It's a beautiful week to be a 3L. For those of us about to graduate, it's our sixth time to be taking law school exams, so we're finally at the point where we know what the heck we're doing (for the most part). In honor of this joyous occasion, and because I love sharing little tidbits of wisdom, I'm going to tell you the steps you need to take to study like a 3L. Because if anyone knows how to succeed in law school, it's a soon-to-be-graduating student. It may only be a C-minus level success. But a it's a success, nonetheless.
Step 1: Stare at your computer screen
You know the movie Office Space? When Peter says that he spends his first hour of work "zoning out"? That's exactly what's going on here. Except you're not trying to convince anyone else that you're actually working. You've managed to convince yourself that you're working, even though you're not. But that's just as good as actually learning, I think.
Step 2: Make a trip to the gas station to buy junk food and caffeine
What's better than enjoying a delicious snack while studying? Enjoying a delicious snack that costs three times more than what you would've paid had you gone the extra four blocks to the grocery store. And once you get far enough into finals, the clerks will start remembering all your quirky purchasing habits ("You want the megabucks game, right?" "What, no Diet Coke this afternoon?").
Step 3: YouTube videos of cute babies
Okay, you made it through steps 1 and 2. It's time you give yourself a mental break. You know, clear your mind of all the bad stuff that's filling your mind. And there's no more effective way of clearing your mind than watching videos of cute babies on YouTube. My personal favorites are this one and this one.
Step 4: Look at your class notes
CONGRATULATIONS! You're actually looking at something that is somewhat related to passing the exam you're going to take in two days! Heck, you might even start editing some of these notes into outline form. You are ROCKIN' the studying now. In fact, you're going to manage to rock it for 19 more minutes. And then you will not rock it anymore. Because you're going to get angry...
Step 5: Let everyone online know how much you hate law school
This may be done in the form of a tweet, blog post, facebook status update, or instant message. Bonus points if you can do it in the form of an inside joke ("I may not know anything about the law, but at least I know how to use gmail now"). NOTE: To those of you who got IMs from me last night in which I told you that you should drop out of law school while you still can because it's NOT WORTH IT AHHH MAKE IT STOP IT'S SO NOT WORTH IT... I really am sorry about that. I'm not saying it isn't true. But I probably shouldn't have said it.
Step 6: Go back to the gas station
Did you know that it costs ten bucks to get Velveeta, tortilla chips, and a Diet Coke at EZ-Mart? Sheesh.
Step 7: Multitask
Okay, you're finally ready to look at your class material again, though you're probably going to be watching TV or g-chatting at the same time. But you know, I happen to think that multitasking is one of the most effective ways to prepare you for practicing law. It's rare that you'll find a day at work when you're not interrupted 23 times while working on an appellate brief. So you're actually preparing yourself for life, not just a final. *cue sappy music*
Step 8: Make false promises
Heck yes, you've made some progress! So now, you start convincing yourself that you will keep up the good work. "I'm going to read three more sections before I go to bed," ..."I'm going to finish this outline in an hour,"... "I'm going to go through all these flashcards twice," et cetera, et cetera. We all know that this is a load of crap, though. You're going to make good on about 1/4 of the promises you make to yourself (if that) before moving on to Step 9.
Step 9: Say "screw it," and go to bed
In about a 24 hour period, you've managed to put in about two-and-a-half solid hours of work. And that's about two hours more than you spent reading this entire semester. Way to be, 3L. Way. To. Be.
I happen to be on Step 7 right now. After I post this, I'm going to re-read my Nonprofit Organizations outline before heading to bed.