Student Post: Exams

By Andrew ’16

Classes are over!  At risk of sounding trite, it seems like only yesterday that we were starting classes.  I can still feel the anxiety I had during the first few classes.  Then again, the anxiety I feel may be from the fact that exams begin today.  Either way, the semester flew by and I can say I am officially through my first semester of law school…almost.

Law school exams are what many fear most.  The thought of having only one grade per class, one chance to show what you have learned, is enough to make anyone nervous.  You can see the pressure on everyone’s faces and hear it in the tension in their voices.  I wish I could say that there was a way around this fate but unfortunately, there is not.  This is law school, after all.  However, I feel like I have consistently been able to point out where NUSL shines at doing things a little differently.  Exam time is no exception.

You cannot change some things.  Law school is traditionally full of overachievers who by nature want to succeed.  As a result, a lot of energy is spent on strategy and planning.  There is also a good amount of self-inflicted pressure and the resulting short fuses.  However, this is the minority.  Most of what I have experienced in the weeks leading up to exams has been extremely positive.  People are comparing outlines and asking questions of each other.  2Ls and 3Ls are sharing words of wisdom and encouragement.  Many professors open their doors ALL DAY for office hours.  One amazing TA even baked us cookies!  There is tangible support from all angles.  Sure, there is stress, and yes, it is extremely difficult to get all the information we are supposed to know into our head.  It is even harder to make it stay there.  Yet we are doing it and many of us are smiling in the process.

I guess the take away is that it has been hard work, but I feel ready…mostly.  (Remember what I said about self-inflicted pressure?)  Good luck on exams.  See you next semester!

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