Tips & Tricks

Exams and Winter Break

Looking forward to sharing my experiences and insights about Loyola Law School and law school in general

Happy New Year 2022! With every break, it always feels like it comes and goes so fast. It was nice to be able to take a break from law school and mentally reset and refresh myself.

Exams were tough and it was definitely a test of endurance. I attended UCLA for undergrad, which was under the quarter system, so it was interesting to now attend a school that uses the semester system. After fall semester classes ended, there was a reading period, which was about a week between the end of classes and the start of exams. It was a good time to consolidate study materials and transition into fully focusing for exams.

The time period between the end of classes and my last final exam was about 3 weeks. Our 1L exams were scheduled to be spaced out so that we could have a few days in between each exam to take a break and begin studying for the next one. It honestly felt like the longest 3 weeks of my life. Here are some of my takeaways from my first 1L final exams that I want to pass on:

  • Start slowly studying and compiling your outlines early. The earlier you start studying, the more prepared and less stressed you will feel.
  • Be sure to take breaks. The weeks of reading period and exams are not short. Be sure to pace yourself and take mental breaks from studying. Get some fresh air, don’t stay cooped up all the time in a room, but also stay focused.
  • Stay hydrated during studying and during exams. It is very easy to get dehydrated and to forget to drink water when you are spending hours at a time doing assignments or studying that one hard concept you are trying to understand. Staying hydrated might be hard, but don’t forget to do so, especially during exams, where some final exams will span 3-4 hours.

Even though exams were tough, now that I have completed my first semester of law school, I have more knowledge, experience, and determination to tackle this next semester.

During my exam period and the beginning of winter break, I was also consolidating materials to apply for 1L summer positions. I applied for a judicial externship and internships for a few law firms. After submitting those applications, I felt that my winter break could finally begin.

Winter is my favorite time of the year. I love the holiday season and the festive lights that decorate the city. It’s always a nice time to meet distant family members again and to celebrate the new year with your loved ones. Being a big Marvel fan, I was anticipating the arrival of the newest Spider-Man film for a long time. I watched it opening night and if you haven’t watched it already, I highly recommend it. The whole theatre was cheering during the most climactic scenes. Another highlight of my winter break was going to LACMA with my girlfriend and seeing the Obama Portraits that were on tour around the U.S.

Besides that, I also got 2 wisdom teeth removed, which was not very fun…

Even though the beginning of spring semester is going to be online, hopefully we will be able to have class in person again soon. 2022 will be better than the last!

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