With the fall semester behind us and spring semester kicking off this week, it’s a good time to reflect on your experience so far and focus on how to make this semester a successful one. Here are three easy tips to make the most of your spring:
- What worked well?
Looking back at the previous semester, you’ve likely been through some great high points – maybe you aced an exam, paper, or oral argument you’d been anxious about. How did you achieve that success? Was it due to extensive preparation, last-minute cramming, or some combination of the two? Did you take advantage of study groups or drop-in hours with your professor? Think about the things that helped you succeed and work on further developing those strategies.
- What didn’t work well?
While you may want to move on and forget about the hard times, there are valuable lessons to be learned from those experiences. Sometimes the study methods that worked in college are no longer effective in law school, or maybe you spent weeks writing a paper and the results were less than ideal. Law school is difficult, and everyone will face issues, but the fact that you are here means you’re capable of overcoming the obstacles it puts in front of you. Analyze what didn’t go according to plan and think about how you can change things this semester.
- What are your goals for spring and summer?
If you hadn’t spent some time during the winter break coming up with a few goals for spring semester, now is the time to do so. It can be something definite and measurable (“earn an A on a Criminal Law exam”; “finish the year with a B+ average”; etc.) or something simpler like joining a study group. Anything that will aid you in your law school journey is a worthwhile goal. You should also start planning your summer – are you going to intern somewhere? Apply for a summer fellowship? Maybe you want to join the Trial Ad team next year and need to start preparing for that; or just take some time to decompress and re-assess some of the choices you made in law school and how to address any issues. There’s no right or wrong answer, but keep in mind that whatever you choose to do (or not) will have an affect on the remainder of your time in law school.
With a little self-reflection, you can make this spring semester work for you and your career goals.