After a month in law school, I would like to write about my adjustments and what I have realized so far.
I know getting into law school would mean losing a few (or more) hours of my precious sleep. In a normal situation, I always make it to a point that I get at least eight hours of sleep. I also rarely sleep late because I am already sleepy around nine o’clock p.m. #TeamSleep
I am a working student, which means I make up my time for studying late at night and very early in the morning. My typical day starts at four a.m. and ends at 12 midnight so I can hopefully finish reading (and comprehending) heaps of assigned cases and memorize provisions. That means I just have roughly four hours of sleep almost everyday!
It’s not easy, of course. What I do is I take a bath immediately after my alarm clock rings. It’s cold, but it’s the only way for me to be awake enough to read without dozing off. I use the pomodoro technique– I study straight for 45 minutes and then take a break for 15 minutes. I use my breaks to take a nap!
My weekends are very different from when I was not into law school yet. Before, I would read books for leisure, practice brush calligraphy, watch series, or just bum around with my boyfriend. Now, I wake up early even on weekends to study. I have classes on Saturday afternoons, while on Sundays, I just study the whole day (with breaks, of course!) until it is time to sleep.
Dates with my boyfriend are also different now. Since we are both law students, we have study dates. It is not as boring as it sounds. Haha. To be honest, it is the highlight of my week. I look forward to it every weekend.🙂
It also pains me that I cannot go home every other weekend anymore. I miss our house, my room, home-cooked meals, and most of all, my family! Fortunately, they visit me once every month. I’m grateful that they are very supportive.❤
I have less time, or none at all, to chat or hang-out with my friends, too. I know it’s bad for my social life, but with my situation and knowing my capacity to socialize, law, work, and time for my family and boyfriend are already taking up most of my energy and time. People may frown at this, but for now, I am contended that my social life mostly involves my family and boyfriend. I will re-connect with friends during my sem-break, that is for sure.
My law school being a sectarian one, I needed to adjust with their prayer time and seminar subject. We are required to take a seminar or religion class until second year. We have to stop walking and talking when it is time for the three p.m. and six p.m. prayers. It is my first time to study in a Catholic school, so this practice is very new to me. Since high school, we never pray before and after classes. U.P. never does that, too. In my school, it is a rule, and we have the motto ora et labora, which means prayer and work. Personally, I do not hate it, but I find it ironic that I am in a Catholic school while I am not a religious and faithful person. Hehe.🙂
Now, my realizations.
Studying law is a way of life. It is not for the faint of heart, lazy, and uncommitted. To be in law school is to want it everyday. Comparing it to a romantic relationship with a person, it is the partner who the other party chooses to love everyday despite the imperfections and challenges in the relationship.
Like what my father told me, the three rules in law school are: READ, READ, AND READ. Time is of the essence, so I get every chance I can to read wherever, whenever. Hehe.
Taking care of myself is also one of my priorities. Weak immune system will have a domino effect in my performance in law school and in work. I take multivitamins and supplements everyday, twice a day. This is very important since I do not get enough sleep and I always process a lot of information.
A law student can only prepare as much. With the many cases and provisions that she has to study for one class, it is normal to get confused with the facts and terms used. The most that a law student can do is to do her part to study as much as she can. Lucky if I was not called to recite a case I haven’t read or to answer a question which I do not know the answer. In case of bad recitations, whether I knew the answer or not, I do not let the bad feeling stay longer than necessary. I charge it to experience, to lessons.
Terror but brilliant professors are worth it. There has never been a time yet when I did not feel nervous for a class. I especially get loud heartbeats when I am called to recite. Beyond these, I am thankful to learn from my professors, four of them bar topnotchers, and one a valedictorian of their batch in law school.
It helps that my mindset is that I am studying not for the recits or exams, but for THE Bar Exams years from now so that I can pass, practice law, and help people who need legal service.
Often times, I would rather not work. I want to focus on my law studies only. However, I need to work. I pay for my own bills, rent, and tuition. I do not want to burden my parents of these things anymore. On the flip side, working has made me value my time more.
So there! Gotta work now.😦🙂 Haha.