One lesson I learnt from the last academic year is to plan better. I had this fool proof study schedule for this time; at least I thought I did. It had the number of hours, the areas to be covered and exactly what I hoped to achieve each day. I had planned the specific chapters from study guides to revise, pages I’d read from text books, cases I needed to find and read online and past paper questions I would attempt.
I had considered that I take longer to read Trust Law material than Tort Law, when allocating time for the subjects. I had tried to be as specific and practical as possible. I had considered all my personal and professional commitments. I was all set for the exams. Except there was one thing I had forgotten to consider in my schedule; Life. I had not realized that sometimes when we have a plan for life, life can have a different one for us.
I had forgotten all about my study schedule and exams during the long, rough drive out of Colombo where my Dad had suffered a heart attack. Hospitals, doctors, sleepless nights in hospital corridors, fearing the worst and praying for the best, my Trust Law study guide and highlighters remained in my handbag, untouched.
A week later when my Dad was back home and I had started studying a few extra hours every day to make up for the time lost, it was time for ‘Avurudu’, the Sri Lankan new year celebration that fall on 13th and 14th April every year, the biggest cultural festival in Sri Lanka. Last minute gift shopping, auspicious times to keep track of and a never ending list of relatives to visit, my study schedule was forgotten on my study table under all those heavy text books and study guides. And just when ‘avurudu’ was over and Colombo was heading back to work after the holidays, I was down with a throat infection.
I spent one entire day sulking and complaining and telling myself that there was no way I was going to pass my exams. There was so much studying to do and so little time and energy. Then I thought of my last blog post, ‘Anyone Who Doesn’t Quit Is a Winner’. I decided not to quit. I still have almost a month and if Life is kind enough not to send anymore eventful episodes my way, I guess I’d still manage. I’ll never be able to finish all those reading material or answer all those past paper questions. I’ll have to prioritize and study smart. I might not get great marks this time around, or pass at all, but it’s time to think positive, hope for the best and give it all I have got once again. I tossed my study schedule aside. It was now time for Plan B.
Valuable lesson learnt this academic year: ‘Make sure your plan is good. More importantly make sure your Plan B is better’. Happy planning what’s left of the academic year all of you, may you never need a Plan B.
Sandarenu is studying our Bachelor of Laws (LLB) by distance learning in Sri Lanka.