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AllBlackEverything

Undergrad and I'm already stressed!

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Hey guys/girls, 

 

I've been lurking around on this forum for quite a while, reading many posts about what it takes to get into the law schools around Canada as well as the stress that comes with it. I am currently in my first year of university and want to prepare myself very well for the future. I am enrolled in a Political Science program at University of Ottawa and I'm predicting for my first year I might get an average of  B+/ 3.3 gpa. But I feel as though if I were to go at this rate, it would be very hard for me to get into law school. In other words, I'M ALREADY VERY STRESSED. Lol. Are there any tips some of you older, more experienced individuals can provide? How can I go about increasing my gpa and better preparing myself for what's to come within this 4 year journey?

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(1) Forget you are applying to law school. Don't think about it. It's not important right now.

 

(2) Enjoy your courses. Learn things you find interesting. Join some clubs. Get excited.

 

(3) Stop reading this site. Come back in two years.

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Good advice, especially 1 & 3. Stop worrying about stuff needlessly. You wont be applying for law school for nearly half a decade. Dont think about it. Jst do the best you can and enjoy the moment.

Edited by brokebloke

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Couple of things.

 

First, the transition into university from high school can be tough. You have to be more disciplined and try to understand the material in greater depth. This is not to make it seem worse because undergrad isn't that hard once you understand how it works. But it does take time to make it work. this is your FIRST SEMESTER. Its October. Even if you messed up your first set of midterms, you can easily come back and improve on the finals. Then there is a whole new semester next year and then 3 years after that. For study tips, I can only tell you generic stuff. Don't fall behind and try to study after every class when the material is still fresh in your mind. Do practice questions and any exams your profs give you. Try to understand the material instead of just memorizing it. Start early on essays and written work and discuss it with your prof. Go over midterms and think about why you made the mistakes. Basically, study hard and smart.

 

Take a variety of courses,find out what you like, pay attention o the world around you and the job market, get involved in your community, take up a few ECs (but not at the expense of your studies) and you will slowly start to find out what you really want to do. This may also help you become focused and a better student. 

 

Also to put your mind at ease, a lot of law schools take out bad courses or years when they are looking at you gpa. Of course, this shouldn't be used to become lazy. I'm only saying this so you stop stressing out so much but don't think thats an excuse to slack off. 

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Hmm, if anything you want to worry about now is start establishing relationships with some responsible, caring, and intelligent professors. Your future references may be coming from them.

 

Go to their office hours, do answer their questions in lectures, let them know you and allow them to open up to you as well. Of course, also need to have the grades to back it up. Surprisingly, professors sometimes do know who shines in their lectures. When I first walked into a professor's office by the end of my first year, one of my prof didn't know my name but did mark my exams. He then attached a name to a face and years later, I still visit him when I have time.

 

Even if they may be so busy with their own tenure that they don't have time to write a reference for you, you can at least learn something about your major.

 

Honestly, I don't believe in barging into someone's office for the first time and requesting a reference letter. Personally, I think of it as a huge favor. Don't let them think you are just using them for this purpose and later won't even hear from you. I think it's fine if you are asking them to be a verifier (that is someone who will confirm you did something), but references, I treat it differently.  Reference letters are difficult to write (an original one anyway), it take time and a lot of thought. For anyone to be a referee for you, you must be truly worthy of their time and not just be someone who walked in one day and decided he/she needed a reference.

 

Ask nicely, in a formal way. Strike up a dialogue with them first, then ask once you have rapport.

 

Oh, do be concerned about your grades now. See, I am not very bright in terms of the LSAT and as I am waiting for my October score, the more I feel bad about it. LSAT is what's holding my application back as of now. This is where your gpa can balance things out for certain law schools. If you have a great CGPA, I think a slightly lower LSAT can be overlooked.

 

I wish you all the best, the night is still young for you. A lot of possiblities.

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(1) Forget you are applying to law school. Don't think about it. It's not important right now.

 

(2) Enjoy your courses. Learn things you find interesting. Join some clubs. Get excited.

 

(3) Stop reading this site. Come back in two years.

 

 

OP, this.

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Some good advice from all who've posted here, I appreciate it. It's just the fact that I'm going to be majoring in political science so I definitely will always feel the pressure of having to do well so that I can actually accomplish law school. Can't get many jobs that interest me with that sort of degree. Are there any easier classes I can perhaps take within my following year to make keeping a high gpa more accomplishable? I really would like a 3.7 (which I think is an A-?) but, I know it's going to take some hard work for me to get there. So, the easier I can make it on myself, the better.

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Some good advice from all who've posted here, I appreciate it. It's just the fact that I'm going to be majoring in political science so I definitely will always feel the pressure of having to do well so that I can actually accomplish law school. Can't get many jobs that interest me with that sort of degree. Are there any easier classes I can perhaps take within my following year to make keeping a high gpa more accomplishable? I really would like a 3.7 (which I think is an A-?) but, I know it's going to take some hard work for me to get there. So, the easier I can make it on myself, the better.

