macattaq wrote:Dear 0L(s), I think I realized one of the best things you can do to "get ahead". Apper alluded to this in a post somewhere, and I just made this realization yesterday. I have noticed a trend in my exam-taking, my studying, and my academic career in general. I have noticed it in the sports I played and quit, the hobbies I took up and dropped, and I can contrast my prior experiences with the things I do now. I have spent my entire life, really, rushing through one project to get to the next. If it didn't come easily, if I couldn't easily identify and solve a problem, if something didn't come to me immediately, I simply guessed at the answer and quit.
Why is this relevant?
Because if I had taken the time to look at my habits and prior experiences before starting law school, my 1L experience probably would have been quite different. Fortunately, my first exam is tomorrow, so I can be mindful of this over the next two weeks, in order to ensure that I don't repeat prior patterns of behavior. But this is only effective going forward.
So what I am advocating to you all, 0Ls, is that you use some of your time off to 'know thyself'. Seriously. Assess your strengths and weaknesses, root out hubris and arrogance, and look for patterns in your behaviors. Take time to really get to know your helpful and harmful behaviors. Figure out how you react under stress, and what your tendencies are when you have downtime. I'm not going to tell you that you should get rid of the harmful behaviors, or develop new ones. But I am saying, that if you know your weaknesses, and can rely on your strengths, you won't be unintentionally shooting yourself in the foot as you try to make progress. Oh yes, and learn to be patient with yourself. It is easy to become frustrated while learning legal concepts, because it is unlike anything you have done before.