Welcome back to school! With the new semester starting, we wanted to introduce you to our amazing new academic support blog. Be sure to check the blog weekly for posts that will include strategies for improving your academic performance, tips for efficient studying, and creative ideas to help you get the most out of law school.
The start of a new semester is a great time to reflect on what worked well during the previous term, and what didn’t work so well. Whether it’s time management, comprehension of the material, or mastery of specific skills, everyone has an area in need of improvement. Since it’s not only the start of a new semester, but also the start of a new year, now is a great time to identify those areas and make some law school resolutions. Your law school resolutions should be a firm promise to yourself that you will take some specific action that will have a positive impact on your academic performance.
As you reflect on different habits and strategies from the prior semester that you might want to change or improve, consider whether you should adopt the following resolutions. These three resolutions may seem overly simplistic, but sticking to them throughout the semester can have big pay offs when finals roll around.
Resolution #1: Attend Class Consistently
Just because the syllabus says you can miss nine classes before your grade is impacted doesn’t mean you have to miss those nine classes! Unless you are genuinely sick or have some other emergency, you should make it a point to attend class every single day. Regularly attending class gives your day structure and consistency, which are both helpful to forming good study habits. Additionally, understanding the material is always easier when you’re following along in person and taking your own notes, rather than reading someone else’s at a later date. Lastly, and perhaps most crucially to some, it ensures that you are getting the valuable insights and instruction the professor provides (and that may show up on a final exam)! So if you find yourself missing the roll sheet sign in fairly frequently, promise yourself that you will start attending class more regularly this Spring.
Resolution #2: Outline Early and Often
It’s impossible to be in law school and not hear a lot about outlining. But despite all the hype about outlines, some students fail to see the importance of creating their own outline or having that outline updated consistently throughout the semester. Starting your own outline early in the semester and updating it regularly will help you comprehend the material, remember the material, and then ultimately give you plenty of time to review and practice the material before final exams. So instead of scrambling to throw an outline together during the reading week or spending your hard earned money on a supplement that’s not tailored to your course, promise yourself that you will outline early and often this Spring.
Resolution #3: Get Help as Soon as You Need It
There are many, many people at OCU Law here to support and assist our students, so if you find yourself struggling to understand a case or master a new skill, reach out for help as soon as possible! Legal concepts often build on each other, so if you don’t comprehend something in week one, you may find it harder and harder to keep up in the following weeks. Don’t let this snowball effect make your classes unnecessarily confusing. Instead, promise yourself that you will get help as soon as you need it to keep yourself on track this Spring. If you’re not sure who to reach out to, contact our department and we’ll be sure to get you pointed in the right direction!
The start of a new year and a new semester is the perfect time to implement these resolutions and any other positive habits that will help you in the coming months. But reflecting on the past and creating resolutions for the future is just the first step. Check back next week for some tips to help you stick to these resolutions and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself during the upcoming semester!