19.11.18 – Diary Of a Mature Law Student (10)
Before I knew it, it was year 2. I had gotten over the Law of Contract Issues and they disappeared like they had never happened. Semester subjects on the move; European Union Law, Employment Law and Criminal Law, and yes I have a favourite, the later one. Law life has become more serious, more demanding and harder. However, law life itself became more interesting, apart from student accommodation issues with a reputable Student Accommodation Estate Agents, a nightmare. Let me tell you!
It’s been a long ride from all the Year 1 Episodes. To do Law you have to brace yourself for the ride and it’s not a joyful one, more of a roller coaster. There are tosses, thrusts, turns, yeah, the kind you get on the most vicious wild roller coaster. Though you have friends, tutors, family, its just support, every other burden of study, time management, organisation, commitment, determination, balancing, is on you, you are the only one who can set it up and maintain it. It’s your dream.
Let’s get on with it. I have not had time to write, once you get to know why you will understand. But being a passionate writer, will always squeeze in time even if it’s one minutes, it got to be written right? Well if you love writing or are a writer you mostly understand. Anyways, there has been a lot of reading to do, essays, assignments, exams to be written and presentations to be done. This is ongoing too! To be able to do that you have to read, read, and read some more. I’ll be honest, I have read so much I dream of cases, court rooms, exams, it’s ridiculous! Its been stressful, difficult to balance family life, hobbies, writing my books and studying, but I did and got used to the idea and set up. Afterall its only for the next one year to go! Yes, time flies and already I’m in Year two Semester One. So, because of the pressure, my memoirs must be long and maybe based on semesters instead of weekly or monthly episodes like before. I know that’s a huge difference and gap, but you will enjoy the long full semester stories that don’t need to be continuing episodes or worry and getting curious of what happened next. You will just read through and know and patiently wait for the next semester story.
Law is not like other subjects that you can do away with just browsing through, get a few information here and there and skip some pages. No! you must read through the lines, the words, the statements, the quotes and you must research in different book versions, journals, newspapers, anything you can get hold of. Its reading day and night!Yes, by the time you are done, you are full of information, overflowing with it. That’s why the results pay off in the end. A good well-paying job because you basically know it all!
Just when I thought I had given it my best and well settles, it gets even tougher and I must secure not with a seat belt but seat chain! Yes, chain and maybe put a lock so I don’t slip off and think well, this is it, will end the ride here or will take a break, sandwich it they say. But here I am still going strong and well determined. You must encourage yourself, push yourself, have faith in yourself and love law, love it! To go through with it. That is what I have and so am still going.
The reading has been intense, exciting and the cases, especially the old one flabbergasting! Unbelievable cases. At least that’s something to interest and excite you to push further. You can’t help but want to know more. Living in our modern days you’d be happy things change. Law at some point really sucked, and was a joke, yes, a joke you heard me correct. For example, in the 13th century, a Latin phrase “Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelumet ad inferos” referred to in court that meant, “whoever owns the soil, it’s theirs, all the way to heaven and hell” was real and people did own land below and above them. Fortunately, the case, United States v. Causby, 328 U.S. 256 (1946) changed this law after he complained that navy crafts took over his air space and caused deaths of his chickens. He sued the government and won the case though. Good for us because to date, land owners don’t own airspace. The fact that they did once upon a time is shocking.
Then there have been exams. Walking into an exam room with just your pen is a challenging situation, it means you must have something to put on paper and that something got to be coming from your head. Not only that, and that you are the one who stored in, so you could retrieve on this day. So, depending on what you have stored in, shall it be on paper. You got to work closely with the Tutor and understand, you got to ask questions and ensure you have the right answers. Your memory has got to take in a lot. However, in some exams, like one of mine a Legislations books was allowed, that’s just for the Acts and there isn’t much in them so all the other information relating to that must be stored somewhere in your head. This has been the most challenging part of my LLB Law course. I can’t escape the exams. I suppose I would if I could, but I need the degree. Fortunately, I have had passes. At some point I didn’t mind what kind of pass so long it was. But now I want it all! The higher pass, craving for it! Great thing we have good lecturers who are lively, deliver exceptionally well in lectures and seminars, except one, he makes me dowse off but in the first before-dowsing minutes I manage some notes. That means a great deal of self-reading at home to catch up. I just can’t help it. Already I lack sleep, have a lot to catch up on and so any small lullaby hush the big baby to sleep.
