Hey, stuff happens and everyone needs a mental health day once in awhile. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you take a day off from studying or you don’t think you’re doing enough to prepare. The more you stress out about the little things the less you’ll concentrate on studying and doing well. Trust me, my 1L grades can prove that.
  • Stick By Your Study Habits. One of the most popular games people play during finals time is the “How Are You Studying For The Exam?” game. This entails everyone going around their class and asking people what their methods are for studying and then proceeding to inform people their preferred method of studying. After listening to 60 different study methods, it’s easy to second-guess whether yours is the best or if you’re even learning anything. Remember, your study habits got you this far in your life, why should you change them now? Only you know how your brain operates best, so don’t get intimidated by the “guaranteed” methods of other people or the exclusive study groups that didn’t invite you to be apart of them. You got this.
  • Remember It’ll All Be Over Soon. To this day, I can still recall the exact seat I occupied in the library while studying for Fall 1L exams–a time that is forever burned into my memory. While I counted down to winter break, I thought I’d never get past these exams let alone three years of law school. Yet, I feel like all I did was blink and now I’m graduating in a month. Day by day, law school feels endless: endless amounts of reading, endless amounts of hours in the library, endless amounts of studying, endless amounts of exams. But one day you’re going to be in my shoes: studying for your last exams ever and wondering where my time in law school went. Exams are just bumps in the road on your way to graduation and a legal career; don’t forget the destination just because the journey is tough.

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