LAW SCHOOL| the s word

Yup, you guessed it, stress.

I never thought I’d sound like such a cliche, but I guess cliches become cliches for a reason?

I’m almost halfway through the first semester of my second year, notoriously known as the hardest semester in the entire degree, so I’ve heard anyway. There’s a number of reasons for that in my opinion, and let’s just go through that first so we can figure out where the stress is stemming from exactly.

1. Extracurriculars
As we all know, clerkship season is looming, which means this semester is the last four months you can try and cram as many as those coveted but oh-so-vague extracurriculars into your CV as possible; volunteering, student associations, part time work, competitions, anything under the earth that is even remotely law-related, the list goes on. Time management (buzzword on its own) has never been so crucial.

2. Study load
The subjects are notoriously difficult as well this semester, and although I don’t think anything is overly complicated right now, it is definitely a struggle and a half to keep up with the readings, whether you’re doing three or four subjects. In fact, I know many people, including myself, started falling behind as early as week two and three. With mid-semester assessments just around the corner, it’s really time to tackle those readings.

3. Improving your WAM
Again, clerkship clerkship clerkship, the worst word of the year. Most people found transitioning to law school at least a little bit difficult, and given that we all had the intelligence to get in, it really comes down to adapting to this whole new way of learning, and as a result, marks first year  generally does not reflect a person’s ability. However, those marks will come into play in determining whether you can get a clerkship position or not. Consequently, many people need to do extra well this semester, in order to pull up their average. Given point 2, i.e. the difficulty of the subjects, this is not an easy task to achieve.

4. Networking
It’s time to start networking, some of us may have started doing this last year already, or even in our bachelor degree, especially if you were in commerce. However, these events are on all the time now, whether held by the Law Student’s Society or law firms, and can take up a lot of your time and energy, and some can go on for as long as three hours. These events can be scary enough on their own, and the time you are at an event is time you are not spending on your readings, hence the falling behind.

5. Comparison
With LinkedIn becoming more and more predominantly used in the professional world, it becomes a place that you can research (and by that I really mean stalk) about the experiences your fellow cohort has had, what your lecturers did before teaching, or that HR person you spoke to, that grad on the panel that was just so Goddamn well spoken, and just about anyone in-between. And let’s be real, we all know that comparing yourself to others is one of the most pointless activities, but, we’ve all fallen down that rabbit hole, and end up feeling as though we are not good enough, because we don’t have a running list of experiences and achievements accumulated over the last two decades of our lives.

Let’s just leave it at those five things for now, and after reading that, I’m sure you can understand where the stress is coming from. All the things correlate with one another too, and often end up having a bit of a snowball effect. Let’s move onto a more upbeat list now, things you can do to somewhat deal with the stress.

1. Notice the changes
Of course, a healthy amount of stress and pressure is good for you, and some people even perform better under pressure. However, when everything’s completely whacked out of balance, that’s when things can go from meh, to bad, to terrible. That’s why it’s important to look out for signs in those moments that you are affected by the stress more than usual, and to deal with them promptly.

2. Speak up
There’s no magical week that all the stress is laid down on you, we all experience it differently, and that’s why it is really up to you, ultimately, to look after yourself. Friends and families are going to be there for you too, of course, but instead of waiting for them to check up on you, it makes things a lot easier (in comparison at least) to bring some of your problems to their attention.

I feel extremely uncomfortable speaking about this kind of things to a counsellor myself, but I know people who do benefit from more professional help, again, this will depend on how you operate as an individual.

3. Self-improvement techniques
There are a lot of articles on self-improvement out there, so that’s an option too. But make sure you’re not drowning yourself in information, give yourself some time to absorb everything, and try to adapt one or two things into your every-day life, and see if it is making a positive change.

4. Stop the blaming
A lot of the time, we are aware that we are acting irrationally because of the stress and pressure, but that realisation may make us feel even more frustrated and guilty, and we start blaming ourselves for the most minute things, like going out to that one dinner when we should have stayed home studying, not sleeping early enough the night before, and just being a crappy person to those around you because of the stress and pressure. There’s really no point in blaming yourself though, since that won’t get you anywhere.

