Finals: Part II
It seems like yesterday when the weather was a little chillier, the days a little shorter, and the time in the library sooooooo much longer. Yep, it’s here again: FINALS TIME. Although it’s never (ever) a pleasant time, I am much happier to say that this finals season I will be applying the intel I gathered from last finals seasons and hopefully not be making the same (or as many) mistakes. Straight from my experiences as a first-semester 1L and reporting to you live as (finally) a rising 2L, here are some first finals season takeaways and second finals seasons things to do:
This finals season try branching out and making a new friend: the gym. The gym should be your friend not only because “it’s good for you…healthy life….etc etc,” but also because 12+ hours of sitting will drive you crazy. Especially when those 12+ hours are spent studying for a single exam that makes up your entire grade for a single class and defines the success of your entire semester. But, no stress right? Yeah, the treadmill is looking a lot friendlier now, I know. And just think, in addition to alleviating stress and having an outlet for all the pent up energy you’re not expending, you’re also going to look great. You do your best when you look your best…that’s the motto, right?
Set Up Camp
Think less summer sleepaway camp and more like military bunker. Finals time is all about finding your study spot and—short from peeing on it or writing your name on it—mark it your own. There’s truly few things as frustrating as pumping yourself up for a multiple-hour study binge only to wander aimlessly in the building searching for a place to actually sit down any study (it may look like a big building but it happens often). Even more efficient: set up camp with a few friends. This way, if you decide you want to hit the snooze buttons a few times in the morning, you know you have a friend who can ward off those study space invaders.
Meal Prep is a Major Key
I know what you’re thinking about this one: isn’t meal preparation just for those Instagram fitness models or body builders? While I would usually agree, I’ve learned that meal prep is ingenious for maybe real life but definitely for finals season. Trust me (and my bank account), you WILL go broke spending money ordering in lunch and even dinner to the library. Save your money for better expenses (like caffeinated drinks or post-finals alcoholic drinks) and make a bunch of meals for the week at home. The law school keeps multiple refrigerators and microwaves throughout the building for your convenience! Take advantage!
Finals season is no walk in the park, but probably more comparable to the actual Boston Marathon. No one enjoys 4 cumulative final exams in a span of 2 weeks (and if you do—you’ve really hit your stride here at law school). Most of the time, you will feel defeated, broken down, and utterly exhausted. This is the time to treat yourself for the minor victories! Did you just understand a concept that you totally had no idea what the professor was talking about in class? Make yourself an ice cream sundae! Did you wake up at 8am to spend another 10 hour day in the library for the third day in a row? Watch that extra episode on Netflix! Are you almost done with the worst year of law school ever and about to make it to your 2L year and thus be almost halfway a lawyer? You take that one hour walk around the Charles River! You go you—you deserve it!
Nothing is more valuable than knowing that it’s almost over. Sure, it’s a stressful time but hey, it’s only 2 weeks! You just got done with an entire semester, you can handle 2 more weeks! Start a countdown to something that’s more exciting than finals as a kind of “light at the end of the tunnel.” Mark down days in the calendar and feel accomplished you’re one day closer. But, most of all, remind yourself that life goes on after finals. It never really feels like it, but I promise you, there IS a real world out there beyond the windows of this building. And soon you’ll be a part of it! (Until Fall starts at least…)