My July Playlist (Including the Current Theme Song to My Life)

After I get tired of listening to Kaplan Bar Review Lectures all day, I resort to listening to more entertaining (and sometimes even more depressing) things. Here’s a list of the songs currently on rotation in my iTunes and Spotify libraries.

  1. Hurry, Hurry by Air Traffic Controller (this is legitimately the theme song to my life right now. It’s super fast and upbeat, but neurotic at the same time. I LOVE IT.)
  2. Still by Daughter
  3. Tokyo by Lily Kershaw
  4. Just Be Mine by Cher Lloyd
  5. Back Home by Andy Grammer
  6. Forgive Me by Austra
  7. Holes by Passenger
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We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blogging…

All right, fine. So my hair isn’t “resting” like Princess ShinyLocks’s hair, BUT T#G will probably be a little quieter over the next several weeks as I spend most of my waking hours studying for the bar exam.

I won’t stop posting altogether, but I’ll probably only post twice a week at most. Carry on.

Shoutout to Kate Middleton for the Win for the photo.

Because I’m Happier Than Pharrell

I have my first (and technically only) final tomorrow, and I know it’s going to absolutely brutal. I’ve taken plenty of law school finals to know that when I walk back into my house tomorrow afternoon, this will be me:

Despite the ominous cloud that is currently hanging over my head, I AM OVER THE MOON. Why? Because yesterday my little blog reached 100 followers, AND it had the most page views in its history! So, as of right now, this IS me:

Thank you to everyone who has viewed, liked, commented, and followed The Hashtag Generation! And thank you all for sharing a little piece of your life with us with your blogs. Aaaaand thank you giving me a little glimmer of happiness in what is otherwise a dreadful week (I have five papers I have to edit and submit :/). #grateful

A Millennial’s Guide to Surviving Final Exams

You hear that? It’s the sound of being productive, interacting with actual humans, and eating healthy all flying out the window. Why? Because it’s that time of year again: FINALS.

But don’t worry, because not only is Ryan Gosling here to cheer you on, but I’ve got some tips to help you get through the worst two weeks of your life (this year).

  1. Clean your room. If you do this before you start studying, you’ll be less inclined to procrastinate by cleaning later.
  2. Listen to the Harry Potter soundtracks. Open up Spotify and stream the Harry Potter soundtracks for free (Goblet of Fire, Half-Blood Prince, and both Deathly Hallows’ soundtracks are the best, in my opinion) while you work. The music is enough to drown out any other background noises without being too distracting in itself, but epic enough that you’ll think studying or writing a paper is just as important as defeating Voldemort. It will create a sense of urgency, and you’ll actually like working.
  3. Handwrite notes. If you’re having trouble remembering something, like an important fact (or if you’re in law school like me, maybe you’re having trouble remembering a particular rule of law), write it out on a sheet of paper. Do this even if you already have it typed out on your computer. Taking pen to paper helps etch it into your brain a little better.
  4. Don’t study in the same place all the time. A change of scenery can be a good thing. Leave your house to go study at the library, or maybe leave the library to study at a coffee shop. Studies show that changing your studying environment can increase the likelihood that you’ll remember the material you’re trying to learn.
  5. Outline the important stuff. Write up all the fundamental information you need to know. In other words, consolidate your notes into something more manageable. You’ll be reviewing it as you go along, and you’ll end up with a nice little study guide by the time you’re finished.
  6. Turn off your wi-fi (and maybe even your cell phone). If you don’t need the internet to get your studying done, just flip the wi-fi switch off for a little while. You’ll be less tempted to check Facebook and Buzzfeed if you don’t have internet. If you can’t stop texting, it might be a good idea to turn off your phone, too.
  7. Don’t pull an all-nighter. I’ve gone through seven years of higher education without pulling one – and I’m doing just fine. All-nighters will just make everything worse, especially if your exam is the next day. It’s also a dumb idea to try to write a long paper overnight without taking a break to sleep.
  8. Prep with other people. This doesn’t mean you have to put together a study group or spend hours together crammed in a study room at the library. But if you have a question, text or call a friend who is in the class. I’ve learned more from some of my classmates about a particular topic than I ever did from the professor who taught the course.
  9. Take breaks. Split up your study time into chunks, and leave a few long breaks in between. Getting your mind off mentally-taxing topics will help you focus better in the long run. And if most of your study time requires you to look at your computer screen, don’t spend your break surfing the web or watching YouTube videos. At least watch TV or go outside or something.
  10. Never forget that Ryan Gosling believes in you.

