Monday, November 3, 2014

Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a sense of balance in law school can be difficult. Law school is a full time job that requires self-discipline and dedication. However, it is important to stay balanced so you don’t burn out. Here are some things I do to try and stay balanced (and keep from going crazy) in law school:

Make studying as painless as possible —My study partner and I vary our methods of studying from flashcards to drawing whiteboard diagrams and comparing. And when stress is high we will occasionally pick up Sprinkles cupcakes (because what isn’t better with cupcakes?).

Have non-law-related conversation—Sounds easy, but I found this a lot harder to do than I would have thought. Everything we learn applies to everyday life and it can be difficult to turn that off. I went to a friend’s for dinner and noticed she had an easement her property and the next thing you know we’re talking about property law.

Commiserate with classmates—Seriously. I know this seems counter-intuitive, but with so much of law school being self taught, it’s easy to feel as if you’re the only one who is confused, or gets overwhelmed. Hearing others admit that they too are experiencing all of these things eases anxiety that may interfere with studying.

Fit in family—Everyone has a different family dynamic, but I think if you can find time to spend time with family it helps keep your foundation strong. My cousin and I go to the gym or go out to eat at least once a week. If I find myself overwhelmed with school she will tell me “You have to eat and you need to stay healthy” to get me out of the library and I have yet to find a good counter argument.

Set personal deadlines—If you have a goal in mind you will do better at getting things done and will be able to schedule in other things. I schedule out everything from class specific reading assignments to calling my mom and convincing her I’m not overwhelmed.

Prayer/meditation—I always try and take time in the day for a few minutes of silence to calm myself, reflect, and breathe. Yoga on campus is good for this, as is my car.

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