Law School Perspective – Tips to Help You Transition from Summertime to Studying

Law School Perspective - Tips to Help You Transition from Summertime to StudyingThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Brown to discuss how to get back into school mode after a summer off.

Summer is the best time for law students. You can earn money through your summer jobs, catch-up with family and friends, and just relax! Unfortunately, summer went by so fast and the Fall semester is just around the corner. Now that the summer is winding down, it is time to get prepared for the school year to begin! I have been through three years of law school and thus I have lots of experience transitioning from summertime to school time. I have created a list of some tips that helped me get through the summertime sadness and get ready for the grind of a new school year. I hope these help you feel prepared for what another year of law school brings! 

Mourn the Loss of Summer

Everyone knows about the 5 stages of grief. It is perfectly okay to take time to go through them to mourn the loss of your summer. It is a big transition from having fun and enjoying your free time to the stress that comes with a new semester of law school. So take the time to feel mopey and get closure that the summer is over. Once you do, you’ll be able to start preparing for the new year!

Finish Your Summer Job

If you are a rising 2L or 3L (or even going into your first year!), you likely have a summer job or legal position. Many students take the summer to earn money and gain professional experience and take the school year off to focus on their studies. Or their summer jobs were a temporary position, and they have a different position during the school year. In any case, you will likely have to wrap up your assignments and lessen your hours. Make sure you finish strong because if you make a good impression your summer job can lead you to greater positions in the future.

Go on Vacation

I know what you’re thinking: how is going on a vacation going to get you in the studying mood? Well, it may not make you want to open your casebooks, however, one of the best ways to combat stress is to take a break! Taking time to relax and destress will allow you to enjoy the last bit of summer and have fun. This way, you will feel refreshed and ready to get going with the new year.

Buy Your Books

Before the semester begins, you will want to access your book list and buy your casebooks. This may sound like a simple step to get yourself ready for the semester, however doing this ahead of time will make the first few weeks back go smoothly. Also, having the casebooks in your possession will remind you that school is approaching and will kick-start your brain into study mode.

Look for Outlines and Resources

One great way to get yourself prepared for the new semester is to look for outlines and resources for your classes. You have likely gotten your classes scheduled and hopefully have gotten your books already. Soon, your professors will send out syllabi, and you will have a better idea of what to expect for the semester. Thus, finding resources now will help you save time at the beginning of the class, and you can start skimming through them. By doing this, you’ll have a better understanding of the materials and class will seem easier!

Do Some Brain Games

This may sound silly, but it really helped me get focused for the school year to begin! I started doing some brain games the month before school started to get my brain running and focused. I liked spending my mornings doing the logic grids, sudoku and other games as they allowed me to sharpen my analytical skills. Once I went back to class, it wasn’t such a terrible transition since I was used to working my brain every morning already. So, try a game or two that helps you work your brain and get you focused!

Get In The Studying Mindset!

I know it is hard to transition from having fun during summer to getting serious back in class. Especially since the first week back can be very stressful and anxiety-inducing. You get yourself worked up on whether or not you will be successful and get worried about the overflow of work. Although you may feel this way now, you will be able to get through it and things will get better. Soon, you will be in the swing of things and the next thing you know, it will be the end of the semester. I hope these tips helped you get into the studying mindset and feel ready for what this year of law school will bring for you. Best of luck in this new school year! You’ve got this.


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About Shirlene Brown

Shirlene Armstrong is a first-generation student in her last year at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan. At Wayne, Shirlene has been involved with numerous organizations and clubs, including mock trial, LexisNexis, the Women's Law Caucus, and the Journal of Law and Society. Shirlene enjoys mentoring others and sharing what she has learned on her legal journey and continues to work hard in accomplishing her dreams.

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