Studying on Vacation is the New Normal

Image of LighthouseCape 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…

My beach reads are articles like ‘The Revival of Jurisprudence.’ While I usually do not plan to study on a family trip, this one is a bit different.  I have a big motivation. You see, autumn exams registration will be opening soon. Taking a few weeks off is not an option. One of my favorite authors says she writes eight hours a day, every day, even when she is on vacation.  I decided to take that on-board and apply it to my summer study plan.

Thanks to my University of London student ID card, I have been welcomed at several View of cliffsuniversity law libraries in nearby Boston. That was my secret fun whilst everyone else was sailing Nantucket Sound. (Long story, but it suffices to say that I am definitely not a very good sailor. If you were crewing, you might even suggest that I make a trip to the library no matter how much you craved my company.) In addition to visiting the universities, our University of London PG Laws programme offers several important tools in the online library.  Thanks to them, studying in a distance learning program means my efforts do not need to be interrupted because of travel or a decision to enjoy a longish summer holiday.

The online library resources at U of L include legal databases like Westlaw and several Online library webpageothers. There are also law journals and text books available online. For support, the library offers a chat platform with U of L library staff and ‘Ask a Librarian’ resources.  They also provide inter-library loan options through the British Library and a selection of e-books.  The essential reading for our courses are provided at registration; 3 text books and a hefty selection of articles for my current module. With the combination of tools on hand, I think this might be the most relaxed first year of law school on record.

Still, knowing exams are just a few months away gave me a good case of butterflies.  When I think about having the opportunity to study in this incredible programme it is easy to turn the queasy feeling into motivation. I just click on the VLE and online library.

If you are anything like me, your family would probably prefer seeing your head in a book – or an online research tool – rather than watching you slowly freak out at family barbecues as the summer drifts into autumn. Besides, disappearing to one of Boston’s prestigious university law libraries for the day thanks to my trusty student ID card is pretty exciting.  So is opening my computer and getting some quality time with world-class scholarship.  For me, studying on vacation is the new normal, for the next couple of years anyway.

Caowrites is enrolled in the Postgraduate Laws Programme. She previously earned a BA English degree and blogged regularly about her experience. She studies by distance learning in the United States.

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