As final exams approach (as they are for most of you in the next few weeks), a number of law students are starting to get a little depressed. Students are spending time thinking what a bad idea going to law school was in the first place or they are reading blogs on this topic. They are feeling incredibly behind but instead of creating an effective study schedule, they are just sitting at their desks feeling sorry for themselves.
Does this sound like you?
If so, I challenge you today to change your mind-set. This defeatist mind-set will likely only lead to bad grades and a frustrating exam experience. So, what do I think you can do right now to shake off this bad attitude?
First, take Alison’s advice from last week and make sure you have all of your ducks in a row to get ready for exams. Sure, there is a lot to be done, but if you are strategic with your time, a lot can get done before exams.
Second, take a break to clear your head. There are many different things you can do. Take a long walk or a run (if you like running—me, I gave up running years ago). Go to yoga (my activity of choice, much more fun than running). Try some stress-relieving exercises (sitting and breathing for a few minutes can actually lower your blood pressure). Whatever you do, clear your head and decide to re-group.
Third, manage the negative messaging around you. Don’t read blogs that are negative about law school. Don’t go on social media if it stresses you out to see your friends talking about final exams. Don’t daydream about whatever else you could be doing right now instead of studying. If the library stresses you out, find another place to study. If home is distracting (say you have a roommate who makes it hard to focus or your dog is always begging to play with you), then don’t study at home. You can help yourself by not indulging in the negativity of others. Now is not the time to question going to law school. Now is the time to prepare for exams.
Fourth, watch how you talk about exams to yourself. Surprisingly, it is also important to acknowledge how you talk to yourself about stressful situations. If you spend all of your time telling yourself that you “can’t” do well on exams or “you are going to fail,” well, gee, you might just fail. If you say negative things over and over to yourself, you actually do start to believe them. So turn it on its head and change how you talk to yourself about exams. When you hear yourself being negative, choose to be positive. Instead of saying, “I am going to fail,” say, “This is a challenging time, but I can step up to the challenge.”
Fifth, reward yourself with something when it is all over. I always think having a reward is a good way to get through something challenging. Decide for yourself what might be fun to do when this is all over. Make it something positive! Something you can focus on while studying instead of being negative. It sounds like such a minor thing, but instead of being in the right mind-set for success, sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. So take a moment to re-group and decide you are going to approach the challenge of final exams with gusto and not with negativity. Who knows, you might be surprised by the results!
— – —
Want more tips on exam prep and time management? Sign up for our free mailing list today.
And check out these helpful posts:
- Unprepared for Law School Exams? Here’s How to Avoid Disaster
- The Three Most Important Things You Can Do as Exams Approach
- Rely on Systems, Not Willpower
- You’re Totally Unprepared for a Law School Exam! How to Avoid Disaster
Image by Krappweis.
Looking for some help to do your best in law school? Find out about our law school tutoring options.