For me, I like to think of things I can do right now to improve the situation I am in. And the most recent things I have done is start journalling, and trying out a new study technique called pomodoro.

As always, I don’t have all the answers for you unfortunately, do email me if you have any questions or just want to chat though. Let’s leave things with a quote from one of my all-time-favourite authors, and go from there.

Of course it’s happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

Advertisements

all i want for Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Regardless of whether you’re religious or not, Christmas is a time where families and friends gather together and enjoy some great food, something that I am always down for. This year, I had three Christmas meals lined up.1Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Firstly, I had a Secret Santa night with my friends from law school, we made roast chicken, roast vegetables, and some crispy skin salmon for my Pescetarian friend (we all stole some haha). I was on dessert duty, and I made a salted caramel apple pie from a recipe I saw on Sally’s Baking Addiction, it was my first time making a proper pie, and I gave lattice a go too, although not the neatest pie around, it was still delicious.

Next up, I spend Christmas Eve with my high school friends, we realised that it was the third year that we had celebrated Christmas together, and that seems all sorts of crazy. We had Korean BBQ, but unfortunately, given the nature of KBBQ – i.e. cooking meat the whole time, I didn’t manage to snap any photos. For any KBBQ fanatics out there, doing it at home is super easy! We have a stovetop BBQ pan, and there’s a Korean grocery store close by that sells a variety of marinated meats, making everything a breeze!

3Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

I spent Christmas day with my mum. She had to pick someone up from the airport, which meant I cooked everything myself – which I’m pretty darn proud about tbh. I made roasted pork loin, roasted carrots and pumpkin, green bean casserole, also a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, mashed potato, and for desserts, I made some of my mum’s favourite cookies, cinnamon roll cookies, a recipe from the Domestic Geek. There were so much food though, which meant we never made it to the cookies, but they do make for a pleasant afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of coffee, so I ain’t complaining. It was my first time roasting pork loin, and only half the crackles turned out well, better luck next time haha.

The highlight of the meal was actually the gravy, it was my first time making gravy from scratch using the drippings from the roast, and it was so so so black and full of flavour and delicious and omg I can’t even.Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Oh yeh, I also dyed my hair purple, originally I was going for a purple ombre, but it kind of turned out more of a reverse ombre if anything? I do like it, although it’s weird having dark coloured hair again.

The holiday season has just begun, I’m going to Japan and Korea at the start of January, which I am both excited and nervous about. However, that does mean that I am going to spend the remainder of this year writing up an essay for my intensive, since it’s due while I’m overseas, and I really don’t want to be writing it on my trip.

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas, whether you spent it with friends, or family, or just chilling by yourself, it’s definitely nice to finally have some time off! Hopefully I can get a more reflective post up in the next week or so, 2016 has been such a weird year, and for better or worse, it’s almost over!

WORD VOMIT | if I hear the word squad one more time

We’re heading towards the end of 2016, and the one word that I sincerely hope we can leave behind in 2016 is the word “squad”. I know I know, unpopular opinion, but hear me out.

I don’t know about you, but the first time I ever heard the word squad was in reference to Tswizzle’s gang of girls in VMA or Billboard or whatever award show it was back in 2015 I believe, at the time, I thought to myself, damn, that is such a cool group of girls, good for them. And then time passed on, and the term started bombarding popular culture and social media, everyone had their squad, and everyone wanted everyone else to know about it.

And that’s when my frustration began. Why do you need a squad? How many people do you need in a squad? Maybe it’s just me, but I just feel like having a squad requires at least 5+ people, and to a lot of people, that’s just impossible. I know personally, all the friends I have made have been pretty much one on one, as in we wouldn’t really have that many mutual friends, or we would, but they’d mostly be acquaintances, and we would never really have a “squad” that we would hang out with day in day out. Don’t get me wrong, I do know people that do, but then again, I always question the sincerity and bond those larger groups have. Sure, you can go out with them every now and then, but when something terrible happens in your life, how many people in your “squad” will be there for you?

Maybe I’m just overthinking this whole thing, as per usual, but I feel as though “squad” just put some unnecessary added pressure onto the expectations society already places on us, we have to be hard working, we have to be doing something with our lives, we have to be happy, we have to have a “squad”, for us to be seen as a fully-functioning individual in the 21st century. There are so many things that’s wrong with that mentality, but that’s a whole other thing.

