Now that you have settled down into Semester 2 of your LLM degree you will have just realised that time is flying by too quickly! This is perfectly normal as Semester 2 is right in the middle of your LLM year and can be packed with so many things – weekly classes, writing up notes, dissertation research/writing, applying for internships in summer, etc.
Let’s look at a few tips that can help you in balancing your commitments better this semester:
If you haven’t already got a diary that you use (virtual or otherwise) then better start using one! This will help you massively in staying organised and more importantly sticking to deadlines. You may have a fixed set of lectures that you attend in a week but you may also wish to attend tutorial sessions or study group meetings that you have arranged with your classmates. A diary can help you plan your sessions in advance and let classmates know of your prior commitments. Another huge advantage of keeping a daily schedule of your activities is that you can update it with events that you would like to attend at law school or outside and not miss them!
Owing to busy schedules, you will have less time to spend on gathering resources that help you stay organised during your semester time. Before you get to the really busy times, make sure that you are equipped with enough resources such as books, papers, laptop, etc. to get you going through the semester. If you are living in student resident halls or shared accommodation, it will save you lots of time if you stock up on refreshments which have long shelf-life. You could also agree with your room mates on taking turns to cook dinner or buy food.
Beginning summer, you are likely to be faced with written exams for which you need to have all the study materials and notes in hand. Taking down notes during seminars can depend on whether you like to write them down in the old-fashioned way or typing them into a word document. Either way you should go back to these notes, ideally at the end of day or the week, to make sure you have refined them and added research, cases laws, etc. so that you are familiar with topics that you need to study for exams. You can identify queries that you wish to clarify from your lecturers/tutors. By organising seminar notes along with research material such as scholarly articles, case laws, etc. you can follow a proper file management system so that you can locate your files in one place.
During this time it is important that you interact with your dissertation supervisor, tutors and friends. You will not only gain support and guidance but also motivation during stressful times or during days nearing your submission dates. Also, try to spare some time over weekends to stay in touch with family members and friends so that you can gain positive support from them.
Last but not the least it is important that you stay fit and don’t feel stressed! Seasonal weather changes are likely to cause cold or flu but make sure that you are following a healthy diet and allocate time in your diary for physical exercises. It doesn’t mean that you have got to spend hours in the gym or make fresh food for lunch and dinner each day. What you require is a daily dose of exercise, which could involve bit of yoga or jogging to keep you energized and motivated to study and timely food.
Don’t hesitate to contact your university administrators if you think you need any counselling or support. Academic staff are also available to provide you with support and guidance and you have the option to approach the students’ union too.