The essays and assignments are also challenging but my best! Who doesn’t want to take home a question and have a couple of days, weeks to work over it! The only hiccup that can linger about its number of words that has to be! 2500 words full of good reasoning, wording, to the point and orderly, accordingly. Arguments, explanations, discussions, advising, problems, you name them, it tough but can be enjoyable and exciting, like I said, you got to love Law to get through this, reason am still here. So, you see, that a lot of work which is why I can hardly find time to write. I love writing and would love to write as much as I could. Now that is impossible because there is a lot to be sacrificed, my Law Degree, so writing can wait, just one more year and me and writing are all good again. Not that I don’t write, writers write all the time even a sentence or two, which I’m basically doing and must just make sure I don’t get carried away and abandon law researches and reading.
Then there is one of my favourites, presentations. I love presenting, talking to listening people who are all paying attention to me. Just being honest really. Being in front of people, talking does not wrack my nerves in any way. I am comfortable on stage since high school, and some past Arena terrible performance which I have never really talked about and buried years back. It was the performance that was not up to my standard though the ‘all eyes on me’ situation was thrillingly perfect that I would stand again in front of such a crowd.
I loved my presentations and passed them all, even the one I thought was a flop, EU Law – Factortame. I realised, I had messed up the supporting notes and kept excusing myself, “please bear with me a second” three times! I still passed though, with an unbelievable good mark. Presenting Factortame was great, who would not be interested in the Supremacy of the United Kingdom and how far it goes? I was overflowing with so much information, which was not so good in the end because there was strict time to be considered and certainly no room to say everything you know but just the main points. I knew this but just got carried away sometime during the presentation. One of my weaknesses, I guess. That can be sorted. Though I had run out of time, other things considered, overall, I had hit the crucial marking scheme point somehow. That was great but not to be repeated. So, after taking all the helpful feedback from my tutor, my next presentation ought to be perfect.
However, as I mentioned there is the burden of time management and organisation. All subjects must be read in preparation for seminars. Before you can finish the other, its already midnight and you want to prepare for the next day, which is already, seminar. You can’t live the other subject half done! And hope to another. So, there’s got to be strict time management skills to be able to catch up with homework, reading for seminars, and preparation for essays, assignments and exams. You got to balance it yourself and find a way that works. Because of this, at first, I had to miss some lectures or classes, which is a bad thing to do. Of course, it’s all posted on the black board afterwards, but you cannot depend on that. My love for reading has jut benefited me because I can read with understanding and love stories, so cases are stories! Good stories believe me. Without reading there is no contribution to seminar groups and you don’t want to just get in there and sit. The good thing with University, no one forces you to do homework or study or contribute in lectures. The burden to do work and pass is entirely up to you. So, you must know why you are enrolled on the course, you must have goals and find a way to reach those goals. Besides, who wants to waste three years of their time playing about and not doing what they are supposed to do? University is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone wanting to get higher education and make it to a good salary and job opportunities that pay. So, the aim to pass should be enough to be able to set a good time management and organisation that will lead you throughout the course. Its hard, to get used to but I eventually did and so far, its flowing. I can say my attendance has improved a great deal to take me through some steady studying throughout the year.
There is also the most difficult thing which everyone might think is easy and normal or the usual. Its being a mother as well as a student. I feel for those with small children. My daughter is an adult, an architect graduate, born in 1992. Even though she is grown up and an adult, I still need to leave time aside for her. I can say its been difficult, she’s busy with her life and when she is not, I’m busy with studies. We still struggle to find some quality time. When I say quality time, I mean days off on some holiday resort having a mother daughter time. This has not happened in a while. However, we do spend time together in our busy schedules. Once all this study is done, that’s one thing on the top of the list. The good thing is she helps with school work, advises on university level studying etc because she’s been there in this 21st century while I missed my time and back to school as a mature adult can be stressful. Well, just as much stressful as a young person but in a different way. May it would have been difficult if I had gone to University at my time. But here I am, whatever time, bring it on!
