Life update autumn 2020

In 2020 our world was turned upside down. I don’t think any of us could have anticipated that 2020 would be such an impactful year. But here we are… The country I live in was sent into a lock down and I thankfully got to spend that time with my family. Most days staying at home. But I also got to finish my university classes online. This was a huge blessing, giving me some work every day.

Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

During this lock down, I decided to move out of my studio apartment. The costs were too high especially considering that I didn’t stay there during the lock down and probably wouldn’t return until September. I had a job waiting for me but when the lock down began I couldn’t work there anymore. The country I live in still have some measures in place for the virus, so my university has is still offering classes online. However… BIG NEWS. I graduated my bachelor in law and am now completing my masters in law. My official ceremony is in October, and I am really hoping it can still take place as planned. Of course in a corona virus safe manner.

Since the official lock down ended, I have been spending time renovating my new home. My partner and I hope that we will be able to move in soon. I will have some blog posts coming soon about the renovation process as well as the decorating and moving process overall so stay tuned for that.

Now we are at the end of this lock down, I hope to get back into a better schedule. I loved waking up early every day and getting to work out in the morning. Sadly, I lost some of this motivation in the past few months. I want to get back into my routine and spend my days focusing on what makes me happy.

Please let me know what you have all been doing or what you are doing now the lock down has ended. I would love some inspiration for safe activities to do during these times.

Let me know how if there are any blog posts you would like to read. Please leave a comment down below if you liked this post or have future posts you’d like to read. Please follow me on Instagram for more behind the scenes stuff. Hope you guys enjoyed and I will see you again next time, for my weekly blog! 

How I study for law school

Have you ever struggled studying for class? Or wanted tips on how to study more efficiently? We’ve all been there! Studying at law school really took some getting used to. I had to give different methods a try before I finally was able to efficiently study and get great results. One thing I always try to remember is that some courses are more difficult than others or we encounter topics we have never heard of before and suddenly need to have expect knowledge for class. It is okay to struggle with some courses and find that other courses are easier to handle. This happens to everyone and differs from person to person. But a good study tips and tricks will definitely help along the way. Here is how I study for my law school classes.

Studying for class

My study routine begins with reading the book to prepare for my next tutorial or lecture. When I read the book I usually highlight the important parts; so key words or topics which are important, in one colour, and use another colour for articles of the law or important case law. This makes them stand out more when it comes to making notes or finding an answer during class.

Photo by Mikhail Pavstyuk on Unsplash

I always make notes on what I have read from the book. I try to do this while I’m reading the book and not after the fact because I found this works best for me to understand each part in depth. So I will normally go topic by topic and make notes on that part after I have read it. After this is done, you then have an overview of the topics in your notes so you don’t have to go through the book again and the book is nicely highlighted so if you need to look back it is easy to find.

This helps me to prepare easily for the questions in class as well. Having notes of it all is also handy for the exams so you’re not stuck making the exam notes at the end of the semester, which leaves you more time for practising and memorising for the exam. This is important to leave enough time before your exams because there will always be some courses which are more difficult and need more time to be reviewed and understood.

How I structure my notes

Structure is key for note taking. Personally I like to make sure the headings are clear for topics and sub-topics. If there are multiple subtopics you need to remember then list and number them under the main heading and if there are main topics I always list these as well. This makes it easier to remember.

I also find that bullet points or lists help me summarise using mainly key words and keeps me from writing long sentences. When I have terms or case law I always put them into a table or use flashcards to make it easier to remember, easier to find and easier to test myself for the exam. Once again if you compile this list as the course goes along you save a lot of time before the exam and can focus on learning the material.

I also make sure that in my notes I always have the article for the law and the names of case law relating to the topic. Therefore, you get a feel for what articles and case law relate to each topic and make it easier to memorise for the exam or to find during class.

Time management

Managing your time is very important for studying. Especially as a law student there are a lot of readings to get through every week. I always try to plan out my days. Knowing which days I am very busy and planning in days to rest. This helps me see what time I have to study, for example before or after class, and make sure I leave enough time to get my readings done. I always try to estimate how long a chapter will take me and split it up over a few days, if possible. Then I don’t have too little time to read it all or feel rushed to stay up late every night to finish it. I also try to plan out the weeks to come. When you have an exam coming up, you need to be able to plan out enough study time in between preparing for classes. Therefore, It is very important to plan.

A tip which helps me is to go out of the house to study, if you can, whether that be the university, the library or simply to meet a friend to study. This helps me to stay focused and get my work done. If i stay home there are often distractions.

