Setting all that aside, I'm about 2 and 1/2 months into my 2L year. How did that happen? At this time last year, I was just starting to get this whole "law scthool" thing figured out. And by that, I knew how to study and was no longer completely terrified of getting called on in class. Now one year later, the nerves have eased substantially, and I think I'm as settled into law school as well as I'll ever be. Throughout these last few months, I've definitely noticed some big differences between 1L and 2L year, so I thought I'd share these differences with you.
First of all, I am way less nervous. I remember being a little afraid of about everything that happened. I was nervous that a professor would call on me and I wouldn't know the answers. I was nervous that I wasn't studying in the right way for finals. I didn't know the right places to study, or where to go for financial aid help, or what questions to ask my professors. Luckily, over time I started figuring these things out, and now I barely have any nerves. I pretty much roll into school, do my work, go to my classes, and just sort of do life without thinking too much. It's so nice to be able to just go to school and feel settled, rather than worry about everything all the time.
Next, I spend less time studying. Honestly, I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I studied so much last year, and I ended up getting really good grades and being so proud of what I accomplished. Now, I feel like since I know how to do law school better, I don't have to study as much because I've learned how to study more effectively. One of my law school friends said we're all learning to study smarter and not harder, and I think that is definitely true. Thus, because of this more effective studying, I've spent less time reading, taking notes, and studying all together. The extra time I've had from not studying has been so nice, which brings me to my next point...
I'm going to the gym... like, regularly. Part of my fitness enthusiasm is likely due to the fact that I have more time, since I haven't been studying as often. Part of it is that I've spent all of last semester getting my mental health to a good point, and now I feel like it's time to focus on my physical health. I'm going on walks, going to yoga a few times a week, and recently just signed up for a personal trainer. Is this what being a healthy, fit individual is like? Because I kind of dig it.
Another thing I've noticed with my extra non-study time, is that I have time to read for fun again. As a kid, I always loved reading for fun. It's probably why my reading skills are up to par for law school. My most recent read is a book written by two of my favorite podcasters, Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson. The title of the book is literally F*cked, so as you might expect, the material is a little explicit. But it's been a fun read that definitely takes my mind off law school. Another one of my go-to recommendations is this book that teaches people how to be better adults - something every law student will have to do soon.
When I'm not filling up all of my free time with reading or going to the gym, I spend my time planning ahead. While everything is a mystery 1L year, it's hard to really think about the future. However, now that I've got the first year under my belt, a little bit of work experience, and more time to think about the future - I'm trying to make life plans. Although it's impossible to have everything figured out, I've noticed that I'm thinking more about my goals, where I'd like to be, what I'd like to be doing, etc. It's nice to be able to look toward the future and have an idea of what I want.
And of course, I am having so much more fun than I did during 1L year. Listen, it's not like last year was awful. But it definitely wasn't the most fun year of my life. This year, the tides have turned. I'm going on vacations, hanging out with friends, and living without a mountain of stress on my chest. Here's the real deal - 1L year is going to be stressful. It's inevitable. But if you use the entirety of 1L year to just settle into law school and figure everything out, you might just find that 2L year and beyond could be so much fun.