New Semester Resolutions


Resolution—The determination or decision, in regard to its opinion or intention, of a deliberative or legislative body.
-Black’s Law Dictionary

One week in to the new semester and I thought I’d give a brief summary of last semester and my goals for this semester!  At my school, we got our grades back the Friday before the semester started, which is just what you want to see right before classes begin again.  I didn’t do terribly overall, but it was definitely the lowest GPA I’ve ever had (not by much, I did a tiny bit better one semester in college, but by that point I had a high overall GPA).  That really stung since I was used to a particular level of achievement.  However, I had a mock interview this week with a practicing attorney and she told me that my current GPA is a good starting point because I can always increase my grades this semester now that I know how to work the law school system.
One of the things that got me down about my grades was the fact that some of my friends did better than I did and looking back, I felt like I knew as much as they did about the subject and didn’t think I did that much worse than they did.  But that’s one thing about law school, one point can separate an A- and a B+ based on the distribution of points each student earned on the exam. 
Looking back on how I studied and utilized my time last semester, I have a few goals for the next semester and I thought I’d share them here so I’m more accountable than if I just made them in my head.
Goals for Second Semester
1.  Read and brief every class assignment.  I did pretty well with this last semester, so this goal is more of a continuation of what I did last semester.  However, there were sometimes that I would just book brief and didn’t really internalize the material that I was reading.  I have heard from some people that as they continued their law school career they focused less and less on reading the cases, but my professors really liked to focus on the cases so I could never do that.  But my typical system involves reading ahead for the week on the weekends and then typing up my briefs the night before class just to remind myself what the reading was about.
2.  Start outlining earlier (and continue updating my outlines every other week).  I really didn’t start doing my outlines until reading week, which I think really hurt me when it came time to study.  I had to spend the first few days of my study period making outlines, which took away from time I could have been doing practice exams or reinforcing the concepts I learned during the semester.  So this semester, I want to start outlining once I finish the first section of material in my class and then update my outlines every other week until the end of the semester.  Hopefully, then I won’t have to spend as much time towards the end on my outlines.
3.  Utilize professor’s office hours.  I went to a professor’s office hours twice last semester (and once was for my memo) and I really think that I did myself a disservice with that.  I think my main reason for not going was that I didn’t really know what to ask.  But my goal for this semester is to meet with all of my professors at least once this semester and maybe more just to make sure I know what I’m doing.
4.  Work out more frequently.  In high school and my first year of college, I really never had to worry about working out since I was an athlete and that came with the territory.  And even for the rest of my college career, my school had free workout classes at school and the local gym and I was part of a dance group so working out was easy to get to and very inexpensive.  However, last semester, I worked out approximately three times.  During the whole semester!  I think that definitely had an effect on my energy level and motivation.  So over break, I looked into a lot of the local gyms and classes, but I found that they were really expensive and winter in the north is crazy so I didn’t really want to chance that I wouldn’t be able to get to the gym when I paid so much for it.  However, I recently purchased a FabFitFun box and with the box I got two free months of the Barre3 online workout program!  I just started utilizing the subscription and I love it, so hopefully, I can keep it up all semester!
5.  Increase my class rank by the end of this semester.  As I said previously, I didn’t do terribly and had a relatively good class rank, but I didn’t really meet my internal threshold of success I have for myself.  This semester, I’d really like to increase my class rank by 10% (but I’d really even be happy with a 5% increase, too!).  I think once I implement some of the changes I mentioned earlier, I can definitely do it.  And some of the classes I’m taking this semester are ones that I really couldn’t wait to take, like Contracts and Property, so hopefully they’re a little more my speed than my classes last semester.
6.  Blog every other week (at least).  I really tried to keep up with this resolution last semester but I don’t think I realized that I would have so much work to do.  However, I’m planning on (fingers crossed) blogging on the off weeks of my outlining, but this may be more depending on how much I have to do.  If you didn’t realize last semester, I really didn’t focus on my law school study tips.  That was mainly because I didn’t want to offer my advice on law school if I didn’t really know whether what I was doing worked.  But I figure that now that I’ve reflected on what I did last semester, I have more of an idea of how to fix what I need to and hopefully be of some help to others in law school.
I hope you guys weren’t extremely bored by my reflection on last semester and maybe some of it resonated with you.  What are your goals and resolutions for this semester?  Hopefully, at the end of the semester, we can all celebrate meeting a majority (or all) of our goals!

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