I’m sure some of you have study groups or study with friends or even have study partners. However I have never studied in a group and as a student who is not registered at an institute at the moment, I wasn’t meeting fellow LLB students. This year is different. As part of my fool proof plan to make my final academic year the best, I found myself a study partner. In fact, my study partner thankfully found me.
Approximately two months ahead of exams I thought of analyzing the pros and cons of studying with a partner in case you were thinking of revising in groups.
My study partner, Sarasi and I met during our first year of study when we were both registered at the same institute in Colombo. We were both working full-time so even though we shared the challenges we faced and talked about studying together, we never found the time to actually do so. Now two years later, Sarasi is living in London and we were determined to find the time to study together.
I have attempted to write this blog post on new beginnings, several times during the last month, only to leave it incomplete. I couldn’t bring myself to write it because for me, it didn’t feel like the academic year had actually begun. Yes, I had selected the subjects for the year, registered online, and even downloaded the subject guides but I didn’t have any hard evidence to pull me out of my prolonged holiday bliss.
Then I came home last evening to find the now familiar cardboard box marked University of London. For a moment I just stood there looking at it. My books had arrived. Procrastination was not an option anymore. The new academic year had indeed begun.
The well-deserved break is almost over and the next academic year is just around the corner. The break has been pure bliss which is why you haven’t had a blog post from me for a while. With what is left of the precious holiday, this is how I plan to make the best out of it.
1. Spend time with family and friends
My family and friends have suffered while I had my head buried on the books so I’ve made sure I have spent quality time with family and friends. I’ve taken trips with family, spent time giggling and gossiping with my girlfriends and not missed a single event I was invited to. It’s refreshing to spend time with your loved ones and makes up for all the times you’ve had to take rain checks because you were too busy attending lectures or cramming for exams. Besides, we have another academic year ahead of us, we need them to be patient and understanding while we are busy earning our degrees.
One lesson I learnt from the last academic year is to plan better. I had this fool proof study schedule for this time; at least I thought I did. It had the number of hours, the areas to be covered and exactly what I hoped to achieve each day. I had planned the specific chapters from study guides to revise, pages I’d read from text books, cases I needed to find and read online and past paper questions I would attempt.
I had considered that I take longer to read Trust Law material than Tort Law, when allocating time for the subjects. I had tried to be as specific and practical as possible. I had considered all my personal and professional commitments. I was all set for the exams. Except there was one thing I had forgotten to consider in my schedule; Life. I had not realized that sometimes when we have a plan for life, life can have a different one for us.
I thought the LLB was going to be easy. I was 25 when I made the decision to start my LLB with the University of London International Programmes in Sri Lanka. By this time I already had my Bachelor of Business and MBA. I was working full time as a teacher, an examiner for a local examination body and an entrepreneur. Surely it had to be easy for me, I thought, with my experience as a teacher and examiner.
I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Before I knew it was in the deep end of the pool without a life jacket. Not only did I realize that studying law required an entire different mindset to studying management, I also realized it demanded self-discipline, commitment and most of all; time. As a management student and teacher I was used to short notes, video clips, calculations, challenging theory, bypassing text books, and last minute studying. None of those was going to work with a LLB. LLB required sitting down and reading, memorizing, thinking and then some more reading.