On My Radar

Since starting school I have been super busy! Obviously I’m not surprised, but I’m still a little shocked at just how busy I’ve been. I feel like this semester is much different than last semester in that I’m spending more time on homework but getting less of an overall understanding of what’s going on. Go figure!

I haven’t done a “what’s on my radar” post in a little while, so here’s what’s been on my mind recently! From Instagram posts to weird Youtube rabbit holes, get ready for a wild ride.

I’ve been obsessed with guinea pigs recently. I actually adopted a little baby boy earlier this month! His name is Walt and I love him to death. In doing my research on how to care for him, I found the BEST guinea pig account on Instagram! @officialpigdad is hilarious. The pictures where the piggies are wearing sunglasses are my favorites.

I’m also starting to apply for summer internships. Many of my friends are applying to all the places they can, some are only applying to a few select places depending on the type of law they want to practice later on in life, and I’m somewhere in between. I’m applying to all the “cool” sounding jobs, the jobs that have something to do with family law or anything at all related to art, and all of the jobs open for Macon, GA and Asheville, NC. I am going to be so happy when the job search is over!

This article makes me laugh a whole lot – I am a Trader Joe’s Parking Lot and I am Here to Destroy You from McSweeneys

I set up my 2020 bullet journal using a Karst notebook and wow I am disappointed! I’ll try and make a whole post on this later, but sheesh the quality of the paper was not at all what I expected for the price of the notebook. Especially when the paper is made of stone!

My favorite weekly spread (so far) has been this one! So many sunshines! It all just makes me smile 🙂

I’ve also been so obsessed with my Relax – mint leaf and mandarin two wick jar candle. I got it for my birthday and wow! It smells amazing! Not only that, the scent truly is relaxing. Once lit, it’ll make your whole room smell like a spa.

On the Youtube side of things, my favorite Youtuber Amanda Rach Lee is taking a break. I totally get why she’s doing it. Her video explaining everything is a little long winded, but I empathize with every little bit of it. If you’re pushing yourself so hard that you start having extreme anxiety over every little thing, take a break. It’s not worth it.

On the happier (and guinea pig obsessed) side of things, I’ve found a channel devoted to learning all about guinea pigs, their keeping and care, and the LA Guinea Pig Rescue! Getting to see guinea pig babies, piggy adoptions, and sick guineas being nursed back to health just warms my heart.

The channel is called Saskia from Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue. Here’s the link to the Youtube channel and here’s a link to the LA rescue center’s website.

One last thing before I go: Silli Pint! My mom has been obsessed with this company for a few months now. They make silicone cups, which they’re unbreakable and eco-friendly! They mimic all the cup shapes you know and love (like your pint glass, wine glass, shot glass, you get the picture) so they’re easy to use. You use them exactly the same way you’d use a regular glass, only they won’t shatter if you drop them! Plus they come in some crazy fun colors. Mine is a glow in the dark 16 oz pint glass with a travel lid so I can take it on the go.

That’s all for now! See you next week!

How I Studied for my Law School Midterms

I thought that, upon leaving undergrad, midterms would be a thing of the past. Little did I know, October is a hell month no mater what level of school you’re in.

I found that my usual way of studying no longer worked as well for the upcoming tests, so I decided to change it up a little. Here’s what worked, for me:

Podcasts

I drove to (and back from, of course) North Carolina twice during midterms. That’s four hours of being in a car staring at the road instead of some textbook (both equally as boring, I’ll give them that). I decided to use my time wisely and invest in come law school podcasts.

Remember back in high school when you’d binge watch Crash Course History the night before a test and hope for the best? This is the same thing, only “cramming” no longer beings the night before but the entire week before.

I really like listening to Law To Fact Podcast. Sure it’s not as entertaining as Missing Richard Simmons or any of the other stories I used to binge on road trips or walking around campus, but it’s hosted by a real law professor. Her guests include law professors from all over the country calling to explain the basics of what you’re studying in the class room.

