As I began applying to law schools, I was continually reminded by peers, attorneys, and others that law school was hard. Unfortunately, you don’t have the opportunity to grasp the true nature and difficulty of law school until you are drowning in reading assignments your first semester. When I reached this particular point, I asked myself, “Why didn’t anyone tell me how to manage the stress, intensity and overwhelming nature of this education? If they knew it was coming, as they warned, why didn’t they offer any advice or guidance?”
Honestly, I still don’t have an answer to those questions. Maybe those individuals felt as if I would figure it out on my own. Luckily for me, I did. For anyone reading this, I intend to provide the highlights of the tips and tricks I have gathered throughout my years at Widener. These tips helped me make the “bear” that is law school a little more manageable.
Remember to always take time for yourself and your well-being. For me, that meant going to the gym once a day and heading home on weekends to spend time with my family. Maintaining your mental and physical health is as important as completing your school work. You will not be able to adequately perform or provide level headed advice for your future clients if you don’t take care of yourself first.
When you stop being productive, PUT THE BOOK DOWN. You will reach a point where you find yourself re-reading the same sentence over and over without being able to grasp an understanding. This is a sign that you need a break. When you return, that paragraph or concept that seemed incomprehensible will no longer pose the same problem. Sometimes all you need is to step away from the assignment to get a clearer picture.
As hard as this may be, DO NOT compare yourself to others. Everyone learns differently. It is very easy to compare yourself to other students, but that is a waste of precious time and energy. Focus on yourself.
Don’t forget your “why?” When you are feeling defeated by the weight and pressures of law school, remember why you chose this path and the future goals and aspirations you have been working toward thus far. The satisfaction is worth it. When you put in the time and the work, you WILL succeed.
Yes, law school is hard, but it is not impossible. Remember these tips and create new ones as you begin your own journey. I wish you all the best of luck. Cheers!