1L Study Schedule: Perfecting It

1L Study Schedule

GUEST BLOG Stephanie Baldwin,
1L at University of Arizona

First, let me say that everyone is different. You really have to find the 1l study schedule that works best for you. Ultimately, it has to be a schedule that you will follow. Over the summer I attended a BARBRI Law Preview course, and one of the most useful things they shared with us was a recommended 1L study schedule. Here are some of the highlights and an explanation of what has worked well for me and what has not.

Scheduling Reading Assignments

Law Preview recommended that we always stay 2 days ahead on reading. So on Monday, you are reading for Wednesday, Tuesday for Thursday and so on. While this was great in theory, I have Fridays off (yes, I know thank you UofA) and my Mon/Wed schedule is 8:20-3:30, with Legal Writing, Civ Pro and Contracts. It is an overwhelming amount of reading, and we have a quiz every Monday in Legal Writing. Because my Mondays are so loaded, I only have Torts on Tues/Thurs afternoons.

I decided that I would stay 2 days ahead on Civ Pro, Contracts, and Torts but only one day ahead on Legal Writing. This adapted schedule has worked much better for me, and I have a much more manageable reading load.

Scheduling Review

I am sure you have heard that you should not wait for the reading period to start writing your outline, and if not… now you know. It is best to start an outline after you’ve finished a topic and add to it throughout the semester. In Law Preview, they shared with us the importance of using the outline as a tool to help review and memorize the key points of each topic. Sure, most of our exams are open book, BUT they are also timed, and you do not want to waste precious minutes looking through your book when you could have the rule memorized.

This is where scheduling review time is vital. You should add blocks of time dedicated to reviewing in your 1L study schedule, just like you have for reading. I currently use the weekends and some of my free time on Thursdays for this purpose.

Scheduling “Me Time”

Just because you are a law student, doesn’t mean you’re ONLY a law student. You need to try to maintain your hobbies, friendships, and relationships. It is SO easy to be focused on school that you might go the entire week without noticing you haven’t talked to anyone outside of school all week.

This is where “Me Time” is key, and yes, it needs to be scheduled. Doing this is giving yourself permission to take a break. I am a huge fan of playing “HQ.”  If you don’t know, it’s a trivia app where you can win money, or at least discover how much useless knowledge you do or don’t have.  During the first 2 weeks of school, I missed playing it every single day, even though I was not in class. This week I added it to my schedule and didn’t miss a single game. All of my friends play, and it was great to be connected to them even for that brief time.

I am sure you have something that you enjoy doing. Do not neglect it. Add it to your 1L study schedule to make sure it is as much of a priority as your Torts reading. You’ll thank me later.

I’d love to hear from you about your favorite study schedule tips. Or if you try these tips let me know how they work out for you! See you next week!

Internship Takeaways: 1L Summer

1L Summer Internship

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way,
2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Every freshly minted 2L waltzes back on campus with a summer’s worth of work experience and a handful of stories to tell. So, let me share mine! I had the privilege of working at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) as an Equal Justice America Fellow in the housing and benefits department. And while I had no particular interest in housing or benefits law, I nevertheless came away from the internship extremely satisfied.

Here are my main takeaways for getting the most out of your 1L summer when it rolls around.

Location, Location, Location

Your career planning office will likely tell you that your 1L summer is the year you can do anything. It’s true, but know your limitations. It’s great to work abroad if you’re planning to work abroad, or in a big market like NYC upon graduation. If you’re targeting a smaller market, find summer employment in that area. Here are a list of reasons:

  1. Networking 

    It is easier and/or possible when you’re located in your target area. This is important regardless of whether you’re targeting a big or small market. However, it’s important for small markets where associate positions are more competitive.

  2. OCI

    Interviewers from small markets also notice where you spent your summer. In every single interview, I was asked: “why Boston?” Since I’d spent the summer there was a huge plus in proving my interest in the city.

  3. Future Planning

    Also made easier when you’re located in your post-graduation target area. Knowing I wanted to live in Boston after graduation I utilized my weekends to explore areas where I might want to live after graduation. Likewise, when attending networking events I was able to make note of commute times, neighborhoods nearby, and other local resources which helped me narrow my bid list for OCI.

  4. Face Time 

    Time with your significant other, friends and family also largely depends on where you are located. Your summer internship is no walk in the park. You often work long hours so you’re free time normally falls on the weekend. If you know you have family obligations, weddings to attend, or some other important events then it’s worth considering how your summer internship location will impact your travel abilities. For instance, I was only an hour flight from home. I was able to make it back for a friend’s baby shower.

