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Maintaining your sanity during your law degree

By Sarah Park, Law/Commerce III

A Law degree is one of the most stimulating and rewarding degrees. But it is also difficult and demanding. Here are some tips to help eager first-year law students or returning law students to stay healthy and motivated during their degree.

Keep up to date with your work

While this is easier said than done, keeping up to date with readings and assessments reduces the anxiety of not having a clue about what is being discussed in class or having limited time to complete assessments. A successful law student will use time efficiently – making to-do-lists, keeping a calendar that tracks assessment due dates or discussing difficulties with tutors.

Meet with friends

It is so easy to refuse going out on Saturday night or catching up with a friend over coffee when there is an essay due next week, exams to prepare for and extra shifts to cover at work. Studying law can be isolating in itself, so you really do need to make the effort to discuss things non-law related!

Maintain your physical health

Going for a run or heading to the gym might be the last thing on your mind when you just want to spend the weekend finishing your assessment. But exercise can release the build-up of stress, encourage motivation and provide a welcome study break. 20 minutes of exercise a day is recommended, although more than that certainly will help. Eating healthy is important too. You certainly don’t always have to reach for a kale smoothie or a dairy-free, gluten-free raw paleo muesli slice, but making small, conscious decisions on what you eat does have an overall positive impact on your health. Eat healthy, be healthy, think healthy.

Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself after an achievement, small or big, can boost self-esteem as well as prevent burnout. Watching the latest movie or engaging in a bit of retail therapy can keep your mind off study, giving yourself a well-earned break after sleepless nights and excessive caffeine hits. For all the psychology students out there, it’s a process called positive conditioning – the mind will associate small or big feats with a positive reward, thus encouraging you to perform better next time to earn that reward again.

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