Friday, February 19, 2021

The Importance of Study Groups

Law school is challenging, but it’s nice to know that we’re all going through the same thing. I think this year more than ever, lots of us find ourselves in the same boat: taking classes from a remote location (often even from different time zones), while heavily relying on Zoom. However, no matter how different the world is from what we are used to, one must study.

Generally, I like to go to the library and study with some friends (although the studying only really begins after a bit of moaning about how stressed we are). Since that wasn’t an option this academic year (because, you know, 2020), I tried to study with others via Zoom. My friend and I laid out our textbooks, prepared a cup of tea, and promised to only discuss academics. Unfortunately, having electronics nearby was extremely distracting for me. I’ve since gone back to my tried and tested method of studying, which is to leave my phone and laptop in another room (otherwise I will spend 45 minutes doing online quizzes). In short, all my electronics have been banished during study time, which has meant no study group.

The great thing, though, is that - study group or no study group - Loyola’s community is a supportive one. A lot of times, school can be a competitive place - with everyone in contest with the other for the best grades. I will admit that I thought law school would be extremely cutthroat (especially once I discovered that everything is graded on a curve!). Luckily, from my experience so far, that has not been the case.

My fellow LLMs and I are all in a group chat. Questions do not go unanswered (which is especially appreciated when you’re trying to figure out how to access your grades), and often there will even be those reminding others of upcoming deadlines. One of the great things about the LLM is that people are all in different phases of study: some began their academic year in Spring, while others chose to start in the Fall semester. This has meant that, when me and my fellow Fall start classmates were new and still trying to figure things out, there were those that already knew what they were doing and how the Loyola’s system worked, and they were gracious enough to offer their advice.

Finally, I think that forming a study group at Loyola - if you felt so inclined - would be very easy. As LLMs, most of us are international students studying a new legal system in a new country, and it is no surprise that seems to be a natural sense of community.

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