Weekly Academic Success Tip - Stay Positive

Are you feeling fatigued or discouraged?  Does it seem as though there is no way to get everything done?  Are you stressing out over the time crunch you are in right now?  Take a very deep breath and count to ten.  Then, use some of the pointers below to get things under control.

  • Get a pep talk from someone.   You can do this!  Talk to whomever you have in your life who will encourage you and help you calm down.  It may be a professor or Academic Fellow.  It may be a spouse or significant other.  It may be a non-law mentor.  It may be a counselor or doctor.  And, if no one comes to mind, schedule a “pep talk” appointment with the Academic Success Office.
  • Be an optimist and not a pessimist.   Optimists are more successful in academics than pessimists.  Look for that silver lining in the cloud.  Go ahead and make yourself feel better!
  • Use visualization for success.   Athletes visualize themselves making the winning basket, breaking the speed record, or throwing the fastest pitch.  You can visualize yourself studying diligently each day, conquering a difficult concept in a course, and confidently taking an exam. 
  • Post inspirational sayings around your apartment.   For some, these will come from favorite authors or famous people.  You can find inspirational quotes on various topics using Google searches.
  • Put things into perspective.   As anxious as you may be about law school, it is not a life or world crisis.  Each day there are ordinary people dealing with hunger, poverty, homelessness, illness, natural disasters, or armed conflict.  Law school is nothing by comparison.  So, lighten up and be thankful for the opportunities that you have.
  • Be cooperative.   Explain a class concept to another law student who is struggling.  Provide class notes to someone who has been sick.  Offer to lend a supplement to someone who cannot afford one.  Praise another student for an excellent presentation in class.  Thank someone for supporting you when you needed help.
  • Take one day at a time.   Consciously decide each day how to use your time and talents.  Do the best you can do and then let it go.  Do not dwell on mistakes or lost time.  Re-evaluate your priorities and keep going.  The best you can do is the best you can do.
  • Set up a support system.   Decide with another law student what each of you needs help on and consciously help each other.  If the other law student needs a phone call in the morning to get moving, then make the phone call.  If you need someone to monitor your wasted time chatting in the student lounge, then ask the other student to confront you when you procrastinate.
  • Cuddle a cat, pet a pooch, or hug a horse.   Animals have a way of calming us.  Some furry friendship can do wonders. 
  • Give yourself some credit.   Remember that you are here because we believed in your abilities when we admitted you.  You were selected when hundreds of others were denied admission.  You still have the same attributes and talents as when you walked in the door on day one of law school.  There are a lot of very bright and competent people here.  And, you are one of them.  You may need to learn some new study strategies, but that is different than not belonging here.