Internship Preparedness

You need to be prepared with the required documents and requested materials when entering the office on the first day. Though, it doesn’t end there. You need to always be prepared to take notes, talk about your ongoing cases, or assist your supervising attorney. So how do you do that?

  • Always, always, ALWAYS have a notepad and pen.

    While you may think you’re just dropping a memo off, there’s a good chance you’ll receive feedback or a second assignment.

    • Side Note: If your supervising attorney likes to use your pen to edit your work like mine did, I suggest always having a second pen so you can take notes too.
  • Make sure you thoroughly review every case you have before unit meetings, client meetings, or really any meeting.

    You might expect to only talk about two out of five cases, or simply be sitting in, but you really never know when you’ll be asked to present.

  • If your supervising attorney gives you research do it promptly and take notes!

    Chances are they’re assigning you reading because the information will be essential when you become more active in the cases. You don’t want to get stuck re-reading because you forgot to take notes the first time around.

  • Always review your notes after meeting with clients.

    Often clients will throw a lot of details at you … most time in some unorganized fashion. If you simply throw your notes in the client folder without reviewing you’ll likely be confused two weeks later when you need to refresh yourself on the timeline. If on the other hand, you take 10 minutes to review your notes and draft up a coherent timeline of events, you’ll thank yourself later.

  • When/if you meet with opposing counsel, clients, etc., make sure you have all required documents and a few extras.

    When meeting to review a large file I suggest you tab everything so it’s easy to find during the meeting!

View Everything as a Learning Experience

Life as a summer intern can easily become overwhelming. You might hand in a memo and get it back only to see a page full of red edits, causing you to feel defeated. Keep in mind the purpose of your 1L summer is to learn – your supervising attorney understands that so most of their critiques are aimed at improving your skills, not a result of them undervaluing you.

Summer programs are specifically designed to teach you certain skills. Your office will likely arrange for you to interact with clients, do some form of legal writing, observe court or some type of negotiation, and take part in at least one engaging case. The learning opportunities don’t stop with the formal programming though. I for one learned an excessive amount of case-specific, attorney tips, and just general professionalism from my supervising attorney. I also learned a good amount of useful technical tips from the office’s fantastic paralegals and professional staff members. Main point: don’t limit your learning “resources” to your supervising attorney and formal summer programming.

Apps to help you stay organized and sane during your 1L!

Apps to help you stay organized

GUEST BLOG Stephanie Baldwin,
1L at University of Arizona

HI! I’m Stephanie, a 1L at the University of Arizona and I am excited to share this next year with you! I have been an LSAT tutor for a few years, so I have a lot of friends in law school. I was lucky enough to have them share tips for success, and they all recommended setting a study schedule that worked for me and not allowing law school to take over my life. Here are the apps I am using to follow their advice!

#1 Google Calendar

I’ve always loved the idea of using a day planner, but it has never worked for me. I would always forget to add things, leave the planner at home or I wouldn’t notice a deadline. However, Google Calendar changed all of that. Once I had access to the syllabi for all of my classes, I got to work:

  • First, I created a few new calendars. (If you’re not sure how to do this, check out this link: https://support.google.com/calendar/answer/37095?hl=en). I created one calendar called “class schedule,” and then a calendar for each of my classes.
  • Next, I added each class time, every assignment due date and every reading assignment to my “class schedule” calendar. I also set up reminders anywhere from two days to a week ahead for important items.
  • Then, I copied the entries from my class schedule to the respective class calendar. This allows me the freedom to see my entire schedule at once or to focus on an individual class. I can also share these individual calendars with my study group for each topic!
  • Finally, on my main calendar, I scheduled “Me time” and extra events. Each week we get an email of the weeks upcoming events, so I can easily add these to my calendar with a simple click.

apps

 

#2 Meditation Studio

Mindfulness helps to relieve stress, boost working memory, improve focus and more (http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx). I first discovered the Meditation Studio App (https://www.meditationstudioapp.com/) when I was studying for the LSAT, and it helped me a lot. Some of my favorite meditations are only 6-8 minutes long. They include “Taking Exams,” “Being Fearless” and “Releasing Self-Doubt.” Of course, if you have more time, the 30 min “Fierce Focus” is fantastic!

#3 Prime Student

Ok… sure, this is more than just an app, because you get Prime Video, Prime Reading, Prime Music (hello study music) and free 2-day shipping on textbook rentals and more from Amazon with your Free 6 month trial for Prime Student (click https://amzn.to/2wOEZ1P to learn more).

