I’m pleased to host a guest post from 2L Maggie Leccese, who shares some advice for preparing for finals.
By now, you’ve probably got all the outlines you can fit inside a one-inch binder. But for those of us who aren’t naturally gifted networkers, it’s still not too late to ace those exams. Fortunately, LSA didn’t assign me a mentee this year, which means I’ve saved up all of my sage advice for this well-timed blog post.
Here’s a list of the eight things you need to do to get through your first semester of finals. Why only eight? Well, I started with a lot more, but my editor alerted me to the blog’s limited server space. Here’s what’s left:
Last Thursday, the Christian Legal Society (CLS) at BC Law handed out care packages around campus. These packages contained various treats, including candy, gum, Rice Krispies Treats, and a slip of paper with a snippet from a Psalm: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Heads up: There is so much to read in law school. And the case materials are not written in plain English. You will have to read some cases twice or even three times to get a clear picture of what’s really going on.
Then there are a myriad of 1L events to welcome us law-newbies – and overwhelm us further – on this exciting journey into the world of jurisprudence.
You have half-a-dozen student organization meetings to attend. Socialization follows.
Of the little time you have left for yourself, you’re given the choice to sleep or…
…go rock climbing, kayaking, run, hangout at the beach, and try out kiteboarding.
If you’ve been following my law school journey here on the BC Law Impact Blog, you know that it hasn’t been an easy one. I was diagnosed with endometriosis – a chronic reproductive health condition that can cause back pain, pelvic pain, fatigue, and infertility among other debilitating symptoms – in my first year of law school. After a failed surgery between my first and second years of law school, and a successful, more intensive one in the winter of 2L, followed by a semester long leave, I am happy to be back on campus.
I spent the spring and the summer doing research for If/When/How on abortion access for teens, watching way too much of the X-Files, and working on my recovery. Getting your life back after a chronic illness sidelines you is a longer, and harder process than I expected, and I’m still working on getting my body and my mind back to where it was before I got sick. In the meantime, I’m taking it slow at school, and reflecting on what I’ve learned in the last few months. Here are some things I’ve learned about myself and law school along the way, and how you can apply them to (hopefully) make your time at BC Law a little easier:
It’s the second week of the semester and, more importantly, the week of the first Bar Review. It is conveniently, if confusingly, named “Bar Review” so that it sounds like you may be spending your Thursday evening studying for the Bar. Thankfully, it is really a night that the BC Law community takes over a local bar.
Bar Review is the perfect time to take a break and talk to some of your friends about something other than class. Unlike school-sponsored events in college that may have been sparsely attended, Bar Review is very well attended at BC Law.
Bar Review at Tavern in the Square 1L Year (2014)
When I started law school, I didn’t think it would go like this. I thought the hardest thing I would have to face would be the workload, and my commute. The only thing I feared was my anxiety taking over, and making it hard for me to get by. I was scared, but excited, at the prospect of three years doing something I had been working so hard and so long to do.
When I started law school I never thought I would miss almost all of my 1L spring to a chronic illness I had only just learned I have. I didn’t think I would have to postpone my finals to accommodate surgery to get better. I couldn’t imagine I would miss almost all of my 2L fall to that same illness, after the first surgery didn’t work. And never, in all my wildest fears did I think I would be taking the spring semester of my 2L year off to have another surgery; my second in less than a year.
But here I am.
My recent trip with friends to Germany illustrates a larger truth about our BC Law community and the bonds we form here. The experience reinforced how a friendship born in law school can transcend the BC Law bubble—and reminded me of the importance of expanding our hearts and minds and getting away from the stress of studying for a while.
Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany offers an exchange program in International and Comparative Business Law to students all over the world. BC Law usually sends at least one student to the program. This year that student is Stephanie Ragland. She is a double eagle (she went to BC for undergrad as well). She is also a close friend of mine.
In law school, our free time is precious, so how we spend it matters. Wasting time on a show you’re unsure you’ll like is just too risky. Never fear though, because I’m here.
I watch a lot of TV — admittedly too much. Everyone has their vice. Some people like a night out on the town, others treat themselves to a nice bottle of wine and some fancy cheese. I watch TV.
Here are my top suggestions for what to watch, whether you need some comfort, some time away from the law, or some inspiration.
When I accepted Boston College Law School’s offer of admission in 2014, I did not know exactly what to expect from my law school experience. It was the first time since third grade that I was going to show up to school on the first day without knowing a single person.
I woke up at 5 a.m. to drive down to Newton from New Hampshire on the morning of orientation. If I had left after 6 a.m., my dad assured me, I would not make it on time. Throughout the day I got to know the campus and sat through presentations by the Dean and other faculty. They called BC the “Disney World of law schools,” but said that we would also be challenged academically. They spoke of the Jesuit ideals of the quest for knowledge and care for the whole person, the importance of contributing to society and treating your classmates well. At the time, I was hoping what they were espousing would turn out to be true.
Happy almost new year!
I find that this time of year, people generally fall into one of two buckets: what I like to call the Calvins of the world…
…and those of us who resolutely (heh) make a list of things about ourselves that we would like to change. If you’re anything like me growing up, you make your list feeling great about it every December, then come February, you kind of feel the way you do when you’ve napped for too long: disoriented, vaguely angry, and wondering what the heck happened to you.