I am officially finished second year of my law degree and it feels amazing! The time has passed so quickly but so slowly at the same time. This post in our series is all about the workload we’ve had to endure over the past 9 months.
Every degree is different, so this is just what my experience has been throughout my second year of studying law.
Students are examined through essays and exams but the weight of each towards your final mark varies on the course. Over the course of second year, I’ve sat 9 exams and written 8 essays, so it’s fair to say that when my exam finished on Friday, I was ecstatic.
I’m not going to lie, this year has been the most difficult and stressful year of my life so far, and I know it’s going to get even more challenging. It is very difficult to keep on top of everything but you’ve just got to keep telling yourself that you will get it done, you have to!
I find that the most difficult thing with the essays is that they’re all due around the same time. In my second semester this year, I had to hand in 5 essays over the course of 2 weeks. The best piece of advice I can give is to start them as early as you can. One of my essays was a 2000 word count and in between handing essays in, I was going to Edinburgh for a weekend. I started this essay a month before it was due, so when it came to writing it, pretty much all of my research was complete.
Even though I’m saying start them early, I wrote my last essay in 4 days, and I got a decent mark for it. It was almost impossible to start this one early because of having to write another 4 beforehand.
Now onto exams…my uni do all the exams over the course of 2-3 weeks. Last semester, I had 3 exams one day after the other – this was horrible! There was hardly any time to properly revise and focus because when you’re finished an exam you want to give your brain a little break but you couldn’t, you had to go straight back. This semester I had 5 exams. My exam period wasn’t as stressful this time, plus I enjoyed my courses more so it made it slightly easier to revise them. The best way to revise, for me, is repetition. As I am studying law, the courses are all heavily case-based so I need to remember as much cases as I can, I therefore just repeat and repeat them.
So all in all, every year is incredibly stressful! I’ve coped with it as much as I can but I’ve broken down numerous times. I enjoy what I’m studying but the stress is very much there. I like to write everything I need to do down and allocate times and days for when they’re going to get done – this really helps me keep on top of things!