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How to get Back on Track

At some point in the semester, the inevitable will happen. You'll skip class or blow off studying for a day or two or more. With the heavy workload law school places upon you, you're bound to need a break at some point when the academic calendar doesn't provide one.

Sometimes, I'll find I need a break because I'm getting sick, I'm sleep deprived, or I'm just plain overwhelmed and need to clear my head. It's important to give yourself time when you need it. If you're not healthy mentally or physically, you won't do well no matter how hard you study.

However, there's a fine line between essential down time and skipping class for a week because you're lazy. Don't let a few days off have a negative affect on your whole semester.

When you're getting back on track, I've found it's better to read the reading for the next class, rather than the reading you missed. Let's say you didn't do the reading for class on Monday or Tuesday. It's now Tuesday night, and you have class again Wednesday. Instead of trying to make up the reading from Monday and Tuesday, skip over those for now and finish the reading for Wednesday. Why?

  1. You'll be prepared for class on Wednesday

  2. On the chance you only finish the M/T reading and not Wednesday's, you'll still be behind and it could start a chain reaction

  3. You may find you can easily fill in your notes for M/T from Wednesday's lecture, or from a friend.

Further, start by doing the things that are absolutely mandatory first. Prioritize so you're not wasting time catching up on less important things. If you planned a bunch of meetings and are feeling overwhelmed, see if you can reschedule some for a later date until things mellow out.

Sometimes, feeling overwhelmed can come from being disorganized. Even if you don't usually write everything down in a planner (you should!), write out everything you have to do each day for the rest of the week. A visual map provides certainty so you'll be less anxious about forgetting something important.

Skipping a class or a day isn't the end of the world, as long as you make it a beneficial decision. Let your self re-charge, and then

get back to class!

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