With a background in neurosciences, and currently practising as a psychotherapist I have always had a keen interest in how the brain (actually) works, and perhaps more importantly how we might utilise that knowledge to maximise our mental capacity when it comes to approaching the (undoubtedly) challenging University of London LLB (Hons) that many of us are harnessed to.
I’ve never been a religious nor a spiritual person. This is why I was always sceptical towards things like meditation which is perceived to have a spiritual origin. For some people, meditation leads to inner peace and happiness while others might think of it as a placebo.
When I went to New York City during the Fall semester in 2017 to pursue a business certificate in finance, I took an additional course in organisational behaviour where we learned about the effects of meditation within an organisation. Research shows that it can increase productivity and reduce the risk of burnout. Then, a professional instructor went through a full meditation with us. The technique that was used was different from the one I want to recommend to you, but I still felt peaceful and relaxed in that moment. As any sceptic, I thought it might be a placebo effect since we heard about the research shortly before the meditation. Continue reading
So, 3 years into this degree and the thing that still drives me nuts is essay writing. It takes me months to start writing answers that I am halfway happy with. Anyway, I hope this resonates with you all. If it does, keep reading ‘my roadmap to essay writing’, the steps I usually go through to write a Politics/International Relations Essay.
Step number 1: Getting my head around the material.
Before I can even think about an essay, I have to study the material. Usually this involves going through the Study guide and the Essential Reading. Whether I write the essays as I go along or wait till I finish the syllabus, it depends on the module and how well I understand it. Continue reading
I love planning, it makes everything seem right in a highly topsy-turvy world where surprises are always lurking around the corner.
Here are a couple of things I like to do when I am studying my politics modules. Take a look, I hope that they help you too!
Understanding what’s expected of me
When I started this degree my first step was to sit down and read all those lovely resources that UOL offer, explaining how the degree worked and what was expected of us as students. Understanding this helped me to understand what I had to do and when I had to do it; the Strategies of Success book gives a really nice overview of the different kinds of plans students should make. Continue reading
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” (Albert Einstein)
I hope that this academic year goes plain sailing for all students. However, it won’t be long before we start getting our first marks and it won’t be long before our expectations are challenged.
Nobody feels great when things don’t go the way they planned. And it is sometimes difficult to come to terms with that situation. We start asking questions: “Who, how, what went wrong?” “Am I to blame or is it someone else’s fault?” “How do I get back on track?” Continue reading
We, as humans, always seek to challenge ourselves; to exceed our thresholds in the hope of becoming better; to make a difference or simply to chase a dream.
When I embarked upon my journey to study the LLB programme at the University of London, my first thoughts were: ‘Finally, after completing a foundational degree in Business Management and dedicating myself to my daughter, it was time to reward myself; it was time to focus on my dreams.’ Continue reading
My, my… It’s been already two weeks since my last examination, and I am still all bubbly with the information gathered throughout this year, in which I attempted three modules instead of my usual two. I bet a lot of you are feeling the same, maybe with a bit of regret mixed in (“why did I not start earlier?” “I should have read that author”, etc.).
However, do not let the regret take hold of you, rather, take advantage of that spur to action by evaluating your past year. To gear yourself towards interpreting your results, the first thing you should do is make a fair evaluation of your efforts: did you encounter any difficulties this year? Was your planning too tight/too loose? Did you spread your efforts evenly across all your modules? These questions and many more can offer you a valuable view of your learning style as a student, and the input can then be used to improve your efforts next year. Continue reading
Do you read a lot? Most days, I read until my eyes bleed then spend the rest of my time writing. Studying law is reading and writing intensive, which, for me, is one reason for being in the program. I also read and write professionally in nonprofit work and publish creative fiction. Full disclosure: my natural facility is with numbers and spatial reasoning, but I love words and language. That means constantly coaching myself to think and learn using words. It also means I might have to work a bit harder to improve my verbal capacity. Each day I’ve got to process quite a bit of information the best I can, and then reorganize it verbally. It’s taken a while to develop a strategy to do that and to speed up my efforts. Continue reading
Much is said here about writing essays, motivating yourself, making the most of your notes and other essential stuff for the daily life of a student. But sometimes, our best intentions and plans fall short of one key thing: how to manage all that under the pressure of an upcoming deadline, examinations in this case. During the highly stressful period of examinations, we start second-guessing ourselves, over-spread our efforts, or focus too intensely on just one thing, etc. To ace your examinations you need self-control and peace of mind as much as you need to prepare the right amount of material in sufficient depth.
I have a few strategies that help me to keep my sanity almost intact through the whirlwind of emotions and information that the examination period brings. Here I list a few. Continue reading
It’s been quite a long time since my last blog post, but…life happened. First I was sucked in by the Christmas craze, then had to reconnect when I got home, then the Little One had an incredibly hard time with upper canines (yeah, one night she got up at 3 a.m and did not go back to sleep), then I was sucked in by the formative assessment whirlwind and I have basically started to breathe again just two weeks ago. Of course, since life can never throw that much on me I made a serious and committed plan to eat healthier and to exercise because the “I just had a baby” excuse is getting old when the baby is almost two years old. And on top of everything, I thought it would be a good idea to do something more artistic and have taken up hand-lettering. And here I was telling myself that I am a laid-back person.
I will start by addressing those of you sneering in the back of the room and saying: “Right, like I have time to journal”. Continue reading