Now is the time, after a year of night school, three years of part time study, one year of full time study, 21 classes, 19 exams and 38000 words of assignments things are about to get serious. Yup, you guessed it, it's the dreaded honours year!
After all the blood, sweat, tears, assignments, moots, voluntary work & study sessions of the last few years I've now got to really pull it out the bag. If I'm going to become a solicitor or dare I say it, an advocate or lecturer one day I must ensure that every piece of work submitted this year is of the highest possible standard. Every mark counts, anything short of a 2:1 and I'll struggle to get a decent training contract and the faculty of advocates will forever be closed to me.
So what's the plan? Michelle Hynes has written a great blog post about the way to go about the dreaded dissertation. Time management seems key. With that in mind I've taken a few steps to free up some time for the coming year: I've stopped volunteering at CAB; I've told the mooting society that I'm taking a "gap year"; and I've made a point of getting all my "life admin" out of the way during the summer.
As far as the dissertation goes, in an effort to be super organised I had a topic in mind early in the year. I was going to focus on a piece of legislation which hadn't been published yet. Then, when the draft bill was published it was worded in such a way that it destroyed my plans. Dammit, back to the drawing board. Well almost. You see by planning early I had secured a supervisor, who has been extremely helpful in re-directing my thoughts and making sure my early work was not entirely in vain.
So here we are, T-minus 3 weeks until the beginning of term, the calendar's set up on the wall, I've tried to remove all unnecessary distractions and drains on my time. I'm feeling a peculiar mix of optimism and terror, which I recon is normal. It's time to get the "Rocky" music playing and dig in for the toughest academic year of my life.
I'd ask you to wish me luck, but I think luck has very little to do with it, this year's all about hard graft. . .