Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Separating School and Home Life


Law school is hard and time-consuming. I'm sure that's something you have heard before. I know it's something I have said in many blog posts before. However, although you might spend 40 hours per week with your head buried in your books, it is important that you also have the ability to do something other than school for awhile and have some free time as well. In order to keep yourself mentally stable during law school, most people suggest scheduling time to forget about school. You must be able to separate your school life and your home life in order to be successful.

Study Schedule

The first important step in making sure that you can separate your school and home life is to make sure you set up a good study schedule. This will help you manage your time and make it easier for you to know when you will work on school and when you will have free time. If you're like me, and treating school like a job, this is a fairly easy task. School occupies my day until 5:00 p.m., and then the rest of the night is free for me to do as I please. Maybe you want to schedule a few hours of free time for yourself in the middle of the day, or before your classes start. However you do it, make sure it works with your study schedule.

Focus

This seems fairly obvious, but it is also important to point out. When you are at school, focus on school. When you are at home, focus on anything but school. If I am at school, I am either in class or studying in the library. Other than the occasional 15 minute break to clear my head, I don't work on anything else while I am in the law building. I don't use social media, read the news, pay my bills, or even check my blog while I am at school. I want to make sure I mentally associate being at school with working on my studies.

Restrict Your Computer

Like I mentioned above, I don't use social media when I am at school. At least not on my computer - I will check it on the small breaks I give myself or as I am sitting waiting for class to start. However, generally I have a rule: when I am at school I don't pull up social media or entertainment websites. Then, when I am at home, I don't pull up my school's online course management system, log into Evernote, or even check school emails most of the time. This is one of the best ways I have found to separate my school and home life.

Make Plans Outside of School

In order to get yourself to not think about law school for awhile, make plans to do something other than study. Whether it is going to a movie with your friends, going out to eat, seeing sporting events or concerts, or even playing board games - do something that doesn't involve the element of intent or LexisNexis. That stuff is great when your learning, but it should be the last thing on your mind while you are trying to relax. I made weekend plans to visit a friend soon, and it is so nice knowing that I will get out of this town and get to do something other than law school for a day.

Get Enough Sleep

Seriously, this is really important. I know you might think that you should stay up all night studying Civil Procedure, but if you aren't sleeping enough you'll be useless in school. If you are so tired in class that all you can think about is going home to nap, then you have officially lost your separation of school and home life. So make sure you sleep enough at night so you can focus on school when you are at school.


I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to be able separate home and law school. I mean, don't get me wrong, I enjoy law school and what I am learning. But I also enjoy going home each night and forgetting that law school exists. So make sure you set up some degree of separation from school and home. You'll thank yourself for it the minute you do.




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