One month later, I've now been a postgraduate student and a law student for a while. I'm finally starting to settle into things and it's a big change and step up, so this quick update should hopefully show you some of the course changes!
The time expectations have had a massive step up, I'm getting at least 10x the amount of work.... the reading is definitely harder and a lot more of it. Where I'd usually spend an hour or two on the work for a 1-hour seminar, I'm now spending at least a whole day on each one! It's taken me a long time to adjust to the fact that I actually need to spend this long on it to get the work done, but I'm glad I've managed to adjust reasonably quickly.
There has definitely been an expectation that you have at least a background in law. I've moved from a philosophy undergraduate degree, so have not really used law at all! This has been the biggest adjustment. They definitely expected we knew all the terminology - #LATIN - and all of the treaties they were referring to.
I'm finally getting into it, so learning all the abbreviations and things doesn't take that long really whilst you're being told these things 5 days a week! Part of me does wish I'd done more over the summer to improve my background, but I was worried of teaching myself wrong!
There is an expectation that you're free 24/7 now. Whereas before the department understood that you probably had other things to do in life, that has gone now. They don't particularly want you involved in societies or having a part-time job. It's definitely not impossible, you have the time to do one of the two probably. But they don't give you that allowance.
Wednesday afternoons used to be basically sacred sports time, but now it seems to be accepted lecture time! So there definitely has been a big change there!
Being at the same university
The strangest part more than anything for me was changing where I live and department, but still being at the same university. I'm now seeing the environment in a slightly different light and I'm definitely doing things differently this year. I've been going to the gym earlier in the morning so I can make time to go - whereas I would usually get a day off to go - and I'm trying to focus on eating a lot healthier to avoid any possibility of getting ill!
No one takes notes with a laptop! I'm in limbo with my note taking now, I don't know whether to take handwritten notes or typed notes. I've somehow ended up with handwritten notes, but I'm still unsatisfied with these! I've ended up printing my reading each week, which ends up costing a lot!
And takes up a whole A4 folder each week... So I need to work out a better storage solution for these!
It's taken a while to get used to the setup, I still don't feel as though I've caught up with the people who have previously done law, but I'm definitely getting there! (Even if it's slowly!)
I'd definitely recommend printing the reading rather than looking at a screen because it saves your eyes a little!