I have friends (wow did I really just say that), but I don’t see them as my “squad”, they’re people that I connect with, my companions, the ones I care about and the ones that care about me, and squad just diminishes all the feelings I have towards them.

I don’t know if I’m the only that feels this way about “squad”, but surely not, no man’s an island. But hey, if I am, then so be it, I don’t need a “squad” to agree with me anyway.

on my mind | september 2016

I’m going to start a new section in my blog (yup, another one), where I’m literally just going to talk about whatever’s been on my mind, a brain dump if you will. I think I was kind of iffy about starting this because people in my day-to-day life are aware of the existence of this blog, and I didn’t want things that I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with some of those people in real life to somehow creep into their life via this blog. But then again, I thought, fuck it, live a little, what are they gonna do? Judge me? Plenty of that happens without me giving them a reason to, and seriously, sometimes you just gotta not think about everything that’s supposedly reasonable and logical and just do it because your heart is telling you to, something that I’m working very hard on myself.

So what has been on my mind?  It’s a hard feeling to explain, but I’ll give it a go. My mind has been all over the place, but at the same time, there are some sort of clarity that I have never felt before. I don’t want to put anything concrete down as of yet, because I am uncertain about some of those things myself, and I feel like typing it out would just make it seem more real than it actually is.

The most prominent thing is that I realised how vulnerable every single individual is, and how the smallest thing can actually have a ripple effect, something that I never really put that much thought into before. I think that’s the thing, we hear all these terms and phrases being thrown around, ripple effect for example, but it’s hard for us to put our life on pause for just a second, and realise what those things actually mean, to society as a whole, and to us as individuals.

And that leads to the next thing, how becoming conscious of something changes it completely. Change might be the wrong word, but I’m sticking with it. Once the awareness is there, you see it everywhere. A simple example of this, which I’m pretty sure I first heard in year 11 psychology, is that when you start to wear glasses, you realise how many people that walks by you everyday is wearing glasses. Another instance where something similar occurs is when you first develop a crush on someone, and then you start seeing them everywhere. I don’t know the scientific explanation behind this, but it stands true also for things that aren’t exactly physical, things that are more akin to ideas, at least for myself.

I’ve said this before so sorry if you’re sick of hearing it, but I love birthdays, my own especially. Call me narcissistic or whatever other term you want, I really couldn’t care less (ha, the irony), I’ve never really delved into why I love birthdays, and that’s not what I’m about to do right now. Anyway, the point is, I celebrated my 22nd birthday last Saturday, and the events that occurred around that time has had an unexplainable effect on me, mostly mentally, and I don’t know if this is just a phase that I’m in, or if this is the new me, but one step at a time, I’ll take things as they come.

My best friend advised me to start keeping a diary, but I don’t know, that’s just such a foreign idea to me, and I feel like putting pen on paper would make things even more concrete, definitely too concrete for my liking, so I think this is the outlet I’m going to use, and we’ll see how things go from here.

expection vs reality | graduation

I was always one for special occasions, birthdays in particular. I know it doesn’t mean a lot to some people, birthday is just another day after all, but hey, if there is a day that I can make things all about me, then that’s exactly what I’m going to do (vain af I know).

So it only makes sense that come graduation, I was expecting it to be this amazing day, where all my friends and family will come and celebrate with me, and we’ll all just be enjoying ourselves, since seriously, what could go wrong all things considered?

A lot of things, as it turns out. I don’t really wanna go through the nitty gritty of things, but there was just a lot of stress and worry throughout, although you wouldn’t be able to tell if you looked at my instagram, since social media is a lie.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, of course social media is a lie. No one has the obligation of uploading a photo of themselves crying about whatever shit they went through that day with a caption that details that experience, it is an individual choice. And as normal citizens, not “social media influencers” or whatever title they go by nowadays, it only makes sense for us to want to share the best part of ourselves in front of strangers’ eyes, and it has been that way decades before social media took over.

