You may have read in our previous posts advice and tips on being successful in law school, but it seems like we tend to overlook the most important tip: self-care. Without taking time for yourself and your wellbeing, may that be physical or mental, there is a higher risk of burning out.
Law school burnout is real and affects many of us. As we are now halfway through the semester, the workload, stress, and pressure may feel even more intense than it did a couple of weeks ago (if that is even possible). The effects of burning out can be catastrophic on our goals, our mental well-being, and our academic performance. When we don’t feel the best that is reflected in our work. Every student should take time for themselves and the things they enjoy. Whether it’s going to the gym, watching TV, doing spa days, or making time for family and friends we all deserve a break every now and then. By taking the time for yourself, your academic performance betters, your social interactions better, and your mental health thanks you.
Remember: Law school is not easy. It’s okay to take a break and check up on yourself. It’s the little things in life that keep us going, so prioritize yourself, so you can better every other aspect of your life.
I started law school in an unconventional way. Instead of starting on campus and meeting everyone in person, my entire 1L class started law school in a completely virtual forum. For someone like me, virtual was not ideal. I do not do well in a virtual setting where I have to go and reach out to people I have never met before. I looked forward to making connections with people in person, but as circumstances would have it my first year was not what I originally imagined.
When law school started in the fall it was completely virtual which had its pros and cons. Pro: I got to stay at home in Georgia. This was beneficial because law school takes a lot out of a person, physically, emotionally and, mentally. Being at home gave me the comfort and support I needed to navigate the busy lifestyle of being a law school student. Con: I spent the first semester at home making only small connections with people and feeling a little FOMO from the connections I could be making if I just moved to Harrisburg whether we were going to be virtual or not. I knew some of my classmates were already residing in Harrisburg and the best way to get to know them was to step outside of my comfort zone and leave home.
When Spring 2021 came around, I was settled into my apartment in Harrisburg and already making those in person connections with my classmates in the area. The only thing I did not account for was how much I’d miss being home. I decided to live by myself, so when I moved in January for classes it was just me in my apartment for most to all of the day alone doing school work. I went from a boisterous household balancing out the stress of law school to virtual law school, but now alone in a city over 600 miles away from my home. I was homesick and going out occasionally with the friends I had made here was not always enough to curve that homesick feeling.
In the end, moving was the right decision because no matter when I would have moved I would feel homesick. The trick is if you let that feeling bring you down or not. I choose to focus my energy on doing things I enjoyed. Law school helped by keeping me busy, but the friends I made helped as well by giving each other a shoulder to lean on and people to explore a new city with. I may be far from home, but in a way, I found a way to make this place my home.