Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How to Spend Spring Break in Law School


Writing a post on how to spend your law school spring break is somewhat ironic. Why? You may ask. Well, my spring break was last week and it seemed to be more of a horror story than a break. Have you ever been gone on a trip and come back, just to think "I need a vacation from my vacation"? Yeah. That's me right now. I'll give you guys the quick summary of why:

Only five minutes into my short roadtrip to the airport, a freak snowstorm with whiteout conditions (it was clear when I left my apartment, with no snow in the forecast) caused a 70+ car accident, and little old  me was car #5 involved. This involved about 2 hours of being stuck on the interstate, police dropping me off without a ride in a tiny mountain town,  and a three hour struggle of finding someone to pick me up and take me back to my apartment. Luckily, I still made my flight to go home early the next morning, and I got in to see my family. Unluckily, this meant that my first two days back were spent calling my insurance, state police, and towing companies to find my car and file a claim. Tuesday I had a job interview (future post about that later). Wednesday I found out my car was totaled from the accident. Thursday I went through the long process of buying a car. Friday I had to get everything set up to insure my new car, and then pack my belongings to leave. Saturday and Sunday were a sixteen-hour roadtrip back to school. So when I finally arrived back at my apartment Sunday night, I was officially exhausted and felt like I needed a break - you know, like the one I was supposed to have.

All in all, I got lucky. A giant car accident on the side of a mountain could've ended a lot worse, and I feel a little guilty for complaining about the stress it caused. However, a stressed-out spring break was not what I had been looking forward to. No use worrying about things I cannot control in the past, though! However, in order to help other future law students brainstorm how to enjoy their spring break, here are some of my suggestions on how to have a great spring break in law school!

Don't even think about school

Some people like to use spring break as a way to catch up on readings, start outlining, study more, etc. To me, this is an awful way to spend spring break. Sure, being ahead in my classes sounds wonderful. But I also know that burnout is so real. Every now and then, I just need a break from the stress and struggle that is law school, and spring break is the perfect opportunity. Instead of using spring break as a time to get ahead, just make sure that you are on top of things going into break. Then, you can use the week as a true break from school and not even think about case briefs or writing memos or all of the other awful things that make up our days in law school. This is one thing that I was successfully able to do during spring break, and I am so thankful for it.

Get out of town

As a budget-savvy law student, I always scoff at movies where students are able to go on extravagant spring break vacactions to the beach. Who is paying for that? While that may be the reality for some people, it certainly is not for me or for most people I know. However, I do understand the appeal. If you live in a true college town like I do, it can get a little bit old after awhile. Spring break is the perfect time to get away for a little bit! Most people at my school go home for break to see their families or friends. This is what I did - I was lucky enough to get a $250 plane ticket, which was budget-friendly and so perfect for a week away. But even if you can't get that far, find something to do outside of where you live. Spend one night away in a nearby city at a hotel. Find a state park and go explore nature. Or even just go on a long drive for a day. But change up your scenery and get out of town, at least for a day.

Plan for your future

So if you aren't thinking about school, chances are, you'll feel the need to do SOMETHING productive. Use this time to make future plans, whether it be planning for your summer job, your career, or even things for the next school year like where to live. I went on job interviews while I was back in my home state. I know a lot of people used the time to apply for jobs, or even just to polish resumes and cover letters. I have some friends with their sights set on transferring, so they worked on transfer applications. You could also use this time to find a new place to live for next year, do some spring cleaning to organize for the rest of the semester, or even just think about your goals and plans. That way you can be a little productive without immediate pressure.

and last, but not least...

Have fun. Seriously.

You're on a break from school. You're still young. And you deserve to enjoy life a little bit. So go ahead and have some fun. I did get to spend one day of break having a movie marathon with my best friend, and that was seriously the best day of my week. It doesn't have to be big, you just have to enjoy it. So find some way to have a little bit of fun and your break will be better because of it. 

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