Getting involved in your first year of university
Before you know it, the first year of law school passes in a blur. I must admit, my experience of first year was certainly a roller coaster ride, and if I were to describe it in one word I’d probably pick, ‘overwhelming’. This feeling does just stem from the workload, but also the daunting number of societies and activities that you can get involved in at university.
There is a myriad of ways to get involved that can help you adjust to your new surroundings. This can range from sports teams, to political groups, volunteering, or even something quirky like a chocolate appreciation society.
A great way to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed is to join your uni’s law students’ society. LSSs host lots of events where you can meet fellow students outside the classroom where you can meet fellow first years. These societies may also run mentoring specifically targeted to first year students – it is a great way to ask those in higher years for advice.
After the first few months at university, you should start to feel settled in and more at ease with your surroundings. This is now your chance to step out of your comfort zone and attempt something new. Your law school and/or law students’ society will most likely run a range of competitions for students, such as negotiation, client interviewing, mooting and witness examination.
I think that it is important to set goals for yourself in order to make the most of your time university. In my second semester, I decided to challenge myself and enter the junior client interviewing competition. I really enjoyed it and I’m so glad that I decided to participate. In future years, I’m hoping to try some of the other competitions, such as mooting.
Although it is common to feel a bit apprehensive in first year and getting involved in uni clubs and societies can help, it is also important to know that if you constantly feel anxious throughout the year, all universities have student support services that you can take advantage of. There are a range of resources that universities offer to help you adjust to the obstacles faced in first year, such as counselling, stress management workshops, and seminars to help you with essential study skills. This is a great tool that should be used if you are ever unsure about something.
University is a time to have fun, challenge yourself and to learn. So congratulations on getting into law school – we’re all in for one great roller coaster ride!
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