For me, this is an absolute necessity. I rented almost all of my books from Amazon and have had school items and apartment necessities sent to an on-campus Amazon Locker. Who has time to shop in law school? It’s so convenient, AND if you set up a Wishlist, people can send you things that you need too! Here is mine as an example! http://a.co/cfh0tWc

I hope these three things help you get off to a tremendous 1L start! Do you have other suggestions? Feel free to share with me on Twitter or Instagram: @The1Llife!

#The1Llife: Preparing for OCI

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way,
1L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Law school exams are winding down, suitcases are being packed, and all seems good within the life of a 1L.

The end of the semester is an exciting time, not only are you finished with your brutal exams and one year closer to graduation, you’re also about to begin your first summer job as a legal associate! With all that excitement on the go, it’s easy to overlook OCI; and while you certainly don’t need to stress about OCI in early May, by June it should be on your mind.

Just how should you prepare for OCI during the summer you ask? Of course, preparations will vary according to your circumstances. For instance, if you’re in your target area this summer you may want to start reaching out to firms before OCI, the same logic applies if you’re aiming for a small market. However, particularities aside, there are a few starting points for every 1L who plans to participate in OCI

Mock interviews

I really cannot stress how important mock interviews are to your success. I recently participated in an on-campus mock interview program where they brought in alumni from a variety of firms. Through this program I not only got a sense of what I needed to do to prepare for interviews (i.e. how long it takes to print resumes, order transcripts, etc.), I also got great feedback from my interviewers on what I did well, and what I could work to improve upon. If you don’t have the opportunity to do a mock interview with someone from a firm, I suggest reaching out to your career planning office to see if they offer mock interviewing in-person or over the phone, or if push comes to shove, recruit a friend or family member to serve as an interviewer.

Resume Review

One thing that came up in both of my mock interviews were tiny issues with my resume, and by tiny, I mean anything from formatting to a single missing comma. Unbeknownst to many, the majority of career planning offices offer resume review services free of charge! While they may not have a template that calls out to you, once you craft what you believe to be a perfect resume, send it off to them for the final once over.

Research, Research, RESEARCH

Emphasis on the research. Gone are the days when you could waltz into an interview and sell them on your capabilities without basically internet stalking the interviewer and their organization. Not only do OCI interviewers want to see that you’re competent and excelling in law school, they also want to see that you have an honest interest in their firm – after all, why waste their time on you if you’re not going to give them the time of day? For interviewing I’d say start with the legal basics:

Chambers and Associates: for a quick overview of the firm, covering everything from billable hours, to quotes from managing partners.

Website Browse: Make sure you know the firm’s website inside and out. Don’t just read your interviewer’s bio. Take the time to read up on the practice areas you’re interested in, take note of recent cases they’ve worked on in those areas. Furthermore, make sure you know what their summer program, and entry-level associate programs look like – you do not want to ask questions in an interview that are clearly answered on the website.

Google Search: Use the firm’s name, plus an associate or trigger word to pull news stories, recent cases, and more!

Network

Yes, attending networking events is great, but networking is more than firm sponsored happy hours. Utilize your school(s) alumni database to find alumni who work in the firms you’re targeting and reach out! Likewise, seek out 2L’s and 3L’s who have worked in those firms, or are going to those firm’s post-graduation and get the inside scoop on the firm and more specifically, the summer program.

NOTE: When you’re networking, keep track of who you talk to and what they say. You want to reference those people during your interviews, so it’s best not to leave it up to your memory alone.

Summer Job Essentials

Finally, during your summer you want to not only impress your employer so they either a) hire you back, or b) agree to serve as a reference, you also want to utilize your summer job for OCI purposes. First, you’re going to need a writing sample for OCI, so ask your employer early on if you can use one of your memo’s or briefs to satisfy this requirement. Second, keep track of the tasks you complete so you can reference them during interviews. Finally, incorporate your summer job tasks into your resume to make it more targeted to a legal audience.

#The1Llife: Law School Attire Un-coded

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way,
1L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Being a law student inadvertently means you will be attending a variety of events – everything from firm happy hours to formal balls.

Unfortunately for our budgets each event carries with it a different dress code, meaning a trip to the mall may be in order. In an effort to make your shopping more streamlined, and your sanity levels remain in check when you get that event invitation indicating “cocktail formal” as the dress attire; I’ve compiled a list of the dress codes you’ll likely encounter, and the outfits to go with them (for both men and women).

