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Oh no! Not another year of law! Tips for early semester motivation

The Little Engine That Could cover

Even for the most motivated of law students the first few weeks of study feel almost impossible. Who can blame us? We’ve spent months testing our livers, napping and watching reruns of mindless television series – we’re still not ready and nor do we want to be.

But whether we like it or not another year of tears and excess caffeine has begun. Outside the sun is glistening. But you’re inside: trying to get into your classes, fearing the same mediocre results, questioning whether you really want to go through it all again…

It begins with acceptance

When you’re chugging down beers with little to no mental commitments it can be hard to believe that a semester of vast reading has already begun. The first step on the path to motivation is accepting that you can no longer spend all your weeknights with a cheap wine bottle. The sooner you can accept your reality the sooner you will be able to sit in your classes without wanting to assault the enthusiastic, well-prepared person next to you.

Choose your electives wisely

There is no point in choosing the elective Intellectual property law if you are passionately pro illegal downloads. Also, there is no point in choosing medico legal over human rights law just because it sounds infinitely cooler. If you have to get out of bed for a 9am tutorial you might as well do it for a cause you are passionate about.

There’s still a little bit of time left before the census date rolls around, so if you’re hating your elective choices already, now is the time to seriously consider your alternatives.

Try to keep the holidays alive

You have to get your readings done, but a punishing study routine isn’t really necessary. So long as you’re keeping up in class, do what you can to make that holiday feeling last a little longer: have weekends away, go out with friends, make time for your hobbies and relax when you can.

If you begin the year stressed out you will only bomb early and that’s just as bad as going to your first lecture with a hangover.

Have fun…

I know, the word ‘fun’ seems a bit out of place in an article about studying law but if you don’t learn how to have fun with your course you are likely to wind up a ball of anxiety and regrets. Even the most boring of Priestly 11 subjects have a few interesting principles or hilarious cases – you’ve just got to find it.

And being a law student doesn’t mean being a loner. Law libraries are a surprisingly relaxing location to meet up with friends, discuss your subjects and study at a pace that suits you. You won’t necessarily wind up in a candlelit room with a grey wig on, reading a one million-page text book.

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