OperaSoprano wrote:Un-derailing, briefly:
Surround yourself with positive people. Pay attention to your state of mind and stress levels, and recognize that sometimes you will have to put effort into maintaining balance. Eat and sleep on a regular schedule, and if you need help, ask for it! Law students have a bad rep, but they are some of the kindest, most thoughtful people I have ever met.
Also seek to maintain your friendships outside of school, and keep up with family members on a semi regular basis (if applicable).
Academically speaking, take practice exams. As many as possible. Get into a rhythm, and know exactly how you plan to approach each final. Dissect your answers with other law students, and have regular conversations about hypos, just to get familiar with the format. My roommate and I did this for the final we both did best on.
Find at least one professor you really like, and ask this person for advice. Confide in him or her. It took me more than a semester to figure this last one out.
ITT: Prez finds out OS has law school down waaaaay more than he does. Solid post.
I'm sharing because I suffered a shit-ton more than necessary, and it was my own doing.
Secondary advice: travel, if you can. Before I ran out of money, I made it to see friends (some of whom were fellow 1Ls) in Chicago, San Diego, and Charlottesville. These were some of the high points of my year, and memories I'll have for a very long time. Plus, transit time is enforced studying time!
And lest I forget, consult the experts. I'm lucky to know a number of people who hit first semester, or the entirety of 1L year, out of the ballpark. When I meet these people, after getting them to quit being so modest, I ask them what worked best for them, and if they had a specific approach to exam-taking. First semester I was an Arrow girl: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=77628
and now I also have the spectacular advice of Scribe: viewtopic.php?f=11&p=2851006#p2851006
These are not the only ones with phenomenal advice, however. I thought people would jealously guard their secrets, but I've been astonished at the generosity with which they have shared ideas, methods, and organizational plans.