“Use every spare half hour wisely!”


Happy New YearHappy New Year friends across the World!

Hope 2017 has been a great year thus far with many more happy days to come!

That time of the year has come and if you are like me, then you are already beginning to stress yourself. Exams are just around the corner, so this is our time to pick our lazy butts off the couch and begin to do some serious work.

By now we should have at least had a first reading of all the modules we would be taking in May. If not, don’t worry, you still have a number of days to do so in January. I believe by February, we should be doing a second reading of the materials and linking it to past papers, if you haven’t already begun doing so. That is, read the past papers and the study materials together with an aim to answering the questions. In other words, let everything begin to come together and make sense.

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Journey Update: Smelling the snow


Pathway covered in snowYou know that expression that tells “you should stop to smell the flowers?” Well, I wish we had flowers now in good old Luxembourg, but it turns out we are covered in snow. So instead, I am smelling the snow and trying to devise a plan for the second half of this course year.

As every year, I had promised myself that I would try to open the books and study a bit through Christmas break, and as every year, I only managed to read five to ten pages of material in the two weeks out of the house. As expats, Christmas break is one of the few opportunities we have to gather with family and spend some time with them. This was The Little One’s first Christmas and everybody wanted to take part in it, so we had to make room for multiple family engagements.

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Review of the Year 2016


Date 2016 writtenAnother year goes by as we mark the beginning of a new year. For some people, 2016 may have been one of their best years to date, while for some, unfortunately, it may have been one of their worst. From a more global perspective, I am sure you all will agree with me in marking 2016 as one of the most action-packed years the world has lived to see. From many iconic figures parting from the world to groundbreaking political shifts, quite a number of events made the headlines in the past 365 days.

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The Personal Growth Model


List of Personal growth attributesBy my definition, personal growth describes the process after which higher personal life quality has been reached. In economic theory, we assume that individuals behave in such a way as to maximize their own utility. By this, society benefits as common wealth enhances. Common wealth is measured as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But the “World Happiness Index”, a survey measuring peoples happiness and its sources, clearly indicates that GDP is not the only factor that matters to people.

The freedom to take actions to evolve personally is one of those factors. You might have read my previous article “How I plan two full-time degrees at once”. The incentive for studying two degrees was personal development by knowledge and a rather unusual study experience. And it is also the reason for most of you, whether you want a new study experience, to broaden your horizons or advance your career while having a full-time commitment to your family. In the following, I will establish some underlying principles which affect personal growth.

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How exercise benefits cognitive ability


Woman running‘No pain, no gain’ a few of my friends at the gym tell me. Some people like to train with weights, others with gymnastic machines, while others are simply training with aerobic exercises. But they all want to feel healthier and definitely look better after some months of exercising. We all know some of the benefits exercise can provide us. One is the significant reduction of the risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes and so on. Exercise can also reduce insulin resistance and some researchers have shown that regular exercise can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

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What I want to say aloud this Christmas


Christmas cottage in snowAre you willing…. to stop asking how much your friends love you, and to ask yourself if you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you? ….Are you willing to do these things for a day? Then you are ready to keep Christmas! ~ Henry van Dyke

For many around the world, Christmas 2016 is about celebration and relaxing after a year of hard work. My Christmas season, as a UoL student, has more to it; catching up on whatever that I have missed on and keeping up to the workload that is on the way. I suspect it is the same with many of my fellow students.

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Are You a Superhuman Studying for a Degree?


Image of a man dressed in a capeI felt like a superhuman. I could be in multiple places at one time, engaged in various activities, and converse with more than one person at the same time. I felt that I was invincible.

Wouldn’t this make me the smartest person? Getting distinctions for my exams shouldn’t be difficult, right? Well, not quite. Recently, I noticed some significant changes in me. I had difficulty sustaining attention. When being spoken to, I often found my mind drifting away. You could be telling me about an unpleasant episode you had at work, with your neighbour or with your family, all in the hope that I, the listener, could empathise with you. Alas, I had a problem even remembering your antagonist’s name, much less the way he had caused you to be so upset.

This, without a doubt, was utterly disappointing. I wasn’t a superhuman after all.

It is no big secret what this “thing” is. I am quite sure that every one of you owns at least one, two, probably more.

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A desk of one’s own


Desk with computer and books on topI am one of those people sensitive to the amount of chaos around. If things are tidy and clean I find myself in good humor, but if things get out of hand, I turn into a grumpy, muttering Grinch. I know life can be messy: clothes running around, wrestling my dear dog into taking a bath, guests coming to visit, the garden getting out of hand now that all the leaves are off the trees… You tell me. However, I try not to let Chaos desecrate my haven of mental peace: my desk.

Having my own desk with an organized system is one of my non-negotiable needs. This space allows me to switch on to “study time”. When I sit there, my goal is to get in a mindset of focused mental activity, and knowing myself, if there are things scattered around I will not be able to concentrate on the task. Even if I am not distracted by the mess itself, my mind wanders more easily to issues unrelated to my studies.

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The reality of your first year at university.


Expectations versus realityHello I am Janathri Weeratunga and I am from Sri Lanka. I am currently a 2nd year LLB student with the University of London International Programmes. As many students, I too started my first year straight after my A/Ls and I was pretty enthusiastic (at least in the first few months). I was a newbie to law and I thought that it would be as easy as any A/L Art stream subject (which was a big mistake). My whole concept of university life and higher education was pretty much based on English novels found at any bookshop in Sri Lanka. So of course, without any doubt, I was imagining hard work, long walks, a bit of romance, fun and a load of new friends.

However within a few months of lectures I was forgetting all the hard work and just simply enjoying life on campus and my new found freedom. It is of course very easy to get carried away with the whole concept of “University” and the life there and I did learn my lesson in the hardest way possible. So I am writing this post now just to make sure that all of you first years know exactly what you are getting into. Trust me; an undergraduate degree in Law does require a lot of hard work . If you do not put in those long hours of work you will regret it in August when results come. We are about 3 months away from what I would describe as the most competitive exams I have ever faced.

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Legal Reasoning: Learning to Think Like a Lawyer


Image showing blackboard with writing saying 'learn to think'Attending law school has been in the back of my mind for quite some time. Now that I am a law student, every time I sit down to study I tend to react like someone opening a surprise gift from a loved one. It is a wonderful feeling. It helps me keep track of my goals and how I want to use this education. One of my chief goals is learning to think like a lawyer.

I work in nonprofit management with an international NGO.  It’s a good match for me. After years of trying I caught on that I really don’t have a corporate soul, so to speak. But I do have a somewhat corporate way of thinking, meaning I like a methodical way of approaching issues and having a plan. It helps to approach things like a lawyer, to apply this particular structure to my critical thinking process.

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