Casual

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean you show up in your favorite leggings or ripped jeans and t-shirt. You do still need to be presentable, but it does mean you can leave the blazer and dress pants at home.

Men can wear dark jeans or chinos with presentable shoes, such as deck shoes, and a polo shirt or knit sweater.

Women can similarly wear dark jeans, chinos, or a summer dress, with flat shoes or boots, and a plain top or sweater with minimal jewelry.

Business Casual

Normally reserved for networking happy hours, or day-time conferences, the business casual look is more rigid then the previously listed casual, but more flexible then business formal.

Men in these situations have two options. Option one includes chinos or dark jeans, suit jacket or tweed jacket paired with a dress shirt and business shoes or loafers. Option Two substitutes the casual pant for a dress pant and white dress shirt combo minus the jacket, and excluding a tie.

Women can likewise opt for a casual pant or skirt paired with a dress top, heels, and blazer, or can incorporate dress pants / pencil skirt with a dress shirt minus the blazer. Here women also have the option of wearing a semi-casual dress, with or without a blazer (according to the formality of the dress) paired with shoes.

Business Formal

You’ll encounter the business formal invite for a number of networking events, on campus interviewing, off campus interviews, or student organization events and galas.

Men should opt for a full suit (pants, jacket, dress shirt, dress shoes, matching belt, and tie). Suits should ideally be tailored to fit, and the belt should complement or match the shoes.

Women Should likewise wear a full suit with heels or fancy loafers. There are unfortunately pros and cons for pants suits v. skirt suits, and much will depend on the job you are aiming for, or the event you are attending. Many firms for instance prefer the “traditional” pencil skirt, I for one support the divergence from tradition and the blurring of gender lines so long as the suit is presentable and well fitting.

Cocktail

Most are aware of the cocktail formal dress code, and while you may think cocktail events are reserved for attorneys, I’ve attended a surprising amount of cocktail attire events during my 1L year.

Men should opt for a full suit in either black, charcoal, or navy. Again, the belt should match the shoes and cuff links may be worn for fashion purposes.

Women generally women will be safe with a “little black dress” paired with heels, a clutch and complimenting jewelry. If a dress doesn’t seem up your alley you can also opt for a fashion forward black pant suit, or a skirt and fancy top combo.

Cocktail Formal

Who knew cocktail formal even existed? I for one had to call my mom to get clarification on the difference between cocktail, cocktail formal, and formal attire. Though the difference is minimal, it is quasi important if you want to ‘fit in.’

Men, full black suits or fashion forward print suits, paired with dress shoes or statement loafers are the attire for these events.

Women can trade in the little black dress for a more fashion forward, formal gown. Long gowns would likely be going too far, however if you think short bridesmaid dress, or red carpet worthy outfits (excluding those long gowns) you’ll be on the right track. Again, clutches are appropriate, as are heels and complimentary jewelry.

Black Tie

Black tie events are rare, but if your school hosts a barrister’s ball you may encounter one of these.

Men will require a full tuxedo, including shoes, bow tie, and cuff links. Tuxedos generally require one week for advanced rentals, or up to a month if you plan to buy since hemming is required.

Women generally opt for a long gown, paired with heels, clutches, and complimentary jewelry. Again, plan to buy your dress early as you will likely need to hem based on your height and the height of your heels.

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#The1Llife: Essential Supplies for Law School

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way,
1L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

So, you decided to become a law student … now, what do you need to buy in order to fit the mold?

While there, of course, is variety amongst us law students, some items seem to be a common amid the masses. With that in mind I’ve compiled a list of the most popular law school items – consider this your 1L Shopping Guide.

