Good day my fellow colleagues!
My apologies for not writing for some time. It’s been quite busy at work.
I trust that everyone was satisfied with their exam results. If you weren’t, I urge you to apply my motto:
“There are two things you can do with an exam, you can either pass or fail, and if you fail, then simply re-write it!”
I wrote five exams in May and I am “preparing” to write five more in May 2017. I have preparing in parenthesis as I have come to learn that that simple word is quite a subjective one. I would be more honest if I said I am attempting to prepare! It’s difficult. Like most of you, I work. That means I am off my bed by 6:30am for the latest. I face at least an hour of traffic each morning to work. Once I get into work, my job requires a lot of mental strength and focus as I am currently employed as a Judicial Research Counsel in the Supreme Court. This means I work directly under a Justice of Appeal. Trinidad and Tobago still has the Privy Council as our highest Appellate Court. Accordingly, the next step for persons dissatisfied with the decision of our Supreme Court is to take the necessary steps to have their matter heard by the Privy Council. This is quite expensive and not every citizen is financially and otherwise capable of doing so. I therefore take my job extremely seriously because should I develop a laissez faire attitude and perform mediocre or sub-standard research, I not only put my job in jeopardy and can bring the Court’s name into disrepute, but I can severely interfere with the lives of many people.
By the end of my work day, I am mentally exhausted.
Once I get home, I spend time with my three children (I am a doggy daddy), prepare dinner and lunch for the next day. I attempt to begin studies at 7pm and end at 11pm so as to get a good night’s rest. I achieve this possibly twice a week! The other days, I am viewing The Food Network!
One of my issues with studying my current courses is that all the materials and laws are new to me. I did not study any Maritime Law-related courses during my LLB. So it takes extra time for me to familiarise myself with the material. This can be exhausting and quite boring and can easily break your will power to study. Knowing this, I have chosen to start reading and familiarising myself with my study materials as early as possible so that I can re-read a second and third time as necessary.
My point is that we must know ourselves, how we study, our work life, our social life and we must find a balance. Give ourselves time to adjust and become accustomed to the new routine that is studying for an LLM. Importantly, we must also know that we are not alone. For this reason, I chose to write about the difficulty I face in studying.
Despite this, I often try to find ways to inspire and motivate myself. I look back and remember the feeling of accomplishment I felt when I graduated from Law School and was admitted to the Bar. I also remind myself that I am repaying a student loan which my Dad took out in his name to allow me the finances to pay for my LLM, so disenchantment is not an option.
When I don my robe every year for the Opening of the new Law Term and I am surrounded by my colleagues, I feel proud and I see a future that I wish to attain and this becomes motivation for me to continue moving forward. Knowing my parents are supporting me and stand with me, also gives me hope and strength that I can overcome my difficulties and achieve my LLM. We must find motivation and inspiration to continue moving forward.
Lastly, let us not hide our difficulties believing we are alone. We are some of the luckiest LLM students. We are not in a classroom of 10 or 20 students, we are thousands of students being offered the World of Friendships. We are not bound to having colleagues from just our State or Country, we are offered the opportunity to make friends and have colleagues all over the World! Let us utilise this rare opportunity provided to us by the UoL (and the internet) and provide a shoulder for one another!
All the best.
(I understand that some of the phrases I use may be unfamiliar as we are from varied languages and cultures. Do message me to explain anything that may seem strange to you.)