Every so often I get people googling for “second year law” and other Otago related things (like first year health sci and cutiespotter – I am a keyword placement ninja heh). It was about this time last year that second year law had me in much despair, and now I’ve realised every second year is susceptible to this. Probably because you’re stuck in Archway 4 for four hours a day. It must be catching.
So I offer cuddles, but mostly stern warnings.
In LAWS101 you were allowed days off to mope. You could give up going to lectures, hide in bed, pretend there’s nothing to worry about… Making up for missed lectures was slightly inconvenient, but manageable. This year you’ll regret every missed lecture – it’ll take so much more time to catch up, and you don’t have much time left. When you’re panicking at the end of the year, you don’t look too fondly on that self-indulgent moping. Yes, it sucks now, but it’ll feel worse at the end of the year.
Terribly optimistic, I know! “Stop feeling sorry for yourself, the worst is yet to come!”
If time travel existed, I’d tell myself this:
how to (better) avoid death by exams
- Get out of bed, you’re not going to fail.
- Make beautiful, concise study notes.
- Write practice legal opinions for tutorials.
Ohhhh, how I wish I’d done that. Do the above, and you won’t be looking at old exam papers the night before the exam. For the first time. At 4am. Panicking because planning a question just took 45 minutes. Scary, scary night. (It wasn’t out of laziness, there just wasn’t enough time. Don’t be like me. ;_;)
I then went into my Public Law exam without knowing what old exam papers looked like. Ditto, Criminal Law, only that one was also with two hours sleep, and I barely managed to finish half the exam properly.
I passed. I didn’t pass well, needless to say. It truly must take a lot to fail (when sleep deprived I have nothing intelligent to say), so banish that “THERE IS NO POINT IN TRYING” feeling. Instead, work on avoiding the upcoming “I MIGHT ACTUALLY HAVE TO REPEAT THIS YEAR OH GOD” one!
BONUS: crib sheet tips
- Make them for the open book exams too. You lose time flicking through your notes.
- I formatted my pages to have 2 vertical columns. You can also shrink 8 pages to fit 1 side (readable with an 11pt font, from memory).
- A heavily serif’d font, like Times, is difficult to read in teeny sizes. Use Trebuchet MS or Calibri.
- NO CRIB SHEET = DEATH. Don’t leave it to the last minute – It’s totez a motherly thing to say, but you don’t need extra stress, omgg. St Margaret’s printer was broken the night before my Public Law exam, and I only just made it to the uni printshop on time. ~HORRIFIC NOSTALGIA~
- I sometimes used kanji, which took up less room than the English (I got desperate, yes). I used them for simple things like “days”, “time”… and found it pretty convenient, since you could spot them easily on the page.
I love you, my second years. It’ll be over soon. Except that’s a lie. HAH.
Disclaimer: The sadness second year Law folks get is probably quite laughable to Health Scis, but you guys, we haven’t been conditioned to studying this hard. ;_;