Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Surviving During the "Hard Weeks" in Law School
Hey, everyone - my only class scheduled for today was cancelled, and now I am officially on Thanksgiving break. After break, I only have one day of classes left and then it is finals time! This entire semester has flown by so fast, and I am so nervous for finals, but excited to go back home and see all my friends and family for the holidays. For those of you in school right now as well - congratulations on wrapping up a semester! It's always a tough challenge, but a huge victory once you hit that home stretch.
Today, I'm going to discuss one of the not-so-fun topics about law school. The unfortunate reality of being a law student is that there are going to be a lot of hard days. Sometimes, it feels like there are going to be more hard days than good days. In reality, I know it's not that bad. But, it can be hard to see how great life is when you are drowning in memos to write, career services meetings, endless readings, and of course, going to class. There are definitely some weeks that are harder than others, and it can be difficult to know how to handle it. This last week has definitely been a hard week for me. Not only are finals approaching, but last week the workload seemed incredibly heavy, and my final writing assignment for the semester was due. To add to the school stress, my law school class was unfortunately faced with the tragic death of one of our classmates. Throughout the school, you could feel the stress, anxiety, grief, and sadness throughout the air.
So, you might be wondering, how do you get through weeks like this? To be honest, I am no expert. In fact, sometimes I think I don't handle things like this well at all. But, I will try to give you my best advice for how to survive during the hard weeks in law school
First things first - take care of yourself.
Seriously, you know what to do. Drink your water. Get enough sleep. Eat something. Take a shower. It's surprising how hard the most basic things can be when you are struggling, but these things are all essential to make you feel like a human being. So make sure you take care of yourself.
Take care of others
If you are struggling, so are you friends. Make sure that they're being kind to themselves. Offer yourself as someone to talk to. It's easier to draw strength when someone else needs you, and helping a friend may be the morale boost you need.
Talk to someone - anyone
Call your mom. Text your best friend. Meet with a professor in office hours. This week, all of the law school staff and faculty has made it so clear that they are here to support us. I have had so many professors reach out to lend an ear, offer advice, and take care of my classmates and myself as we deal with the loss of one of our law school brothers. I am so convinced now, if I wasn't before, that all of my professors and law school staff are here to help me succeed, and I am willing to bet most people would find the same at their school.
Give yourself some time away from law school
For the last fifteen days, I have not had a single day where I have not been inside the law building. I have had to spend so much time in the library studying, going to classes, and attending meetings that I can barely remember the last day I wasn't inside my school. It's important to take a break every now and then to get out. My friends and I like to do this by taking trips to get ice cream. Do something fun and mindless that doesn't involve school.
Remember your goals
When law school gets hard, it's easy to make half-serious jokes about giving up and dropping out. I know that I have made plenty. But remember your goals and why you attended law school in the first place. Use that as a motivation to do your best and get through the week.
I know that sometimes, law school feels like you're drowning, and no matter how hard you try, you can't keep your head above water. But keep kicking, keep fighting, get your head above water, and slowly - but surely - you will learn to swim.
I have a hard time too. I'm not the best at this whole "law school" thing yet. But I know that I can get through it all, and I know you can too.