I was skeptical at first because all the podcasts sounded like they were recorded phone calls with the intro music being played through a speaker into the microphone app on the iPhone, but quality of the production aside, this lady does know what she’s talking about. In fact, she and her colleagues have been teaching for so long they know exactly where most students start to get confused. This means they’ll either do a full episode on that topic to break things down slowly, or they’ll point out where people get confused and why, or they’ll joke about she she herself got confused and how long it took her to figure it all out. It’s realistic, and it makes me feel a bit better about myself when I don’t understand something the first time around.

Law To Fact has all the episodes on their website arranged by topic. You can easily go in and find what’s tripping you up the most. I’m listening to the episode called How to Avoid Common Pitfalls in Legal Analysis and Writing Classes right now! The podcast is also on Spotify and Apply podcasts so you can download them on the go.

One Sheet to Rule Them All

Yes, that is a Lord of the Rings reference. Yes, it does work.

Allow me to explain:

Every law student start writing outlines on day one of all their classes. By the time midterms roll around, the outlines are close to thirty pages long. It’s going to take you at least an hour to read through your entire thirty page outline, but I can almost guarantee that if you read through it that quickly you won’t get anything out of it. (That’s why skimming your cases before class doesn’t work, but hopefully you’ve figured that out by now ;))

When you start studying for an exam, condense your outline every time you read over it. You should start studying for an exam two weeks beforehand, without your outline completed at least a week and a half before the test. Each time you read it, take out the definitions of words you know. If there’s a concept you need to know, memorize it and get it down to two or three words that will jog your memory. Need to know a case brief? Have one word about the case to trigger your memory and then the holding of the case and why the court ruled that way. After two weeks of condensing, you’ll have your outline down to one page. The best past about this isn’t that it fits in your pocket but that because you’ve gone over it so many times you don’t even need it anything. You have the whole thing memorized because you rewrote it in your own words each day for two weeks.

Find Ways to Stay Productive

Staying productive for me during undergrad was pretty easy because I was so busy. I knew I had a finite amount of time to get things done in. Now, I feel like I have so much more time. Which means I goof off more. We’ve all heard the story of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, just wait until you read If You Give a Law Student Four Unbroken Hours and Readings They Can Do Tomorrow.

I try my best to stick my butt in the law library until 5pm each day. Sometimes I get everything done and go home to cook dinner, other days I barely get a dent into my piles of studies and end up working until 11pm. It happens. But what’s really helping me hold myself accountable at productivity apps and the screen time feature on the iPhone. The screen time feature tells me how much time I’ve spent looking at my phone that day and compares it to other days. I can also use that feature to schedule downtime, set app limits, and block content.

Another app I’ve recently rediscovered is Forest. I used it my freshman year at UGA and then promptly forgot about it when I switched from a Samsung to an iPhone. But I’m back on that hype train and loving it more every day!

I won’t talk about it much here because I’m planning on doing a round up of all my favorite apps that I use for school.

Planners!

If you don’t have any way of keeping track of your time, how are you still alive? And sane?!

My life would be over without my planner. I use my bullet journal for everything. It houses all my to do lists, things I need to research, gifts I need to buy, grocery lists, medication lists, contact information for people I need at networking events….literally everything.

If you don’t already have a planner in law school, go get one. Or even just have a little book of sticky notes or send yourself texts so you can write things down on. Law school tends to go from 0 to 60 really fast, and you never know what you’re going to miss. Heck, I use my planner, have a catch all notebook, use the stickies on my laptop, and use the notes all on my phone and there are still things I miss.

The human brain can do a lot of things, but it can’t do it all. Be kind to your mind and write a few things down here and there so it can take a sec to decompress.

Plus, the less your brain has to fight to remember about your daily life, the better it can remember important stuff, like the Grable test or minimum contacts or….I dunno, foreseeability probably.

Study Schedules

Another way I utilize my planner is to make a study schedule. My professor for Legal Process at Mercer had us set up an hourly plan for the week with all of our classes, when we wanted free time, study time, and breaks for food and sleep. Mine seems crazy, but I do allow myself to have extra free time here and there, I promise! You can click the button below to download a blank copy for yourself!

Group Study

The last thing I did when studying for midterms, which I never did this frequently in undergrad, was study with a group. My law school class is broken up into five sections. Not all of us share the same teachers, but those of us that do either have that teacher at different times or we don’t sit near each other during class. This means that each one of us takes something different out of the lectures we all sit through.