Learning How to Read for Fun Again

Somewhere in my parents’ attic sits a cardboard box filled with dozens of books from the “Baby-sitter’s Little Sister” series. My first-grade self stumbled across the series at my elementary school’s book fair.

This cover is absurd. Ways you can tell Karen is about to drown: 1) Where’s your oxygen tank, Karen? 2) Where’s your wetsuit, Karen? 3) What’s up with those two fish next to you that look like a bulldog’s head, Karen? 4) Where’s your scuba diving buddy, Karen? It sure ain’t that platypus/stingray hybrid creature in the background.

I LIVED for the book fair. I didn’t want to be a kid in a candy store. I wanted to be a kid in a book fair. Buy ALL the books, buy ALL the bookmarks with fuzzy animals on them, and buy ALL the pencils! Anywho, I don’t remember exactly how I realized that “Karen’s Island Adventure”  would be a good read (I do, however, remember that I learned how to spell the word “surgery”  while reading the book. For about the first half of it, I didn’t understand how Karen’s friend could possibly be having heart “sugary.” I thought the doctors were going to cover it in sugar, which made absolutely no sense. Yeah, I was dumb), but since I was like 6 years-old, there is an astronomically high probability that I just thought the cover looked pretty. That’s right, I judged a book by its cover. And guess what? It paid off, because I flew through that book in a day.

And so began my addiction to Ann M. Martin novels. I had always been a voracious reader. My mama taught me well. Bedtime stories were a must. I always checked out lots of books from the library. I borrowed “The Rainbow Fish” so many times that my parents bought me my own copy. It is now one of my most prized possessions. But I digress. Wait, where was I? Oh, yeah, my personal “Baby-sitter’s Little Sister” library.

I eventually graduated to the “Baby-sitter’s Club” series, but by that point, I had to check them out from the library because my “little” collection was getting rather expensive to maintain. I was so obsessed that I modeled my handwriting after the character Stacy’s handwriting (I know, I was nuts).

I began dabbling in other series, and pretty soon, I was a fixture at the local library. I loved going to the library so much that I signed up as a volunteer shelver every summer during middle school.

Surrounded by shelves upon shelves of books was like being in heaven. I was like a less cultured Rory Gilmore (“Nothing, nothing smells like that.”  “I’m sorry, did I just see you smell that book?!”). To this day, I love the smell of books. Once again, I’m nuts.

Somewhere along the line – probably the latter half of high school – I stopped reading as much. To make a long story short, I just didn’t have enough free time anymore. Plus, Facebook was invented. #loser #procrastination

By the time I reached law school, my love of reading was dead (#RIPBooks). After reading cases all day, the last thing I wanted to do was read some more. My hands were cramped from scribbling so many handwritten notes in the margins. You should see my law school textbooks from my first year. I switched up my pen colors and highlighter colors – because that was one of the few ways to make the textbook look remotely happy and fun – and the result at the end of the year was a collection of rainbow-colored papers. Yes, I am a nerd.

Torts-textbookExhibit A: making a law textbook look slightly cute by using a purple highlighter and pink pen
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Nick Miller: the Voice of Law Students Everywhere

On last night’s new episode of “New Girl,” Schmidt got sued and reluctantly hired Nick as his lawyer. You know, Nick Miller. He’s the guy who dropped out of law school (but still took the bar exam and passed) and has never litigated a case before in his life. Nick’s pitch to Schmidt is pretty much the equivalent of the pep talk I give to myself before delivering an oral argument in class.

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Also, at the end of the plaintiff’s deposition, he says this: