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  • Writer's pictureThe Moot Times UCalgary Law

Madame Tort and Sir Leggie Slation present:Advice for Weary Law Students

By Neema Khalili and Alissar Laham

Cryingincrim writes:

They say in first year they scare you to death, well they got it right. These days I’m a mess of stress, and imposter syndrome is eating me alive. I don’t know how to keep my morale up, especially with reading break ahead. Do you have any advice for making it through to the end of the semester without letting these problems get in my way?

Dear Cryingincrim,

We are in the same boat (first year is no joke), but let’s be real, you are going to be fine. Year after year of nervous 1Ls such as ourselves have made it through to the end of the year, many times, safe and sound.

Madame Tort says: Be cautious not to let yourself slip behind during the reading week. That sounds like a recipe to increase your stress and future workload. When you’re preparing for your exams, it might be helpful to create a schedule and a detailed to-do list of what you hope to achieve throughout this time. You may wish to do this in general, leading up to and during exams, to help you stay on track. Having structure can help you manage stress, so you can know what to expect and know your progress. It might be tempting to forget school during the time away, but my best advice is to keep your momentum up and use the time to make the exam season easier for yourself. As for the imposter syndrome, you’ve made it here and can celebrate this win. Truth be told, it just might never go away, and you’ll have to push on regardless.

Sir Leggie Slation says: Remember, you have been chosen out of all others to be here, and your presence is valid. It’s time you practice a little self-compassion. We all know how easy it is to get in your head that you should and could be doing better, but remember that you can’t run on empty. Studying during reading week is important, however, the benefits of practicing self-care will fuel your motivation and engagement for the year. I recommend a relaxing bubble bath followed by a get together with your closest friends. It would also be helpful to say positive affirmations when you’re feeling down on your luck. Maybe even schedule some group study sessions where you and your peers can simplify complex concepts and explain topics to each other in ways that makes more sense.

We hope that your tears have dried, or at least someone has handed you a tissue. Be sure to keep your tears away from your penned notes, no one likes a smudgy secondhand textbook.

Sincerely yours,

Madame Tort and Sir Leggie Slation

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