Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Staying Sane during Law School Finals: It Can be Done

By Gillian, 3L

Everyone has their own study strategy – and I won’t bore you with mine right now – but what I will share is how to stay sane during the period between Thanksgiving and when that last final is over. 

This finals period I'm all about the
gingerbread lattes and the peppermint cake pops.
Keep Your Routine As Much As Possible
I remember getting this piece of advice from a 2L mentor when I was a 1L – during finals, try to keep to your normal routine as much as possible. If you read a novel every night before you fall asleep, keep doing that and don’t feel like you need to replace it with your Civil Procedure flashcards. Exercise is my big thing, so I make sure I still break a sweat 5-6x a week during finals. Having a small amount of “you” time will go a long way during finals.

Build in fun breaks
During finals, my friends and I spend way more time in the library than normal – but one thing we started doing during 1L (and have kept doing ever since) is we take an afternoon Starbucks break every day. The 10 minute walk over to LA Live’s Starbucks is the perfect break - we get our legs moving, and come back refreshed, caffeinated, and ready to knock out another practice test. It sounds silly, but having something to look forward to every day is huge – and it reminds you that there’s a world outside of the LLS library.

Study-break last year to check out the tree
at LA Live.
Allow yourself a small celebration after every exam.

Catch your breath after every exam. During 1L, you will have four exams your first semester – and it is easy to think you need to finish one and immediately head back into the library to continue studying for the next one. I have found that taking a few hours off to grab a meal (or a beer depending on the time of day) goes a long way in keeping me sane and charged to power through the next one. Luckily, Yardhouse is also at LA Live and that has become the go-to place for my friends and me post-exam.
Cheersing to a successful evidence final with my friends Connor
and Black at the end of 2L.

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