 

I have to be honest, if you're already defaulting to this sort of mentality, in political science, at the University of Ottawa, law school might not be for you.

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I have to be honest, if you're already defaulting to this sort of mentality, in political science, at the University of Ottawa, law school might not be for you.

I appreciate your honesty, but I must respectfully disagree. The program itself so far has not caused me any difficulties, I know I can manage around this first year pretty well. I just want to be more aware of how I can up my chances for the rest of my university experience.

Edited by AllBlackEverything
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I appreciate your honesty, but I must respectfully disagree. The program itself so far has not caused me any difficulties, I know I can manage around this first year pretty well. I just want to be more aware of how I can up my chances for the rest of my university experience.

 

That's good! But you shouldn't approach it from "can I take easier courses" because you won't have this opportunity in your first year of law school, and even with upper year electives, all courses are pretty difficult. You should consider taking what interests you the most, and then going all out to get a stellar mark. Picking up new study strategies, getting help with essays or exam techniques, are things you could check out.

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That's good! But you shouldn't approach it from "can I take easier courses" because you won't have this opportunity in your first year of law school, and even with upper year electives, all courses are pretty difficult. You should consider taking what interests you the most, and then going all out to get a stellar mark. Picking up new study strategies, getting help with essays or exam techniques, are things you could check out.

Yeah that sounds like some advice I can agree with :) I've also already ordered some of the LSAT Bible prep books. I heard they are very good in helping develop techniques to do well on the LSAT. Hopefully all goes well for me and everyone else who shares the same goal. I've definitely been feeling much less stress since I've posted this topic, the people here are great.

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Honestly, I don't recommend studying for the LSAT now. Its a waste of time. Focus on your studies. The LSAT may require a few months of studying but not a few years. I see no benefit in starting too early, especially when you can spend that time just studying. 

 

With that said, if you are going to study then at least don't waste any of the actual preptests. Just read the bibles.

Edited by DSman
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Why are you predicting that you will only get a B+ average is what I'm wondering. It's not even November yet.

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Why are you predicting that you will only get a B+ average is what I'm wondering. It's not even November yet.

Well, I'm always under the impression that I will achieve an A or so on given assignments but then I'll get like a B or a B+. I've done a few assignments as of now for my classes and I've got around a B+ average. I'm just assuming it will stay that way. 

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Well, I'm always under the impression that I will achieve an A or so on given assignments but then I'll get like a B or a B+. I've done a few assignments as of now for my classes and I've got around a B+ average. I'm just assuming it will stay that way. 

 

Or... go talk with your prof and figure out how you can bring your marks up and work harder. Seriously, don't slack in your first year if you are thinking about law school.Good grades aren't going to hurt you. If you end up with a B+ average you will likely not make it into law school, unless you destroy the LSAT. Aim for A-range grades, follow Omph's advice, and have enjoy undergrad. 

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AllBlackEverything, I'm going to say this because it is to your own benefit.  You're barely half way through the first semester of your FIRST YEAR.  You need to suck it up! If this is stressing you out that much, then you need to really consider whether or not law school is for you.  Get your head buried in the books, take classes you enjoy and go out there and rock out A's and A+'s.  Do not make any excuses for yourself.  Law school and the process in general, is very competitive, you're dealing with some of the best and brightest.  If actually having grades good enough to get into law school does not motivate you, maybe this wake up call will.  Come back here as others have said in two years and work on the second part of the getting into law school process (i.e. the LSAT).  Now get out there and go get those grades, you have it in you.  If you're not willing to work hard, rest assured 10 other people are and they will be competing with you for your seat.  Come back and crush the LSAT and enjoy your final years of undergrad knowing you did everything you could to get into law school.

 

Best of luck friend, I sincerely wish you the best.

Edited by Socrates89
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You do not have to take political science to prepare yourself for Law School.

 

Take whatever you think you can an easy A and if possible, change to any university that

 

give you an A with little effort.

 

I know many with disagree with me. The truth of the matter is an A from a lowest ranking

university will beat a B from any top ranking university every day.

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You do not have to take political science to prepare yourself for Law School.

 

Take whatever you think you can an easy A and if possible, change to any university that

 

give you an A with little effort.

 

I know many with disagree with me. The truth of the matter is an A from a lowest ranking

university will beat a B from any top ranking university every day.

this. I did this and couldn't be happier.

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this. I did this and couldn't be happier.

Could some more people provide insight about this? I could try switching into an easier program to get all A's, what do others think about that? If anything, I feel like a major in Sociology would be very easy. Any thoughts?

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Could some more people provide insight about this? I could try switching into an easier program to get all A's, what do others think about that? If anything, I feel like a major in Sociology would be very easy. Any thoughts?

 

Be careful. Sociology, Political science, and other "subjective" programs are not as easy as they appear. Having incredible writing skills and being able to manipulate your papers to your TA and prof's likings will be a big factor. If you dont put in the time at some places, it just will not happen.

 

That being said, if the program has an easy rep then maybe you are onto something.

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