I don’t really know what I wanted to express through this post tbh, it’s just a little rant/reflective note for myself I guess. Stop putting so much pressure on certain days having to turn out spectacular, and just roll with it when shit starts hitting the fan. I don’t know if I can ever become that person, or even if I want to. But I think I’m fine with being the way I am, as long as I can stay true to myself and don’t feel the need to hide it from others, for the time being anyway, and that’s all that really matters I guess.

Oh and here’s a photo just ’cause.

IMG_3872

Since I still have another two and half years (at least) to go with JD, getting my certificate didn’t feel all the significant in the end, although it does mark an end to three of the best years in my life thus far. There isn’t really much more I can say other than um, congratulations to me!

LAW SCHOOL | dobby is a free elf.

giphy
At last, I am officially done with first semester of JD, exams and all. Results don’t come out for another couple of weeks, so at least I can absorb myself in some ignorant bliss for the time being.
I don’t think I’m ready for a blog post dissecting the last four months of my life just yet, but I’m hoping to get one out during the holidays after some self-reflection! These holidays are going to be pretty chill over all though, I’m going to catch up with some friends that I have not seen in way too long, get back into things I enjoy but just didn’t have time for, blogging for one, brunch for another.

I am going to try and do something I’ve never done before, 30 posts in 30 days. I have got some serious backlog going on, and I figured this is probably the best chance I have of catching up with that, and if it doesn’t happen, then this post shall hold me accountable. Be excited for the upcoming month, I know I am!

LAW SCHOOL | here’s to the first of many.

 

It’s happening, I’m going to start blogging about law school, because 241298379 pages of reading and 12 hours of class every week for the past three month isn’t consuming enough of my life.

So I had my first law exam today (yesterday technically), and let’s just say, it was definitely an experience. I’ve never spent so long studying for an exam, and never feared failing more. But hey, what’s done is done. What did I want to talk about in this post again? Oh yeh, how it all doesn’t really matter, but kind of really does.

It’s easy to say that you should place little importance on your marks, since you know, you’re not defined by a number, focus on the big picture, and all the other wise sentiments being thrown around. After all, it is only a two-hour exam worth 70% of my mark in one subject, out of 24 subjects in the entire course, so percentage wise, it’s only worth around 3% of my overall mark, but hey, if everyone could think about things rationally in terms of how much they actually matter in the grand scheme of things, then what good would learning curves and reflections be.

But it is true, a mark on an exam never will define you as a person, however, it certainly does affect you in many other respects. For me personally, law school is certainly the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life, it might not the case for everyone, but it definitely is a common consensus amongst many. And to come out of an exam feeling like I’ve done even remotely okay makes me so happy, because I’ve conquered the challenge of sitting the gruesome exam already, regardless of what my mark is. I think that’s sort of easier to put into perspective than pushing the idea of “marks don’t matter because they shouldn’t”.

So here’s my take on exams, study for it, give it your all, and then maybe marks won’t matter. But hey, what do I know, I’m only one exam into this whole thing, maybe by the end of the three years I’d read this post and laugh at myself for being so young, innocent and naive, but that would just prove my point on the learning curve thing, so at least I got that right. Here’s to hoping.

STORY TIME | say no to ticket scalping.

So here I am, day one of SWOTVAC, 11 days before my first exam in JD, probably not the best time to be writing up a blog post, but hey, rules aren’t important, I’m not type A (both lies).

Coldplay is coming to Melbourne in December, probably one of the best news I’ve heard all year. Naturally, I rounded up my friends who I went to the 2012 Coldplay concert with, to relive our memories, and let Chris Martin serenade us once more with his beautiful voice.

After consulting Google, I found out that there were two pre-sales, and the general sale. The AMEX pre-sale was out of the question, but Live Nation’s one was definitely where I was going to get those tickets, or so I thought. Long and behold, comes Thursday 26 April, the day of the pre-sale. I was in class, unfortunately, which meant I was 3 minutes late to the party, and all Gold General Admission tickets were sold out. No biggie, I’ll just grab them at the general sale, I told myself.