Apart from all that interesting stuff, I missed home, London. Teesside is great but for some reason could not just settle and feel at home. So, I had decided I would transfer and had my tutor helping. We tried my choice universities and they all would not take me because of subject compatibility. In the end I just stayed and hopefully on third year they might. If that happens, I will be updating you of the transfer and settling back in London. I might just as well settle for the last year though, time flies, doesn’t it? Before I blink it would be graduation! The thing is if you have been in London and on a fast life it becomes difficult to leave the fast lane and be on the laid back one. I felt like going back in time instead of forward. The opportunities, especially of jobs are slim whereas in London you can be interviewed for a temp job and start immediately, especially if you are a student. There was also a point where I desperately needed a part time job and finally get at Barclays Bank. But it took me some time that I was beginning to think I had moved way back in time where the jobs I’m looking for don’t exist yet though advertised. Everything became so wrong in my eyes because in these modern days anything can be a barrier to getting a job, right from discrimination which can be direct or indirect and its difficult when you are a student to want to get into the lawsuit on that because it will affect your studies, finances etc and its stressful.
Then there has been life as a student living in student accommodation. I like living privately so I thought a nice flat would do. But, I can’t say it’s been all nice and shining in this accommodation like I expected or like it is supposed to be. Students don’t get much respect, I still have to find out the reason. Right from jobs to accommodation, the minute you mention student, you have erased opportunities or getting a decent house to rent, there is guarantor issues. Even if you have the money that covers the whole semester full payment. Same as opportunities in jobs, they don’t trust students for lack of commitment. But all this depend on individual estate agents and employment agents. However, most are the same.
Still on disrespect of Students. I am living in a private flat, all inclusive. I rent from a very reputable estate agents, but they lack respect for students. They turn up as and when they want to without notice. They have the keys and so when there want to come in for any reason, you can just find them there. I was coming out of the shower, bedroom en-suite, and find a gentleman in my bedroom. I was terribly shocked and terrified, this was for the second time where I had voices and on coming out of the bedroom saw a gentleman with other two men in my bedroom, “oh we sent emails that we would be coming to view”. I found them so disrespectful. This is where studying law becomes handy. You get to know some of the things that even housing agents like these ones, though they have themselves a good name, are in the dark in knowledge of what happens next if someone signs a contract and is now occupying that house. There is also a mis selling of lettings that not much of the important rules and regulations are mentioned on taking the contract. Some information that would benefit the tenant were left out of my contract. After several emails that is when things sort of changed. The worst thing is that my agent overlooks what can land them in a lawsuit, regarding invasion of privacy and miss selling. Like I mentioned, when you are a student having to file lawsuits etc will be way costly and time consuming that some of the things like my estate agent walking on me not fully dressed coming out of the shower was despicable. The agent emailed me to say the gentlemen said it never happened and the lady representative went on to say maybe I imagined myself naked in front of him. So, living as a student in student private accommodation became a very scary experience, knowing someone has the key and anytime there will be in your house. I have turned to put a sofa on the door, at night, during the day and can’t even sleep well thinking there is someone in the house. So, it is always a great idea to find out as much as possible about the agent you are renting from. Its also a problem, because of guarantor issues to move from place to place, all you want to do is settle. Exposing these agencies also, if you are a student is going to affect your studies to a maximum and your chances of getting accommodation may from any other agency may be difficult and you may become a threat to them if you know good laws. There is also the fact that you will need reference from the estranged estate agents to get accommodation elsewhere, you can rest assured it will not be a good one. The best I could do was go for counselling and laid it to rest. I would have wanted to let other student be aware, because it is not safe, especially if you are a single woman to find men in your room when you are not dressed, you don’t feel safe at all. This is one area of being a student that I experienced from a recommended agency that holds itself a good name in Teesside. It worries that they specialise in student’s accommodation and they cause mental issues. So hope fully students reading this will be aware to avoid such estate agents.
Having said all this, I am well geared and ready for semester two. At the same time, I am already trying to see if I can still make that University Transfer to London in year three. The reason being I want to find a good placement and opportunity to join a good law firm in London with opportunities to stay after graduating. However, Staying or moving, the readiness for semester 2 is on. So, catch soon in the next semester 2. I know it will be a while wait but you can spend some time on my blog and view my books while you wait. Let me know what you think.