So my time at Kingston is coming to an end and it feels really strange that in just over a month, it will be the complete end of an era! (Don't worry, this isn't going to be a soppy blog...)
Whilst writing my dissertation and preparing for my deadlines/exam, procrastination works at maximum speed and I seem to find myself doing anything apart from the task at hand. From cleaning unnecessarily, to flicking through Facebook photos from five years ago. Part of it I spent thinking about my last three years at Kingston and it isn't until it's all about to come to an end when you stop and realise just how good you've had it.
Year One was an absolute blast and after two years out of education I put my serious cap back on my head and headed for the library. Oh how I was wrong; I probably saw that library another three or four times the whole year. Freshers week, living in halls and the ten minute until deadline mornings were some memories I won't forget, and I'm jealous of anyone who is about to relive these.
Whilst second year became somewhat more serious, the first semester of it I spent at Bond University in Australia and had THE TIME OF MY LIFE! If anyone has the chance to go abroad, you really should take the opportunity because I seriously had the most fun ever whilst gaining credit towards my degree (I've written a blog about it so you should check that out).
Finally, third year really has brought things down to earth and I swear every minute of the last six months has been either studying, worrying, or worrying about studying. I have learnt and written more in third year than I have my whole life. I'm not complaining however, because it's actually been totally worth it and really fun, and helped me decide that I definitely want to go on to study a Masters... I love learning! The amount of work you produce in third year, too, kind of makes you proud and realise how much you have gained from coming to University. And not only have you gained a considerable amount of knowledge, you have entirely changed and developed as a mature young person (there's my soppy-ish bit!).
I really have enjoyed most of my time at Kingston, with the exception of horrid deadlines that I under estimated and left right until the last minute. Despite being ready to move on to the next chapter (and so so ready for the summer after final year slaving away in the library!), I would really like to have a couple more months to enjoy my time at Kingston. So, if anyone has a time travel machine, please send it this way.
I hope everyone is well, I am currently preparing for final exams that are coming up (I still can't get over how fast this year is going by, where did the first three months go?!). I finally submitted all my coursework and now I am revising for my final three exams. I finally beat procrastination and it feels amazing (which wasn't easy, but it helps remembering that this year counts for 80% of my degree !!)
Over the past few months I have received questions about what students that wish to become lawyers later on should study during GCSEs and A Levels. I never did A Levels, but when it came to taking the BGCSE (Bahamas) I picked classes that I was generally interested in because I knew I would need to have an interest in it in order to devote time and effort to do well in it. It is hard to focus on something that you really have no interest in.
When you apply for a position on the LLB (Bachelors of Law, the academic stage requirement to becoming a lawyer) they ask for your results. When you apply for a position on the LPC (to become a Solicitor) or the BPTC (to become a Barrister), they will ask for your results. You will yet again be asked for these results (along with others, of course) when applying for jobs.
I really want to emphasise that along with taking classes you are interested in, get into the habit of reading large amounts of material. Studying law requires research and reading large cases, statutes, books, articles, etc. Many of these materials are complex and require mulling over and over in order to fully understand.
Also it is a great idea to start thinking about getting work experience and volunteering. It does not have to be law-related yet, but getting work experience highlights your ability to handle responsibilities, manage your time, your commercial awareness, and the list goes on and goes on about these skills that employers will be looking for. Besides, that's extra spending money in your pocket.
Apart from mini-pupillage in the summer, I have become the queen of juggling. Along with my studies, I work as an awesome student ambassador and at the Student Union shop on Kingston Hill. During the school year, my law-related volunteering activities include working as a support worker with the Kingston Citizens Advice Bureau and as a student adviser with the Kingston Community Legal Advice Centre. There are a lot of opportunities out there, it just takes determination to go out and get it.
If you want to be super proactive, it would be great to get into the habit of staying up-to-date on fields that you are interested in. This is essentially what commercial awareness is, and every employer is looking for that in their candidates. It does not mean you have to know everything relating to the business, or other field(s) you are interested in, but at least a basic understanding can go a long way. I try to keep up-to-date by subscribing to certain newsletters and conducting research on the fields that I am interested in. It also helps you to get an idea as to what field you would want to get into.
I hope this is of help to all you future solicitors and barristers! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
So I've finally finished all of my coursework for the year and am ready to start revising for exams! Exams are six weeks away and I'm actually feeling quietly confident about this set - I've enjoyed most of my modules this year and I've been able to use some of my base knowledge from my old job at the hospital in some of my assignments.
Last year I found revising hard but this year I seem to be embracing it - I have found the methods that work for me. I have to have background noise - I can't be in complete silence and I can't have headphones on! Normally I stick the TV on in the background - last year I watched all eight seasons of House during my revision period and during the exam period a question came up where I thought "That was on House!" So I concluded that my TV theory works and I'm thinking I might watch ER this year!
Study breaks are a must - you can't revise for hours and hours because nothing will go in. Stretch your legs, watch TV for a minute or just do something that isn't revising!
I also find that I have to write things out and that answering questions helps me learn. In the back of science textbooks there are normally questions relating to that chapter and also, our lecturers are very good at giving us questions to answer over the year. I've bought an A4 notebook for each module and am writing everything in those so that when it comes to the day of the exam I can carry it on my commute into Uni.
I also make sure I leave at least two trains before the one I have to be on in case of delays-that also gives me enough time to get a coffee and revise for a while when I get to Kingston. I always triple check I've got the right equipment and my ID card as well!
Apart from exams I'm looking forward to a busy and exciting summer-I am involved in the running of a 6000 person Scout camp in June, I have a trip planned to see my friends in Canada, I'm going to a fabulous ball with my sister and I'm even going to Disneyland Paris as well!
Just remember - try not to stress too much and you'll be fine! You can only write what you know and what's done is done at the end of the day.
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