5 Things I wish I did before starting Law School
With Reading week over, I’ve been a Law student for officially half a term and I’ve done some reflecting. The past year has seen so many new experiences and a range of trials and tribulations. After having gone through exactly what many of you are currently going through, here are the 5 things I wish I had done before starting Law School.
1. Read More
Now I’m not trying to scare anyone because I’m sure you’ve already heard your share of Law horror stories of endless reading but I want you to be prepared as best as you can. When I say reading I mean just in general, no one expects you to have read entire Law textbooks or all the statutes and doctrines in the history of English Law. However, I know for me, I basically didn’t do any reading unless it was revision for my exams in year 13. I genuinely encourage you to keep reading news articles and books (fiction or non fiction) just to keep your mind sharp because you will do a lot of reading, it’ll be interesting I promise, but there is a lot of it.
2. Spoken to People
A little secret of mine is that I actually never visited Warwick before I started and although it didn’t put me at a disadvantage, I don’t think I got the most out of the support they have for you before arriving. Luckily for me I had friends that were coming here also so they filled me in, and my school had students that had come here too so I did have access to some information. However, I have no doubt in mind that if I had come here, and spoken to members of the Law departments and current students that I would have been a MILLION times more calm and more informed about the course as a whole.
3. Watched the News
I know this list sounds like the kind of things your teachers were probably telling you to do for your Personal statement but I’ll be honest, they’re not wrong. I agree, the news can be super depressing but the reason I suggest watching it is because it gets you thinking. Someone like you, who’s decided to Law will have a critical mindset in some shape or form and simply watching the news and having an opinion will help you when you get here. The ability to extract key ideas and formulate an opinion or argument about it is something we do all the time in seminars and so having that skill already there is definitely going to help you.
4. Ignored the sceptics
This one here might not apply to all but it was definitely something that I had to learn to do. Since I was about 7 and I first watched Legally blonde I knew I wanted to do Law at University. At the time when I told people they were all convinced I’d change my mind. At 13 I joined debate clubs, started watching Law in Order and again everyone was quick to doubt me and think I was just deluded because I thought it would be like the movies. At 16, HTGAWM came into my life and at 17 Suites arrived. At every stage I was fully aware that none of it was real and that it wouldn’t be like that because first of all; it was American, secondly; it’s not real. What drew me in to all those shows and films wasn’t what they were doing it’s how. The thinking, the arguing, the hardships, even the stress. I love being uncomfortable – it’s where I’m most productive so seeing the way that there was always a counter argument and that there was always another way to look at something tied with how engrained the Law is into our lives solidified why I wanted to study it. Knowing all this, I still let people make me doubt myself to the point I almost considered not even going to University because if it wasn’t Law it wasn’t anything. So, if you’re feeling worried or doubtful about your choice, remember why you wanted to study it in the first place because I guarantee you it makes a world of difference when you trust yourself.
DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT stress yourself over potential stress you might feel in the future. I’ve been here two months and the most stress I’ve felt is rolling into my bed at 6am knowing that I have a 9am, placing all faith in a higher power that I will get up and make it – (I did by the way). So please please please, enjoy what time you have left at school because I guarantee you will miss it at some points. If you’re in year 13, focus on your exams and if you’re not in school at the moment, enjoy whatever you’re doing this year before September rolls around. Trust me, there is nothing to worry about, the lecturers are great, the seminar tutors are great and Warwick is great. You will fit right in because there is a place for everyone and you’ll be sat here in a year’s time thinking about all the things you wish you’d done too.