Living well while you are studying a tough and intensive course like an LLM is not easy.
It will take a little planning to make sure you have all of the elements in place to live well as an LLM student. In this blog we’re going to look at some of your chief considerations.
Having a nice place to live will make your LLM year much easier. Let’s face it, if you're not worrying about issues like fixing that broken shower, then you can concentrate on your work. Private student accommodation providers, Fresh, have lots of great accommodation options allowing for LLM students, including the option to live alone or to share a flat with others. Whatever living style you prefer, Fresh will make sure your accommodation is bright, clean and modern, and you won't need to worry about repairs, internet connections or negotiating with your housemates over bills, as Fresh does this all for you.
Achieve a work-life balance
Here's something that people spend their whole lives chasing, the work-life balance. The truth is when you are studying for an LLM, and it doesn't matter whether it’s part-time, full-time study or online study, there are going to be times when you need to focus on your studies. But, you need to recognise when a day off the books or an evening doing something else will help more than you think – especially if you’ve reached the stage when you are simply staring at your laptop achieving nothing. The only way to achieve this is to plan your time and your workload, taking into account all of your commitments.
Keep in touch
You will need to prepare the people in your life about what an LLM course will comprise of so you can manage their expectations. If your loved ones are fully briefed on how much time and work you will need to put into your LLM studies then they will know how to support you when you're busy. Plan your time to ensure you can still pay visits to friends and families as this alleviate any feelings of homesickness and will also help you remember why you are working so hard and also give you time to properly relax away from law school. If you haven’t got time to visit people IRL then phone calls and text messages are also a useful way to remind your friends and family that you are thinking of them and for you to disconnect from your studies for a while.
Stay on top of studies
The best way to add to your stress levels is to procrastinate and avoid your LLM course work. Avoid this at all costs, and instead start early on with your reading and try to get a good routine going so you automatically sit down to study at certain times. Planning out your days, weeks, terms and even the whole year will help you know when you should have certain aspects of your course done. It will help you with the other areas of your life as well.
Sort out finances
Just like your accommodation, ensuring your finances are in order before you start your LLM will help you focus when you are studying. Create a budget making sure you include all those extra expenses along with your accommodation costs and make sure you understand the tuition fees and course fees that you are liable for.
Manage your stress
Managing stress will help you study efficiently and is vital skill for a successful legal career. You could try practicing mindfulness to ensure good wellbeing, and knowing when to expect stress is useful in planning for it. And don’t forget to ask for help if you feel that things are starting to get on top of you. This table illustrates what junior lawyers in the UK felt about their stress levels in 2019 in their first jobs after graduation – it gives some indication of what stress levels to expect when you graduate.