If I stay home then I normally plan in breaks and/or plan in something to do after I am done studying to motivate myself. Please check out my tips on how to study from home for more information on this.

Ensuring you have enough time to study for the classes is so important because when there is a time constraint, you start to fall behind on reading the material. You also cannot fully participate in the tutorials and get a full understanding of how to apply the material. If you plan into each week, time allocated study slots, this will help you stay on track and helps make sure you have free time to relax as well.

I hope this will help anyone struggling through law school. Some courses are difficult and it’s okay to not understand everything straight away or even to fail. what’s important is to recognise there is more work to be done and to get right back up and try again.

Please leave a comment down below if you liked this post or have any suggestions for future posts you’d like to read. Please follow me on Instagram for more behind the scenes stuff. Hope you guys enjoyed this post and I will see you again next time, for my weekly blog! 

5 tips for Studying from home

I have not always been good at studying at home. There were a lot of distractions and I personally found it difficult to be productive. Over the past few years I’ve been working on how to improve at studying at home. So here are my top 5 tips for being productive while studying at home.

  1. Routine

Make sure that you have a daily routine. This can be an everyday morning routine, for before you start your studying, or a routine for after your breakfast to ensure you stay on track with your studying. This way you can also get chores or other activities out of the way before you start studying to relieve stress.

such as

  • 7:00-7:30 meditation
  • 7:30-8:30 workout
  • 8:30-9:00 breakfast
  • 9:00-12:00 studying
  • 12-13:30 Lunch
  • 13:30-18:00 studying

Making a schedule makes sure that every day has some free time, such as in the evening, to relax from studying. It can also help planning studying for in between classes and making sure you have enough time to cook lunch or dinner and have healthy studying habits.

2. Workspace

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

It is important to have a separate study space where you live. This could an office room in your house, a desk in your bedroom or a desk in your living room. You need a space which is designated for studying or working. Keeping this separate space helps you keep your focus. This also helps ensure that when you are done studying or working that you can relax and not worry about work, since you left that space you were studying.

A few years ago I used to try to study on my bed or on the couch in my living room but as a result I had difficulty sleeping and had difficulty staying focused on my work. Once I switched to a designated study area in my home, I could sleep again and I found it easier to focus on studying for longer.

3. Breaks

Plan regular breaks. Studies show that you cannot focus for longer than around one hour on a task so why force yourself to study for hours upon hours without a break. Breaks help increase the efficiency of your study sessions. These breaks can be short breaks after a certain amount time or after tasks or longer breaks in the middle of your study sessions. It took me some trial and error to figure out which breaks worked best for myself while studying.

An example of implementing breaks into your schedule can be:

  • at 10:00 have a 20 to 30 minute break; and
  • at 15:00 have a 20 to 30 minute break

or

  • after each chapter have a 20 minute break
  • after 60 mins of studying have 10 minute break
  • after 30 minutes of studying have a 10 to 15 minute break

Make sure that during these breaks you stay hydrated and get all your meals. I always make sure that I have a study snack with me for my mini breaks, such as chocolate or fruit, and I always bring tea and water with me to study. That way I don’t have to get up for snacks or drinks during my study sessions.

Photo by Grace Ho on Unsplash

4. Fun

I always plan something fun to do after studying. This could be an activity on the weekend, something to do at the end of the day or a show to watch during your break. This always helps to give me a little more motivation to finish my goals. If you know you need to study for an exam or finish an assignment but also want to go see a movie the weekend before, plan this out. Therefore, you are extra motivated to achieve those study goals on time and still have everything planned and finished on time to do that fun activity you wanted to do.

5. Plan

Make a study plan. Write down for each day what you want to accomplish; such as reading a certain chapter, finishing your notes or preparing your exam notes. If you make sure you have a plan of what you want to achieve and set a timeline of when to achieve this, it keeps you focused and able to track what you are doing everyday. This also helps make sure you achieve what you need by that deadline and ensure you are not stuck rushing things at the end. This means I don’t have to stress because I know I have enough time to finish it. I can use this to plan around days I have to work or go to classes. I also plan free rest days into my schedule. Having a good study plan makes this all possible!

I hope these tips help you to figure out how to make the most of studying at home and be successful at it too. Please leave a comment down below if you liked this post or have any suggestions for future posts you’d like to read. Please follow me on Instagram for more behind the scenes stuff. Hope you guys enjoyed this post and I will see you again next week, for my weekly blog!