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Reflecting back on the First Year of Law School

3L, Whittier Law School

I am sure that most of us have experienced the slow-but-fast feeling during our educational journey. While the time passing was slow, with the blink of an eye went four years of college. Law school is no different. It seems as if my first day of law school occurred ages ago, when in fact, only a mere three years has passed.

During my first semester, my schedule was like clockwork. I forced myself to stay disciplined and here was my weekday (Monday-Friday) schedule for the first three months of law school:

4:00 a.m.: Wake up (no, I was not always a morning person) and got ready to go to Starbucks.

4:30 a.m.: Arrive at Starbucks, order my usual peppermint bold coffee, and begin studying.

9:30 a.m.: Head to school for my 10:00 a.m. class.

11:45 p.m.: Lunch break and enjoyed the fresh air with my homemade lunch.

12:30 p.m.: Go to the library, or find an empty classroom to review before class.

2:00 p.m.: Class.

3:45 p.m.: I’ve been up for almost 12 hours at this point; my class day is over, nap time.

4:15 p.m.: Home to my bed for a short nap.

6:00 p.m.: Wake up from my nap just in time for dinner.

8:00 p.m.: Back to studying at the library, or a local coffee house.

11:00 p.m.: Back at home and ready to crash.

11:30 p.m.: Sleeping, just in time to do it all over again the next day.

On the weekdays, I dedicated about seven hours a day to studying, while using the other time to hit the gym, relax with my friends, cook with my family, and sleep.

My second semester schedule eased up a bit because I was getting used to the material. But that fear of not making it past my first-year kept me motivated. Aside from self-study, it was also crucial that I made friends to help get me through the head-scratching concepts, the final reviews, and the practice test taking sessions. In addition, I utilized all the resources provided by the professors, whether it be handouts in class or online, through their teaching assistants, or during their office hours. After all, who better to ask questions to, than the ones writing your final exams?

1L year is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and even after endless hours of studying, sometimes your efforts may not necessarily reflect in that final grade. But, it will be good enough. I did my absolute best in law school, and I cannot wait to become a Juris Doctor in less than a week.

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