Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My Finals Survival Checklist

  1. Coffee—and lots of it!  When I’m feeling a little over-loaded with coffee, I sometimes switch to green tea.
  2. A quiet area as free from distractions as possible. 
  3. Lots of blank flash cards and comfortable pens (your hands might feel numb after writing hundreds of rules and cases on flash cards).
  4. Highlighters—zero in on those important rules and terms.
  5. Outlines—your own and those of others who’ve already taken the class, if those outlines are available.  It’s beneficial to compare/contrast.
  6. Snacks.  You might forget to eat otherwise.
  7. Some funny law school memes online to remind yourself that you are not alone in the struggle and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
  8. Understanding friends/family.  You might not see them for a while, and they should be able to handle that. 
  9. Dogs.  They are excellent de-stressers.  Nothing like a good, furry hug and game of fetch to break the monotony and make you feel like a human again. 
  10. The occasional break, whether it’s to hit the gym, go for a walk, or get a massage. 
  11. No matter how tempting it is—RESIST THE URGE TO STUDY IN BED.  It will not work.  And, no, you will not resume studying at 4AM if you fall asleep at 2AM.
  12. Having said #11, GET SLEEP!  Finals are a marathon, not a sprint.  It’s one thing to stay up all night finishing a memo or law brief, if you can spend the next day snoozing after you’ve turned the paper in.  But, for a 4-hour final exam, you cannot be dozing off.  You need to be on your A-game, and that’s not possible unless you’re well-rested.
  13. Make plans to attend the post-finals bar review, or make plans to go on vacation after your last final (if all else fails, there’s always Disneyland).  Then, tuck that idea away and do not re-explore it until your last final is over.
  14. Remember to get your vitamin D.  Sometimes I take my flashcards out to the backyard and study outside on a lounge chair.  Makes studying so much less unpleasant.
  15. After a particularly draining day, run a bath.  Soak.  Re-charge.  Get back to work.   

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