Studying with a diverse group is great because everyone has a different way of explain a concept, and sometimes that’s all it takes to make things “click.”

For our last midterm, Juris and Judgements (formerly called Civil Procedure), my group got a study room in the library. We found a huge whiteboard and condensed all of our outlines and notes onto one “page” (AKA the one whiteboard). Even though it seemed to take forever, we all walked out of that room confident about our test the next day.

Disclaimer: this is what I did to study. I’m writing about to give you an idea of how I prepared for my first set of law school midterms. If you know some of these things don’t work for you, don’t do them! Everyone’s study habits are different. Don’t go completely overhauling your study habits just because someone on the internet studies in a way that is different from you.

Your Best Bullet Journal

 

Your best bullet journal

I set up my very first bullet journal in December of 2015, over two years ago, and I haven’t used a store bought agenda since. Bullet journals are fully customizable agendas. They can have monthly calendars, daily and weekly spreads, habit trackers, lists, and more. It seems really daunting at first, but once you start it doesn’t take much time or creativity at all.

Most of the bullet journals on Pinterest, tumblr, and Instagram are highly artistic, meticulously organized, and very detailed. Your’s doesn’t have to be! I can’t stress that enough. So many people look at my bujo (shorthand for bullet journal) and think that I spend hours each week decorating and planning each page. It may take me half an hour if I want to make it look artsy, but if I’m simply putting down what I need to do each day it takes all of five minutes. It can be messy, black and white, perfect, colorful, or anything in between.

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I use a monthly agenda and weekly spreads. I set up all my months in December and then make each weekly spread on Sunday the week of.

For my monthly spreads, I start with a grid base. In a Leuchtturm 1917 A5 hardcover with a dot grid, each weekday of the month is eight grid spaces over and six down. Each weekend day is seven grid spaces over and six down. I do this part in pencil so I can count out how many days I need and make sure they’re in the right MTWTFSS spot.

step-by-step bullet journal creation

After I make the grid, I outline all the days I need in black pen. Then I decorate the black space. I try to do different designs for each month. I typically use stickers, washi tape, and doodles.

 

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! I’ve found that a lot of my friends are tentative to even start a bullet journal because they’re afraid it’ll look  messy or that they’ll somehow screw it up. There’s always white out, or some way to improvise. Even then, most people that look at my bullet journal don’t pay attention to the mistakes (and there are plenty of them).

April bullet journal monthly spread

Looking through my new bujo, this is my favorite month so far, as far as the art goes. Below is another I did for March. I erase all the pencil guide lines after I finish decorating (the final step when creating my monthly spreads).

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My weekly spreads tend to look very different week to week. I typically write down the day and date and underneath it put down all the things I need to do, with an open circle for tasks/homework and an open square for events. When I begin the task I color the circle in half way, and once it’s complete I color it in fully.

Bullet journal set up - July

Recently I’ve been using Tracy from Shutterbean’s weekly layout.  It’s much simpler and usually leaves a big chunk of room for me to doodle on.

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Another reason I love to bullet journal is because it can be turned into a scrapbook. I tape movie tickets, flowers, and other little memories in on the weeks I do those things. So not only do I have a physical thing to remind me of a happy time or event, I have the time, date, and name written down.

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My sorority sister (and little) Rachel just started her bullet journal. Her tip for newbies is to experiment with different layouts and spreads to find what fits you best. She also highly recommends stickers and stencils for people that aren’t good at drawing. She got all of her’s off of Amazon!

Click on the links for these stickers, this washi tape, these markers/pens/brush pens, and this stencil set to view some of my favorites off Amazon. You can also get the Leuchtturm journal I’m using by clicking here.

As far as inspiration goes, I search tumblr for the hashtags bujo and studyblr. Pinterest has some good ideas as well. My bullet journal Pinterest board is always evolving. Tracy from Shutterbean is also a big source of bujo inspiration for me.

If you’re interested in seeing how I organize my busy life, check out this post: The Big Three: How to Stay on Your A-Game During Summer Break.