  1. Highlighters … highlighters … and more highlighters
    In undergrad I owned two highlighters, both yellow, any more would be overkill, right? Wrong. When case briefing it’s suggested you use a minimum of five different colors for facts, procedural history, issue, holding, and the decision/dissent or concurrences.
  2. Pens AND Pencils
    I’m a pen person, but during first semester I had to get back in the habit of using pencils.  When you rent your textbooks (because it saves you a ton) they generally don’t appreciate margins filled with permanent notes, thus you’re encouraged to use pencil. Furthermore, I had a process of taking my notes in pen, and then during review adding afterthoughts in pencil within the margins so as to separate my ideas.
  3. Notebooks or loose-leaf
    College was a time for many of us where we threw paper to the wind and adopted a purely technology-based system of note-taking. Law School brings you back to the stone ages and, in the majority of classes, prohibits the use of technology. Thus, be prepared to take your notes by hand, and since there are a lot of them, may I suggest purchasing a separate notebook for each course.
  4. Water Bottle / Thermos
    Not only is water essential for your health, it’s also useful when you’ve been called on. If you’ve ever watched professors or professional speakers, you’ll notice they always, without fail, have a water bottle near to ensure they never end up with a raspy voice due to a dry throat. In law school, you’re essentially being put on stage when you get a cold call so it’s always a good call to have water nearby. One smart move I’ve seen many students make is purchasing a dual bottle/thermos so they always have the option to switch to coffee or tea when fatigue hits.
  5. Binder
    Again, back to high school, we go. Case briefing for class (which you should do if you want to be prepared) means you’re printing out 1-6 pages per class, per day. Don’t be stuck shoving those valuable notes in your backpack to become crumpled, lost, and unorganized. Some opt for a small binder per class, but warning you will need one that’s larger than 1”. Personally, I went the one binder, individual tabs route to save myself space.
  6. Heavy Duty Backpack
    Casebooks are heavy. You’re $10 Wal-Mart no name backpack, or even your cute but flimsy designer bag is not going to do the trick – for us girls, using a purse is also a no go. You need a backpack that is not only sturdy enough to support the weight, but also one that’s comfortable – since you’re lugging it around – and that has enough space for your books, and pockets for your pens, highlighters, water bottle, etc.
  7. USB
    A USB is really never a bad thing to have on you, especially in a world where you’re constantly reading case briefs, and researching. Though most schools allow you to sync your laptop with the university printers and provide you access to on-campus computers, it never hurts to have a USB handy for the times when the school system is down and your forced to run across the street, or use someone’s personal printer.
  8. The Bluebook Online
    I believe every law school requires you purchase the Bluebook for legal citing purposes – if yours doesn’t you should 100% pick up a copy. Though I do believe you should own a hard copy, I have also discovered the joys of the e-version. Unfortunately for us, purchasing the hardcopy does not grant access to the online version, thus you’re forced to shell out more money to own both, but trust me it’s worth it.

#The1Life: Why Spring Semester of 1L is Worse Than Fall

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way,
1L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Spring semester carries it with the additional burden, and stress of the job hunt.

It seems to be a universal feeling amongst my classmates that spring semester is undoubtedly worse than the fall.

You would think spring semester would be better, after all you have one semester under your belt; you’ve established a network of mentors, friends and colleagues; and you’re (hopefully) settled into an apartment and finished unpacking your many boxes. However, for some reason the spring semester is more dreaded than the fall. And while I’m not exactly sure why that is, I do have my suspicions.

  • Spring semester carries it with the additional burden, and stress of the job hunt. Unlike fall semester where our only (law school) worries related to our doctrinal classes and passing exams, spring semester had all that plus the additional burden of job applications, interviews, and waiting for callbacks.
  • Since the job hunt is upon us, our school and seemingly every firm in the city, decides to “help” us by hosting countless networking events each and every week. Yes, many of these events include free alcohol and food! But at the same time, they eat up anywhere between three and six hours of your evening, cutting into time previously spent preparing for class.
  • You get your first set of grades in the spring semester, and trust me, no matter how well you did the waiting for grades produces enough anxiety to fill multiple helium balloons. And then even after receiving your grades your left questioning what they mean. Does the A in civil procedure secure you a summer job at firm, or does that B in contracts mean you need to look to public interest?
  • And finally, because I have to end this post somewhere, spring semester is worse because your legal practice skills professor all of a sudden decides you’re ready to independently research, master the bluebook, write a twenty-page brief, and then participate in oral debates on the subject … all while taking your regular classes and searching for a job.

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#The1Llife: 1L Exam Reflection

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way,
1L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Today I’ll be talking about the most dreaded 1L topic …. exams!

Being early January I can officially say I’ve survived my first semester exams, so there’s that. Now while I anxiously await grade disbursement in late January I have the time to reflect on the overall experience… so here it is.

The first word that comes to mind when I reflect on exam month is “EXHAUSTING.” Although I had roughly five plus days between each exam, spending an entire month studying takes a lot out of you. First, your schedule is completely thrown. Instead of waking up and going to class like your body is used to, suddenly you’re spending days on end in the same PJ’s, hardly eating, and staying up late because you’ve convinced yourself those extra two hours of studying will be your saving grace. The second word that comes to mind is “BRUTAL!” After studying for essentially 17 hours a day for a week the time finally comes when you have to actually write your exam. You think you’re prepared and feel slightly confident by that time, right? Hopefully, but nearly everyone I know left the exam feeling roughly ten shades worse than when they’d entered regardless of how confident they felt upon entering.

