It goes without saying, but finals are the worst. When most non-law students hear that all I do all semester is read, the first thing they say is, “But that’s so easy, what are you complaining about? No real homework, no quizzes, no projects? It’s just reading, relax!”
I love to watch their faces change when I say, “Yeah, it’s all reading, but I HAVE to read it, otherwise I’m behind when I randomly get called on and everybody thinks I’m dumb. Then I have finals, which I study for a month for by taking all the information from the semester and putting it into an outline which usually runs between 50-75 pages at first and gets slowly widdled down to 12 pages. Oh, and the final is usually worth 100% of my grade.” “But but,” they say, “that sounds terrible.”
Every student studies differently- some stay up incredibly late cramming information into their brains, others repeat elements of crimes over and over again until that’s all they think about, others study their outlines. It all depends on what works for you.
The best part about finals is what I call the finals diet. The finals diet depends on how your appetite handles stress; if your appetite disappears when you’re stressed, congratulations! Those skinny jeans that are folded in your drawer that you can’t fit in because of all the time you spend sitting around study are going to fit by Christmas! Merry Christmas to you! If your appetite grows into a small monster, or if you’re a mindless eater, I’m sorry to say that finals time will not be generous to you. Try not to buy candy or fast food, be sure to pack your lunch/dinner/snack to bring to school, and try to get 8 hours of sleep a night.
Since I have my first final about four weeks from today, I’m going into hibernation and not allowing myself to do anything fun. Any spare moment I have will be spent pouring over my outline and watching Barbri videos (they’re so helpful, shout out to Barbri!) so I can get some decent grades.
This past weekend, M’s parents were in town visiting and we toured the Italian Market together. Anybody who lives in Philly, near Philly, or visits Philly HAS to go to the Italian Market! It starts at 9th and Bainbridge (a block over from South Street) and is filled with charcuteries from 1901, bakeries from 1900, Italian restaurants from the 1920’s, and the best of all Di Bruno Brothers! It’s incredibly easy to spend an entire day tasting, looking, smelling, and buying everything in site.
If I keep going to the Italian Market, I won’t be able to fit into my skinny jeans, so looks like I’m not going back again until after finals are over.
How do you study? Do you have any pre-exam rituals?