Today is the day. Learning from my mistake last time, I was on the Ticketmaster page from 1.50pm (general sale starts at 2pm), and there was already a countdown on the page, the kind that makes your heart race. As soon as it hit 2pm, the page refreshed itself, and I went to town with selecting the tickets, proving I’m not a robot, the whole shabam. And that’s when it happened. “Sorry, no results match your search”. I was confused, to say the least, since usually if tickets are sold out, it would just say “tickets in the category you’re searching for has been exhausted”, or something along those lines. I messaged Ticketmaster straight away, for some clarification, and while I was on their Facebook page, I saw that under the photo promoting the concert, a bunch of other people seemed to be experiencing the same problem. So I thought to myself, maybe their server just can’t handle the traffic, all is well. So I kept refreshing, refreshing, and refreshing. That site was worse than Student Portal on timetable days, and that’s saying a lot.

Half an hour later, after receiving no response from Ticketmaster, I’ve pretty much given up and was ready to accept my fate. That’s when I realised that they have read my message, but did not reply. And that’s when shit hit the fan for me, because if that’s not bad customer service, I don’t know what is. So being the (first year) law student I am, with plenty of legal terms and jargons under my belt (due to the solid weekend of cramming), I brought up the ACCC. I’ll just attach a printscreen for this part of the story.

I didn’t attach the printscreen of FTA on purpose I swear LOL
WOW please ignore the typos, and the shockingly poor grammar, I was mad okay.

Isn’t it interesting how they replied to me one minute after I threatened to report them to the ACCC?

Anyway, clearly I wasn’t going to get a straight answer from them, but being the slightly OCD person I am, I did some research. First, I went to the Facebook event page and saw that a bunch of people were already looking to buy tickets. Furthermore, on Ticketmaster’s own Resale page, literally hundreds of ticket were up for grab, here’s the catch though, normal tickets were listed for as high as $800, and VIP packages were up to a shocking $4,600. It was the same situation on eBay, tickets were around $280 for Gold General Admission.

What does all these numbers tell us? That a large number of tickets were “sold” to people and/or corporations who planned to resell them from the start. I don’t know about you, but that made me pretty God damn angry. All other things aside, let’s just think about the fact that Ticketmaster allows individuals to resell tickets on their website, with no cap, literally two minutes after they have bought then. How is that a fair system? And that’s not even considering the fact that they may themselves be directing a large portion of tickets straight to their Resale system, in order to make a profit much higher than face value.

I’m sure you all know one of Gandhi’s most quoted quotes: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I don’t usually take that approach, because like the rest of you, I often feel like some things are just beyond my power to change. But this isn’t.

I have started a petition on Change.org, in order to raise awareness to the issue of ticket scalping, especially the role Ticketmaster plays in the process. If you have had similar experiences, or just want to help, then please please please, sign the petition, every signature, literally, actually, counts. I am planning to use the petition to show the public stance against this matter, when I make a formal complaint to ACCC, I don’t know when that will be exactly, since I have no idea how many signatures I can even get. If it hits plateau after a couple of days, so be it.

Again, please sign the petition, it literally takes two minutes to sign up to Change.org, and while you’re there, there are a number of other (more important, you might say) petitions there, which might pique your interest.

Click here to sign (here’s a fun game, how many times have I already linked the petition?). And I’ll keep you guys updated on the progress.

WORD VOMIT | insecurities and what not.

This is going to be literally just a ramble of my thoughts, because I feel like this is an issue that’s on my mind lately, for whatever reason.

What do people feel insecure about? It could be something obvious; how they look, their social status, or economic status.That’s obviously a generalisation, but basically, it’s something about themselves that they feel like is not up to a certain standard held by society. The solution may seem simple, improve yourself, particularly in areas you feel are lacking. But here lies the paradigm, people usually prefer to do things that they’re good at, leading to an improvement in that area, however, if a person is naturally bad at maths, for example, then they’re less likely to want to study maths, and therefore will stay bad with numbers forever. Again, another generalisation.

It is definitely a thing that needs to be changed systematically, and those are the hardest changes to make. As a society, we don’t want to be told we’re doing something wrong, it’s much easier to pick on the flaws of individuals. That way, only those who are “flawed” needs to change.

I can’t say that I’m not insecure about certain things about myself, but I think the important thing is to realise that whether your insecurity is actually something that matters to you, in the sense that you want to improve in that area, or if it’s simply something that everyone else considers to be important, yet it doesn’t make a single difference to you personally.

