It is funny how perspectives change after finals. Before they began, all I wanted was for my finals to be evenly spaced out as far as possible into finals weeks to give me enough time to procrastinate and study—mostly in equal measure. However, being in finals week, all you want is for them to be done and over; you want them out of the way so that you can enjoy the fact that in a week there is Christmas, but better than that, there is no more finals related stress.
The semester just ended for me. Most of the class is packed up and headed home, and the law school has a strange sense of calm. Since most people have finished their finals there are empty parking spaces, empty study tables and empty carrels. However, there are those unlucky few who have that one last final tomorrow, those who have to wait until the very last minute before they can breathe that sigh of relief. I feel sorry for those people—though at least they did have that extra time to study.
Everyone who remains in town is split into two groups: those who want to go out an celebrate every night for finishing yet another series of four hour tests, and those who just want to make up for all the sleep they have lost cramming in those last minute study sessions on anything and everything we could think of. Still, the semester is over, and no matter which direction you look at it from it’s a good feeling.
At this point, I tell myself not to stress about grades. True, it is this big looming thing that tells you if the semester you just put all of your time, energy, a large portion of your money into, reflects what you think you deserve. But for now, there is nothing that you can do, and you have to hope that the work you put in was worth it. Enjoy the break.
However, as a law review student there is only a short reprieve. Your first year on law review requires you to fulfill the writing requirement, which is to write a twenty five page case note or comment on the topic of your choosing. This paper, which we have been working on research and preparation for throughout the first semester, is due two months from now.
For those of us who have a large class load, extensive extracurricular, or a demanding life outside of the law school, this means that Christmas break is shorter than most. Because of the demands I have next semester, I need to have a solid draft of my paper finished before returning to campus.
This is an important thing to remember. Although the semester is over, there is still a lot of work ahead for most of us. Don’t use the break to get rusty- put in practice reading cases, doing practice problems, and preparing for the next semester. It will make you a better student and will give you an advantage for the next time you have four hour tests.