“Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long
after the excitement of the moment has passed.” – Cavett Robert
The sentiment expressed above has been a guiding force in my life ever since I googled it a few minutes ago. In all honestly, New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing. Typically I’ll make a few, spring semester will start, and yeah, that’s about the end of it.
This year, however, I
am obligated resolve to be different. And not just because I made a promise to be an author for this blog. Or because as a result all my resolutions will be online for my friends to make fun of me with whenever they’re bored in the library.
No, I am writing down (typing out, whatever) realistic goals so that they will turn me into a more productive law student this semester. And if this is actually working come May, maybe we’ll extend it for all of 2015. Anything can happen.
Now, without further ado and presented in reverse order of importance to increase dramatic effect…
Rob’s Resolutions for the Spring 2015 Semester
5. Don’t leave campus until all of the reading assigned that day is finished.
The best advice I received coming into law school was to “treat it like a job.” Go to class in the morning, do your work in the afternoon, then go home in the evening and don’t stress about school. To a vehicle-impaired 2L who avoids public transportation at every opportunity, this advice is easily forgotten upon the offer of a quick lift home after class.
Yet unfortunately, believe it or not, reading about the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process gets even harder when you try to do it at home, where your roommate from Staten Island thinks that it is more important for you to use that time to appreciate the incomparable magnificence of Derek Jeter’s final season (by the way, go Sox).
For reasons including the end of baseball season, this semester will be different!
4. Find new study music.
I enjoy listening to music while I do my work in the library, just like many of my classmates. At least, I assume they’re listening to music. I’ve never actually ripped out someone’s earbud to check. (Did I just start my 3L bucket list too?)
As I’ve become
older out of touch more focused on my studies, my playlist has stagnated a bit. As in, it still consists almost entirely of A Love Supreme and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness alternating between the entirety of Radiohead’s discography stretching from The Bends through In Rainbows (except Amnesiac. Never Amnesiac).
I did add one album to the rotation in 2014 – St. Vincent’s St. Vincent (and yes, that was only because I caught her performance on The Colbert Report back in March). So for 2015, I’m resolving to find at least one new “study album” per month.
If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment with them here, or even better, tweet them @BCLSA. Okay, shameless social media plug complete.
3. Don’t eat fried food.
This one doesn’t really have much to do with law school, although ideally it’ll make me feel better each time I use schoolwork as my excuse for skipping the gym when really I was watching the new season of House of Cards.
2. Make it to every class.
While I personally would never dream of missing a lecture to do something like say, start spring break early or sleep in for two glorious extra hours, plenty of legitimate reasons to miss class exist. Job interviews, illness, March Madness… sometimes there are greater factors at play.
At the same time, the professor’s words are by far the most important resource in preparing for finals. The simple fact is that the more classes you attend, the better your odds on the exam. And because this list is supposed to make me a better student, this resolution is a no-brainer.
(Also, I’m just kidding about March Madness – I planned ahead during course selection.)
1. Finish every assignment from the previous week before Game of Thrones.
The corollary to the best piece of advice I received coming into law school was, “don’t give up the things you can’t do without.” Not only do I think it is important to keep yourself as relaxed and upbeat as possible while tackling the heavy workload law school entails, it makes me more motivated when I have something enjoyable waiting for me at the end of my work. And for me, the ultimate motivator is a new episode of Game of Thrones.
I love this show. I spend my free time wondering whether the Baratheons have perfected title to the Iron Throne through adverse possession, or how the courtrooms of Westeros could have potentially provided Tyrion Lannister with more adequate due process than a trial by combat.
And if I have to spend a single moment reading after 9 PM on Sunday nights starting in April, I will consider the spring of 2015 a complete failure.
Thank you for reading.
Do you have your own resolutions? Share them in the comments or on Twitter by tweeting @BCLSA using the hashtag #IAmBCLaw.