why law school midterms are the worst ever

I think there’s a fair amount of us that can say as students that midterms are some of the most stressful things that have existed. ever. especially for law students. 

your knee-jerk reaction might be to think that finals are harder, but you would, unfortunately, be wrong. midterms suck to study for so much more, for many reasons:

  • you have to continue going to class, despite your brain being a complete dumpster fire.

  • all your other classes don’t take into consideration the midterms from other classes that you’re studying for, so the workload does not lighten. it, in fact, worsens by a significant amount.

  • even for the class that does have your midterm, your professor is so anxious to cover the material that will be on the midterm that they don’t even slow down and give you a second to catch your breath you have a very limited understanding of how the whole course fits together because you’ve only covered, like, half of the material. this is just very conceptually frustrating 

  • midterms are the first time most of us have ever received anything graded from our professors, so stakes are high and realistic expectations are in the negatives.

  • this is usually around the time that all your normal non-law-student friends have realized they haven’t seen you in weeks and want to hang out and catch up because they don’t realize that their old friend is gone and that an IRACing dragon has replaced her.

  • everyone thinks you’re being dramatic when you say you do nothing but study all day, but you literally do nothing but study. your breaks consist of things like doing homework for your other classes, going grocery shopping, and cleaning your house (on a light studying day). 

  • no one else except other law students understand the stress you’re under, and you don’t want to talk to other classmates about it, because it usually digresses into this weird “whose life sucks more?” competition that you know you hate but are somehow participating in anyway.

  • did I mention we still have to go to class & keep up with our already-debilitating workload in the midst of it? 

  • you’ll see how other classmates are studying, usually a day or two before a midterm, and realize you should’ve been using their strategy the entire semester. but, of course, it’s too late to start now!

  • professors like to make helpful comments such as: “but I’m sure you know this already,” and “I know you probably outlined this weeks ago, but-” and “as you’ll recall.” we don’t know, we don’t even have an outline yet, and we most certainly do NOT recall. 

  • it gets to a point when “stressed” is just an inherent part of your personality rather than a way to describe a transient state of mind.

  • even when midterms are OVER, you’re still stressed, because juuuust when you think you’ve calmed down, your the grades come in

this is not an overly helpful post, but potentially an informative one to share with loved ones or your undergrad friends who think their lives are hell right now. not that we’re having a competition, but if we were … law students would win. full stop. if you're a loved one reading this, know that we're sorry, we hate our lack of humanity right now as much as you do, and we're eagerly looking forward to the day when we get to stop and return to "normal."