“The wise man is one who, knows, what he does not know.”
One quick lesson you learn as a law student is that you think you know and understand but chances are… the first time around, you actually don’t.
I might just be generalizing; however there is sometimes this sense of unspoken competition whenever you put a bunch of smart people together.
No one really ever wants to admit that they are struggling, or even if they do, they down play it. You suddenly find yourself questioning and doubting, wondering if you picked the right subject or if you are doing the right thing.
After a few months of being here however I have learnt that I am not in fact alone in this doubt. Of course everyone is different, some people might get certain topics and concepts faster than others, and for some it may take a while, but one thing to remember is that it takes time to get where you sometimes envisioned you would be.
After getting back my first few formative essays, it was hard to see that as I was only averaging 2.1s or 2.2s and not the firsts I wanted. Even now I still struggle with swallowing and having to accept a 55% when at A Levels I had been used to at least an 80% mark. As cheesy as it might sound, I recently re-learnt that Rome was definitely not built in a day.
Of course it is normal to worry and panic when you don’t get the types of marks and feedback you normally expect. One important thing I had forgotten however was how to learn from my mistakes.
I am no expert and I am still new to this whole law thing, in the same way as when I look at my little baby sister, who’s just learning how to walk. It took her a few hits and misses over Christmas as she tried to toddle across to me. And in that moment I realized I was similar to her in that I was discovering something new. It will take me a while to metaphorically find my feet and what works for me. And the more I don’t quite get it, I will have to be determined enough, and swallow my pride and learn from that experience. And also remember to not get too distracted when I take a short ‘break’ by going on Buzzfeed and Youtube, when I actually have a mini Mt Everest of work to do.
One of the important things my dad pointed out after I spent a few minutes ranting about how I was ‘failing’ was that chances are I am not the only one. When I told him about my marks and the feedback, he pointed out that, well at least I was making consistent mistakes. At first it sounded a bit harsh but then he reminded me that at least now, I would know exactly where, how and what to improve on next time. Further to that I was passing on my first university level essays, of which I had never done before. And if being at one of the top universities wasn’t enough then he didn’t know what else could please me.
I guess what my main point is; wherever you end up in uni, despite sometimes feeling like you may have ‘slipped the net’ of the admissions tutors, you are there for a reason and there is a reason why you got in there, in the first place.
It is definitely a steep learning curve that takes time and patience. And sometimes this might require you to admit you don’t know as much as you thought you did and go on forward from there.