Today was your first day at University. We hope you’ve had a good one and more importantly, that you felt welcomed. Please feel at home-you’ll be spending a lot of time in this new environment.
Here’s a micro summary of what you should have picked up (or in case you missed orientation):
1. Study hard and study smart. The information you’re taking in should not only get you through exams, but should also get you through life. Remember this will be the profession that will sustain your livelihood for years to come. Know your stuff for you, not the person marking.
2. Dress nice. Look sharp. Based on the law of attraction, if you want respect and success, you must absolutely look the part. You’ll quickly find that people are influenced by what they see. Don’t be naïve in thinking that you won’t be judged by what you wear. You will. Also, don’t wear fluffy bed slippers to class (girls) and don’t wear socks in your flops (guys). Those boarding school days are long gone.
3. Excercise. It never hurt anyone-just don’t over do it. To have an effective workout routine, we recommend that you eat healthy and get enough rest. Avoid artificial stimulants and depressants.
4. Try not to become a parent when you aren’t ready. If you’re invited to a boarding house or something similar to watch movies or hang out (especially by a member of the opposite sex) your antennae should go up. Nine out if ten times, you’re neither going to watch movies nor hang out. Do not put yourself in compromising situations. People rarely sympathise when our troubles are self inflicted. Your newly acquired independence comes with a lot of self-accountability.*please note* don’t open up to just anyone. Not everyone genuinely cares and be prepared for the real possibility that the whole world may know “your story”. A secret is only a secret with you.
5. There are going to be days when your pockets are going to be empty. That’s normal. Please keep your morality intact during those dark times. Don’t sell your soul or do anything that you will be ashamed of if anyone found out. Be steadfast. Tough times don’t last forever. If you feel like you’re losing the battle, ask for help from a reliable and responsible person.
6. Attend all your classes. Do all your homework and class excerises. If you decide you’re too cool for class, don’t go. Let us know what happens.
7. Avoid being “that person” who always has to copy assignments because they can’t get it together. Nobody like a parasite. Do your work. It’s to your benefit.
8. Be responsible. Manage your time. You need not sleep 2 hours a night before tests and exams. That’s a sign of poor planning. So is skipping class because an assignment is looming. Plan accordingly and do not procrastinate. For full-time students, day time is for class and studying with friends or alone. Weekends are for family. Night time is for sleeping unless you’re a creature of the night.
9. Part-time and distance students will have less interaction with lecturers. You’ll have to be really self-reliant. It’s going to be hard but very much do-able. Good luck.
10. You can’t learn absolutely everything in class. There just isn’t enough time to teach you everything under the sun. Plus, if your lecturers teach you everything, what will you teach yourself??? Make use of the library and the internet to do a bit of extra reading. It’s okay to read outside of your discipline too. Law is a thread that runs through EVERYTHING. Another thing you should also learn to do it to compile notes in class. It’s not like primary school where the teacher will dictate to you. More importantly, read for understanding not for “memorisation purposes”. You’ll know why by the time week one is over.
11. Do smile and make friends. There’s no such thing as a lone wolf in law school. However, be weary of people that will cause you to stray. Try to talk to the person and see if you can improve the situation. If there’s no change man up and cut ties. If that’s too difficult a task, continue being friends but be friendly from afar.
12. Not all conflict is bad. Embrace it where you can and avoid it where necessary.
13. Please don’t tell lies to University staff. In doing so you not only do you insult their intelligence, you also lay down a reputation of being untrustworthy. Lies hurt you more than then person you are lying to. So don’t lie, period.
14. Spend time alone. It’s important. You get to think about nothing, everything, and anything.
15. Besides getting your degree at the end the the expected 4 years, engage in extra curricular activities. It looks good on your CV and it’s a much needed break from eating and breathing law on the daily.
16. Read your cases. Yes, all of them. Yes, the entire case. No, there isn’t a way around it. Yes, you will fail if you don’t. Yes, we’ve all done it. No, there’s no record of anybody dying from reading cases. No. It’s not negotiable.
17. Stay true to yourself. Be as you are no matter what anyone says. If you have to change, it’s for the better. If you can manage that, you’re a champion.
18. Keep a positive mindset. Law school is super easy. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.
19. Talk to your parents and guardians as often as possible. They have wisdom and experience, both of which you lack. You can also talk to your lecturers. They are your substitute mum and dad and on some occasions, friends. Sometimes, you will face deeply personal issues which you won’t be able to tell another person. In such cases, pray.
20. There will be more ups than downs-promise!
21. Enjoy the ride!!
Lawyers uphold the law, not break it. Don’t do drugs.
Brothers and sisters only!!!
Make sure you don’t miss the bus
This could be you, if you work for it
Enjoy Your Stay…and remember…