This post is written by Hannah, Deputy Chair of the Student Voice Group
Hannah enjoying a well-earned post-exam break at the Glastonbury Festival
Having just completed my LLB with the University of London International Programmes, I am grateful to be climbing out from the depths of exam stress and seemingly endless hours of study. As fellow students, I’m sure all readers are well aware that the rigorous programmes of the University of London can be arduous and that the intense study they require can at exam times can be quite isolating.
However, my experience and journey through the LLB has been brightened and coloured by engagement with other students as well as academics and staff from across the International Programmes through serving as a student member of a committee. These support networks have been key for me and have helped me during difficult times to remember the positive aspects of study which, outside of exam season, is surprisingly a very rewarding and enjoyable pursuit! Continue reading
Cape Cod is such a lovely place. It has been some time since we visited the area and I forgot how beautiful the seashore is here. Several years ago I lived in northern New England and once again, I forgot how much we enjoyed it. I could very easily live here some day. But, on this trip it feels wonderful to visit our old, favorite places and connect with friends. It is also quite nice to pack a picnic basket, pitch an umbrella on the sand, and enjoy a good beach read while sunning myself lobster red. What does all this have to do with studying Postgraduate Laws? Let me share…
It is that time of the year when we are all busy in our own ways; vacationing in Thailand, going on a shopping spree in Dubai, building the CV by interning at a local or international firm, finishing off those series you did not get to watch all year (although it cannot be the famous ‘Game of Thrones’ because who does not get time to watch that one even if there is an exam the next day, right?), or just lazing around at home. That being said, if you have graduated or are going to graduate next year and are planning on pursuing a Master’s degree, now is the time to get to work.
I am sleep deprived and loving it, thanks to work, study and enjoying a wonderful Southwestern Pennsylvania summer. It is a bit of a hectic time right now. My professional projects are more demanding than usual, I am interviewing for a new position, and of course summer brings so many fun things to enjoy with friends and family. But I like structure, so I try to make sure that each day is organized to help me reach my goals in every area that is important to me: exercise and being out-of-doors, studying and my professional goals, along with family time, all need to be built into the day.
Hello readers and colleagues!
I know… it’s been a while since our last conversation but I’m back with some potentially interesting thoughts for you.
How to plan your studies? How to make sure we begin the new academic year in the best possible way? It sounds like a subjective matter but there are some general considerations that apply to almost all of us.
We should take advantage of this relatively quiet period – academically speaking – to carefully devise a basic plan. In my brief experience, I learnt the earlier we start planning (i.e. structuring our studies), the better our results and the more enjoyable the journey.
There is nothing like a bit of physical work and a DIY project to develop a sense of satisfaction. This weekend I planted three flower beds and installed outdoor furniture including a wonderful swing with a canopy. The big, old fashioned porch swing at my grandparent’s house is my favorite summer spot. We are substituting a flowering crab apple tree for the porch here in our seasonal, suburban idyll, but somehow the idea of a lazy afternoon swinging in the shade is incredibly appealing. Hopefully we made a lovely bower, a quiet place to enjoy the seasons. I plan to settle in to the wonderfully plush pillows with my puppy, watch the canna grow, and work on the units in my Western European legal history study guide at every opportunity.
It has been over two weeks since my last exam, hence I have come out of hibernation, which usually starts many months before the actual examinations. That should explain why I have been so busy in the past two weeks clearing up all the mess I created while I was in hibernation, spending time with my family (who are so glad to finally see me without a mug of tea – read: ‘caffeine’ – in my hand), catching up with friends, clearing out my cupboards, and of course, planning my vacation. In fact, I’m already on my long over-due much awaited vacation!
It’s the long Memorial Day weekend here in America, and the official beginning of summer, according to local custom. Many of my friends and neighbors are enjoying mini-breaks and holidays but Jaeger and I are taking a different approach. Since my new little dog has spent more than half of his young life in an animal shelter he is happier right now with structure and a plan to control the variables. We decided to stay at home and use the time to catch up on some long neglected tasks, organize some runaway household projects, study, relax, and contemplate.
My last papers have come and gone.
For now, I have finished.
I am certain that there are some people that haven’t finished yet.
To those people I say, hang in there. It’s almost over. Just make sure to do your best.
Keep calm. Breathe and focus.
Here are some tips for how I handle myself in the last few hours before the exam.
For the day before the exam, I read lightly and just do my best to go through some past years’ questions quickly. I don’t like to stress myself out before the exams so I read lightly. Mostly, I focus on trying to calm myself because I tend to get stressed rather easily. This works for me. But if you feel like you can and want to read more or practice more, go ahead. My tips are just how I handled it and I just want to share it out to see if other people might find them useful.
This week I have been thinking about the importance of challenging myself. You might think that enrolling in a postgraduate laws programme is a sufficient challenge, but it really runs deeper than that, especially in self-directed study in a discipline that is rather new, at least for me. Challenge can represent different perspectives. Goal setting and obstacles can both be viewed as challenges. Over the last few weeks, we have had some changes in our family, which really started me thinking about challenges and how we manage them.
Jelly Bean on a happy day
First, I must share some sad news with all of the wonderful friends of Jelly Bean who so warmly embraced my canine study buddy. In March our sweet Jelly Bean died after a brief but severe illness. A very good friend who manages an animal shelter happened to be visiting on that gloomy day. She told me about a young dog who had been at her shelter for over a year. His story is much like Jelly Bean’s in that respect.