• Raychel Plath

Part-time law, Full-time procrastinator

Our resident part-time law student and full-time straight-talker, Raychel, dishes the dirt on what's really going on in a part-time student's head.

I have been studying Law for many years now. My degree has been on track to be completed within the next two years... for about the last four years. It’s not because I’m lazy, a lot is to do with the fact that I study part-time and work full-time.

Part-time (and online) study is the life for me. But it’s not without its unique challenges.

We procrastinate "just as much" more than anyone else.

It’s not that we don’t have ambition, drive or passion. We just have many more distractions to assist in successful procrastination. I’ve known part-time law students who have stayed up all night working on their child's year ten History assignment to avoid doing their case reading for Torts. I know students who have actively volunteered for additional work duties in order to actively avoid studying. Personally, I know that I spent an entire Saturday blissfully avoiding writing an essay by washing my kitchen walls and then devouring a whole thing of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream and the entire series of Jessica Jones in one sitting.

It's a little known fact that part-time law students are better at improvisation than any actor worth half their salt.

We can, and will study and revise anywhere, anytime.

You think I’m just chatting to my personal trainer? Nah, he’s quizzing me on the principles of mitigation as I leg press 100kg.

You think I’m listening to the latest Missy Elliot track at the supermarket? Nope, I’m banging to a recorded lecture as I buy energy drinks in bulk at CostCo.

You think I’m talking to this Tinder date about the upcoming Star Trek movie? 'Fraid not, I’m most likely boring him about policing and responses to crime from a feminist perspective.

You think this PDF document I have on my work computer is work-related? As if. Also, all those “documents” I printed earlier weren’t for a “board presentation”.

Because we’re usually juggling jobs, social lives, partners, children and/or small, spoilt animals, we actually need to be incredibly flexible in our approach to studying. Yes, a study schedule is a valuable resource, but we’ll take our study time whenever and wherever we can.

But that also means that we've got no idea what you kids are banging on about.

Part-time Law students are an eclectic bunch. I’ve come across many who have already completed two other degrees, parents who have never studied before, grandparents who are interested in learning, and then 30 something burn-outs like me who are attempting the same degree for the third time in a row. We come with varying levels of life experience, but one thing we generally have in common is the ability to appropriately engage online. You know, without the use of memes, gifs, gifsets, Pusheen the cat, or emojis or whatever else you kids are using these days. We also generally have a grasp of how to respectfully agree to disagree, without resorting to “LOL, JKS, WHATEVA” when a disagreement occurs. For those of us who have to engage with our fellow students online, it can be both an amusing and painful experience.

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#study #procrastination