Even if you typed until your fingers cramped, and felt like you understood the questions, there’s still the understanding that you’re graded on a curve, so no matter how well you did it all comes down to how well the person next to you did… which is heartbreaking. Furthermore, there’s the pressure of how to study “correctly” and the shame that comes along with that. For me, I’ve always favored solo studying, however, many preferred group studying which left me feeling like maybe I was missing out. Then there was the question of flash cards vs. note review, along with the number of practice exams to take.

Now, what did I find actually helped me during this whole process? First off, I personally believe that no matter how much you study, or whether your exam is open book or closed book, you will still leave feeling slightly worse than when you entered. Law school exams are designed (in my mind) to cut you short. Teachers want you to prioritize the larger claims over the smaller ones, but that doesn’t change the fact that when the exams end you’ll be left wondering if the claims you picked were the right ones, or regretting the fact that you couldn’t type that much faster so you could write that one extra claim down. My only advice regarding that is to take practice exams. My first torts practice exam I essentially word vomited on a page, it was unorganized and I missed a lot of claims because I was too busy defining little things. After three more practices, I got used to the time limit, understood better how to read the questions, and just overall had better control over my nerves so in the end, my essay came out coherent, organized, and well distributed between the claims.

The most helpful tool however actually came in the form of the 1L BARBRI Mastery Program videos. To be honest I only used these for Civil Procedure after quickly realizing I knew nothing about the subject, cried, and determined I would just have to teach myself in the five available days. In hindsight I wish I had watched the videos for all my courses, because truly I cannot say it enough – THE BARBRI VIDEOS ARE LIFE-SAVING! If it weren’t for those Civ Pro videos myself, and probably most of the 1L class at Penn would have walked into the exam saying “what is Erie” … “subject matter what?”

To summarize, my main advice is:

(1) take some time to rest or you will burn yourself,

(2) study the way you feel comfortable studying and do not waste time feeling guilty about it,

(3) watch/buy the BARBRI videos because they are really life-changing (and no I am not forced or pay to say that)!

#The1Llife: Saving Money in Law School

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 
1L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

We pay A LOT to go to law school so it only makes sense that we should take advantage of any, and all, free services included within that enormous fee. Though your school will likely highlight some of these freebies, others are more hidden … so here are some tips!

Retail

When shopping make sure to always ask if the store offers a student discount. Most do and they range from 10% – 20% for stores like Banana Republic!

Transportation

Amtrak, local trains, and even aircraft providers offer student discounts, so be sure to consult websites, or call to make sure you’re getting the best deal. This is especially import for your local transportation, as train costs add up!

Amazon/Spotify/Apple Music

Unbeknownst to many, popular apps and sites such as Amazon, Spotify and apple music have student pricing. For instance, students get a free 6-month Amazon Prime membership, and after the trial period we pay half the price of a normal membership. Spotify and Apple Music similarly offer stellar deals on monthly memberships, around $5/month!

Entertainment

Your university is home to everything from gyms to museums! Instead of outsourcing for a monthly gym membership or paying for trips to museums at your local museum or theatre, check with your on-campus options to see if your student ID gets you in for free, or at least for a discount. If you decide that your university doesn’t have what you’re looking for, again check for reduced student rates, they can save you a lot – seriously, I got an annual $20 student membership to the Fine Arts Museum in Philadelphia when memberships normally range between $40 and $250.

Health Services

It’s here where your tuition money can really pay off. Counselling appointments and visits to the doctor are expensive, but often necessary. Thanks to your tuition however, these services are usually free, or price-reduced if sought on-campus. For instance, my law school has complimentary counselling through the university counselling centre, weekly drop-in sessions in our building, and through an external organization (who doesn’t report to the bar). Another fun fact is that while many health insurance plans will charge a fee to visit a hospital or clinic, you can avoid paying those fees if you make use of your on-campus health clinic!

Food

Gone are the days when our parents foot the grocery bill. Aside from being expensive, sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy to properly prepare a lunch or snacks to bring with you to school – or maybe you simply don’t have room in your already overflowing backpack. Praise the numerous student organizations and on-campus events that offer free food. If I wanted to, I swear I could snag a free lunch daily, and often those lunches include snacks (like bags of chips or granola bars) which you can take and save for later if you’re so inclined.

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