The Number One Mistake Law Students Make During an Exam And How You Can Avoid It
Stressful, time-consuming, life-draining — these only but a few words that describe law school. You don’t need to be a part of it to know the struggles because we’ve heard time and time again that the field requires a huge investment of energy (and money, of course), to memorize laws, and understand the intricacies of the discipline. But if you’ve ever gone to college, you’d already know that the pressure only builds up as the finals get closer.
The days leading up to the exams are probably the hardest, filled with sleepless nights and countless energy drinks as you struggle to cram an impossible profusion of information, not to forget, the struggle of having to stay up during the lecture after you just pulled an all-nighter.
Now here you are, in your finals week, which roughly translates to a no-sleep week. By this time, your cortisol levels – also called the stress hormone — are constantly up.
While there’s no one formula to ace the exams, one tip will surely help: avoid negative self-talk. We all are guilty of this, even the most optimistic among us.
Basically, this is when your inner critic comes out, the little voice that argues with your own thoughts and constantly smashes your self-confidence.
When left unnoticed, this could lead to some serious, and oftentimes damaging, effects on your self-esteem and ultimately your mental health.
Still, this confidence-shatterer is pretty normal for most of us. However, if you’re doing this frequently, then your stress could even lead to more chaos.
Self, Self, Self
In law school, this feeling of self-doubt doesn’t go away at all. But, as much as you can’t shoo away the self-dialogue, it pays to veer away from this habit, especially for the upcoming finals.
This is because negative self-talk will weigh you down when you’re studying and any hindrance to that may cost you your grades. After all, at the end of the day, you only have yourself to support you.
According to research, you become more stressed and your self-esteem suffers when you engage in this habit. As a result, you are technically setting yourself up for failure because there’s a higher chance that you may need to prove this thinking.
If you think from the get-go that you are going to fail, then you may later succumb to that thought. With more stress, less space to think clearly, and a closed mind, you will probably fail because your mind can’t properly digest the information. Imagine having to study while not being able to use your full mental capacity. Hard, right?
How to Battle Negative Self-Talk
If you are accustomed to repeating this habit, it will take some time and practice before you shed off the act.
The first thing you need to do is reframe your mind into thinking the opposite. So instead of expecting that you will fail, you need to visualize your success.
Sometimes, however, you may unconsciously find yourself repeating old patterns so whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop immediately and then reframe.
Meditation is also a good way to combat this because it helps to lessen the stress and keeps you calm. If you have no spare time to bring out your yoga mat, then just close your eyes and take a breath. For once, focus on the moment.
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