We are always trying to be a better version of ourselves, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, there is definitely a difference between personal growth, and just feeling crap about yourself constantly on something you can’t change, not so much in the actual sense, but more that it really doesn’t bother you to the extent that you are willing to do something about it.

 

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wish I could come to some profound understanding, and suggest a solution for it all, but there really isn’t one magical solution. There are a few things, that may have been said before, but for whatever reason, are yet to be put in actions by a majority of us. And if one person that happens to be reading this find my suggestions useful, then that’s enough for me.

1. Realise that social media is a lie, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t think many of us are naive enough to believe that those rosy photoshopped images of fitness girls, or perfectly flaylay-ed, colour-themed photos of “daily essentials” are the reality that some people live in. Everyone wants the world to think that they’re living the dream life, and social media is just an outlet for that.

2. Find what makes you happy, not what society makes you think you need to be happy. Happiness is such a vague concept, and my understanding of what it is to be happy is constantly changing. What brings you true happiness though? Once you find that out, I think you’ll be a lot less harsh on yourself.

3. Understand that everyone has their own struggles. This kind of goes along with #1. No one is going to spill all their deep dark secrets and insecurities to you when you’ve just met, in fact, some people might never feel comfortable enough to share those things.

Hmm I think that’s the top three most important things, and once you’re able to change your mindset about those, it will literally change the way you perceive yourself, others, and society.

I know this is quite a sensitive topic, but that’s my two cents on it. I hope that you feel somewhat uplifted after reading this, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll try my best to help! 🙂

three months of freedom what

OMG GUYS, IT HAPPENED. I’VE FINISHED MY LAST ESSAY FOR MY UNDERGRAD YAYAYAY. Tbh I can’t really feel it yet, just because… idk it’s kind of surreal haha.

So technically I’ve got a degree under my belt. How crazy is that?! I always thought that you know, by the time you finish uni you’ll be all wise and mature and know what’s up with life and just owning it. But since then I’ve learnt that that’s probably not the case. In fact, that’s probably one of the hardest things in life, knowing what’s going on, or what’s happening next.

I feel like it’s time to get all reflective again haha, so bear with me. I think everyone had an idea of what uni would be like, and for me, I thought that I’d be able to just find a group of friends instantly and we’d hit up every party, and be having the greatest time of our lives. It wasn’t long after I started uni that I realised it’s not that easy, especially with me doing Arts – one hour tutes every week, and half the time it’s just everyone avoiding eye contact because no one knows what the tutor is talking about since no one does the readings, oh except the socialist alternatives, which I still don’t get up until this day – everyone’s just kinda chillin’ and doing their own thing. With time, I became okay with it, and then a while after that, I started loving it. I mean, uni’s a whole ‘nother thing, where you literally don’t have to give a fuck. About other people, not your study, studying is important, do your readings. But seriously, you can be whoever you want, and no one would judge you. Eating lunch by yourself? That’s cool. Rocking up in uni in PJs? I’ve done that. Wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase to classes? Go for it.

It’s not that I haven’t made friends in uni, I have (all I can picture is a little girl whining I HAVE FRIENDS I PROMISE) met some like-minded people that I catch up with from time to time, and that’s great too. Most importantly though, I think I’ve really learnt a lot about myself in the last three years, I don’t know if it’s necessarily uni that helped me in that process, or if it’s just ’cause I’m at that stage in my life. Either way, I’m grateful that it happened.

what a stack mmmmmm

Okay I think that’s enough deep thoughts for now, after I finished my essay today I did some baking and then painted my nails and AM LOVING LIFE. This is probably the first three months holidays I’ve got where I’m not going away for at least a month of it, and it feels kind of strange, but in a good way. I’m gonna get so much shit done, things that I wanted to get done back in 2012 LOL.

So next week I’m finally going to learn how to drive yay! I know I know, it’s been a long time coming, but omg can you imagine the places I can finally go to once I can drive? North side I’m looking at you. And I also planning on posting A LOT over the next few months, I literally have restaurants from two months ago that I still haven’t reviewed, time to get a move on haha.

Hmm I think that’s all for now, if you managed to get through all that then God, I love you to death.