Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Do Not Jettison Your Common Sense

With the stress at the end of the semester, I am seeing more students make poor decisions because they have misplaced their common sense.  Here are some things that students all know but tend to overlook when overwhelmed:

  • Attend classes and prepare for them.  Skipping class to gain more study time may mean that you miss important information about the exam or the wrap-up of major topics for the course.  Not reading and briefing in order to save time only mean that you have the gist of the course without real understanding.
  • Avoid spending lots of time organizing to study rather than actually studying.  If a clean desk, organized bookshelves, and a code book with a thousand colored tabs do not increase your actual learning, you have been inefficient (used time unwisely) and ineffective (gotten minimal or no results).
  • If you are sick, go to the doctor and follow the doctor's advice.  Multiple negative repercussions follow from coming to school sick and refusing to get medical attention: you infect others with your illness; your illness becomes more debilitating than it should; you ultimately lose more class and study time than you would have with prompt treatment.
  • Get enough sleep; do not get less sleep during the remaining weeks of the semester.  Without sleep, your body and brain do not work well.  You absorb less material, retain less material, zone out in class or while studying, and are generally less alert.
  • Eat regular and nutritious meals; do not skip meals to save time.  Your body and brain need fuel to do the studying you have to do.  Dr. Pepper and Snickers bars are not a balanced diet.  Neither are pizza and soda.
  • If you have an emergency during the exam period, tell the academic dean or registrar.  You may be eligible for delayed exams because of the circumstances (medical illness, family illness, death in the family).  Most law schools have procedures/policies dealing with emergencies and will work with students who have exceptional circumstances.

Take time to use your common sense to help you make wise study and personal decisions during these last few weeks of the semester.  Do not put yourself at a disadvantage by blindly taking action fueled by panic - think about the consequences of your choices.  (Amy Jarmon)

 

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