“Everything else”

Yesterday, I spent a half hour talking to a friend I’ve known since elementary school. She’s at a much different place in her life; she has a great career and lives in New York City with her husband – far from the academic world that I exist in. As we talked, she didn’t ask how my evidence outline was coming along, or how much reading I have to do for health law this weekend. Instead, we talked about our relationships, our apartments, family, and high school memories.

To be honest, I didn’t have much to contribute to the conversation in the way of “what are you up to these days?” November 1st is fast approaching, and any fun weekend activities I did up until now are quickly being replaced by library days. My life, to anyone not in law school, probably seems unbelievably boring.

But a catch-up chat with a friend who has known me for so long reminded me of how important it is to keep some perspective when law school starts taking over. She knew me before law school and she’ll know me after. Right now, law school is all consuming and the rest is “everything else.” But my phone call with her reminded me of all the things that I am besides a law school student.

Law school, though it may seem like it at times, is not life. And it is crucial to maintain those “not law school” things – relationships with friends and family, hobbies, reading the news – even when it feels like you don’t have time.

True, you won’t always be able to take a weekend trip to visit a friend or see family. It’s not fun when you feel like you’re missing out on events that are important to you, and it’s a sacrifice you have to make to do well in law school. But, whenever possible, it is important to cultivate your relationships with people who don’t live in the law school bubble.

I must say that having this perspective is much easier now than it was 1L year. During the first year, it can be very difficult to find a balance between law school and the collective “everything else.” But the point of this post is to emphasize the importance of trying to find the balance. Though it’s great to commiserate with law school friends who are facing the same challenges, it is important to stay in touch with the people who represent the other parts of your life as well.

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