If you’re anything like us, you may have spent your first semester wondering how every other law student always seems so calm and in control. Here’s a secret: We all have the same insecurities, worries and pressures. Here’s a helpful list of how we deal with the 9 freak outs we’ve experienced at the DLSS, and they’ll probably all feel a little too familiar…

1.  Holy crap my text books are how much?!!

Unfortunately this is a part of law school that you are just going to have to cop. To save some pennies you can buy them second hand, or order them online from cheaper stores, however at the end of the day (especially when a new edition is involved) your purse strings will inevitably tighten twice a year.

2.  Erghmygod I got a credit, my life is over!

Law students inevitably have high expectations of themselves, so when you receive a less than desirable result it may feel as though the world is ending. Rest assured, it’s not, so try not to beat yourself up when things don’t always go to plan. How you respond to those setbacks, and not the setbacks themselves, will define you in the end.

3.  I need genuine advice from my lecturer, but he has this whole sexy/Kirby J/older man (or woman) vibe going on and I don’t think I can speak to him without panicking and saying something stupid…

This is a tricky one, but at the end of the day you will hate yourself if you miss out on marks because you didn’t ask that question. Hypothetically, if I was ever in this situation, I would email the lecturer first because their response is usually really helpful and nice, and it makes you remember they’re also human. And when you do walk in and say something stupid, rest assured that they have probably been teaching for a while, and have had to answer the most moronic of questions. Don’t believe me? Check out DSO the night before an exam.

4.  My exam is in two days – I’m going to fail everything!

“Someone at uni asked me about a tiny issue in the minority judgment of an obscure case, and I don’t even know what a contract/tort/crime even is!”

Again, this is just your brain flipping into panic mode. Calm down, either go for a run or eat some chocolate, because usually if you’re stressing this much it means you care enough to have done a bulk of the work and it will click in the next 12 hours. On the other hand, if you haven’t done any study, stop wasting your time worrying and get studying! 48 hours is more than enough time to pass a subject, just view it as an epic challenge!

5.  Oh no, I’ve hooked up with someone in my course and now everyone knows…

Law school is an extremely small group – everyone knows everything about each other all of the time. The good thing is that you’ll never be starved for gossip – however the flip side is that if you’re interesting, sometimes it will be you. The best way to deal with this is to laugh it off, make sure your evening partner feels the same way, and wait for someone else to do something stupid (don’t worry – with all the stress we cope with, this usually happens within a few hours!!)

6.  I’ll never get a job in the law. Ever.

I have no doubt that if you have aspirations in the legal field, you are more than aware of the statistics against you. The over saturated market leads to stories of students with perfect marks, outstanding extra-curricular activities and even better interview skills missing out on work experience, so how do you stand a chance getting actual employment? What they don’t tell you is that about 80% of law grads are in full time work within 12 months of finishing their degree. The key to this is persistence, and a willingness to do your time in a not-so-perfect job and work your way up.

7.  The Officeworks guy says it will take 3 days for your notes to be printed, and your exam is tomorrow.

When you encounter this issue, I find the stress build up generally speaks for itself. The panic stricken, about to cry/yell/turn-into-a-psycho look usually makes the Officeworks guy bump your work up the queue. If not, create extra work by requesting that he call all the stores in the area to find one that can print your notes immediately. Trust me, he’ll end up printing your notes then and there, and probably be begging you to leave by the end.

8.  I can’t keep up with the work!!

“I have 5 essays, catch up readings and tute preparations all due by the end of this weekend…and then when that’s over, it all starts again!”

Law school is all about priorities. There is always that one person who completes every reading (included the recommended minority judgments), and answers every question perfectly in lectures. I would advise not to hold yourself up to this standard. The fun of uni is the lifestyle – so enjoy meeting new friends, going out on weekends, watching an entire Netflix series in a day and finding the time to nap. Just make sure you put your head down when you need to – it’s all about priorities and time management.

9.  There’s no mi-goring in the house

“My essay is due in 12 hours, I barely have time to eat let alone cook, and there are no noodles in the house!!” This is when panic is justified. I recommend pumping out a bit more of that essay, and then allowing yourself a 20 minute Coles run…it gives you something to work towards, and the time limit gets your adrenaline pumping. Just be aware the converse to this is ‘I’ve eaten too much mi-goring and now I can’t move or study’ – always eat noodles responsibly.


By Alex Doddridge (Communications Officer)

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