Wednesday, October 30, 2013

26 Hours a Day, 9 Days a Week...

By Marlee, 1L

Figuring out how to balance school, activities, friends, and family is a tenacious challenge. It seems as if it is impossible to fit all the activities I want to do in a mere 24 hour day, 7 day week. There are certain days where I just can’t seem to accomplish any of the goals I set out to accomplish. I find myself skipping that spin class I promised myself I would go to or canceling my lunch plans with my very pregnant sister. While I rationalize my flaking as “being too tired” or “having too much work” I have found that setting time aside to accomplish those goals outside of school is just as important as hitting the library.
Yes, law school is time consuming and requires a lot of attention, but maintaining a healthy, happy, and well-balanced life is just as important. I have noticed when I am overwhelmed it seems that piling on the readings and pulling an all-nighter seems like the appropriate solution. However, it seems as if the opposite is true. When stress levels are at a high, the antidote is simply taking a break. 

I have always found being active is a great way to relieve stress. Now, more than ever, I have realized the importance of using exercise as an anxiety relief. My new drug of choice is spin. Around six when I hit a wall and could easily fall asleep, I make sure to go to a spin class, run around my neighborhood, or go do a cheesy exercise video with my roommate. I notice that taking an hour away from reading and thinking and allowing some endorphins to flow really helps change my outlook. Knowing when it is time to put the case book down and take a break is crucial.

My nephew, the cutest kid ever
Also, taking time to see family and friends has helped rebalance me when I feel overwhelmed. After our first law school test, 1L’s had no class the Tuesday after. I had planned to spend my day reading and working on my memo. However, after snoozing my alarm until ten, I woke up and realized that my day of productivity was going in a different direction. I decided to spend the day with my sister and nephew. I knew in the back of my mind that I could do work, but I knew that I also needed to take a break. Unfortunately, I had canceled plans with my sister one too many times as I prepared for my test in the week prior. I spent the morning with her and my nephew watching Dora the Explorer and picking out pumpkins. While Dora the Explorer wasn’t exactly the kind of entertainment I had expected, my morning out was the perfect activity to transition from studying mode and back into school mode. I was home later in the afternoon and was able to focus on school refreshed and refocused.
The bottom line is, it is easy to get caught up in everyday demands, but it is important to remember life outside of law school and finding what is needed to maintain a happy, healthy, balanced life. Whether it is watching a favorite TV show, going out to lunch with a friend, taking a work out class, or taking some me-time, a break every now and then is necessary. Sometimes taking a step away from “the grind” is all you need to get re-motivated.  


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