This post has been contributed by Ms Ralitsa Stancheva, an Undergraduate Laws student.
Please note views expressed on the following blog are those of the author and publication on the Undergraduate Laws blog does not constitute an endorsement.
I am lucky to have had the possibility to attend the London Revision Event in-person in early March 2020. Why is this important? Because it took place days before the first lockdown in the UK and in Germany, where I currently reside, so being able to travel to London before the coronavirus hit was a blessing, and because it showed me firsthand the value of attending such activities and engaging fully during the day.
Being so inspired by this experience, the moment a notification was released that there was also going to be a London Study Support Event in the autumn 2020, I decided to do my best to attend. I recall checking my e-mail multiple times per day in August, watching like a hawk for the registration portal to get open. My persistence paid off and I was among the first students to register for Contract, Public and Criminal Law. The event support team was very helpful and responsive with several follow-up questions that I had and in almost no time I could arrange both my attendance and several days off work on the event dates.
The materials for each course were released well ahead of time. I decided to approach reading early on only to be able to test my ability to identify the main points on each topic with no or limited prior knowledge. I discovered that such helicopter view type of reading enables a very good information retention rate compared to diving into the details right away. During the lectures I could then check whether my understanding of the study material is correct and weather I may have left certain important points out of sight. The lectures were structured in a way that allowed me to set the focal point of my studying in the following weeks. After all, knowing our priorities is one of distance students’ biggest assets, isn’t it, as we manage the demands of our professional and personal lives going full speed in parallel.
Did I like the virtual format as much as I liked attending an event in-person? Definitely not. But I very much appreciate that the event could take place at all considering the extraordinary circumstances imposed by the coronavirus. It is only natural for human beings to want to spend time together and yet having a virtual event is a wonderful way to keep providing value to students until life as we knew it at the beginning of last year can resume. In fact, for each course, the agenda allowed nearly an hour prior to the lecture opening for students to meet and get to know each other. Thoughtfulness which I am sure they have appreciated.
The lecturers communicated with the study groups very actively. They asked a lot of topical questions to invite students to share their current knowledge on the subject matter before elaborating on it. They also attended to each working group during the breakout sessions and made sure that no questions remained unanswered. Students responded well and, quickly, some very stimulating legal discussions developed, which I enjoyed a lot as I could also share my arguments and receive feedback on them from both the other students and the professors. The overall level of knowledge and preparation of these students was impressive! Their determination to master each course was obvious and inspired me to engage more fully in studying the different concepts and approaching the course material holistically.
The London Study Support Event was thus one of the highlights in my life in the recent months and I can only recommend attending it or the Revision Event in March 2021 as soon as you can. A recorded lecture or a forum chat does not deliver the same value as being able to ask questions and tap the professors’ insights in real time, so you better take every opportunity for a live contact. This is a scarce commodity for distance law students as we complete much of our reading and studying in solitude.
Spending the day amongst so many bright and motivated peers is furthermore a great way to get that extra dose of motivation and some initial benchmarking when deciding how to structure your studies during the academic year. Therefore, do not hesitate and engage! The next study event is already around the corner.