Know Your Limit

As this semester quickly moves to its end, stress begins to mount. Outlining, finals, job hunting, summer plans, and other law school-related woes begin bearing down on each of us.  One of the most important lessons I learned this year is to know your limit.

If you continue to learn more about yourself as you progress through law school, you’ll start to work smarter. Whether you learn to balance your life differently or you realize supplements give you the right edge or advantage or simply you work to fix your mistakes, you will learn how to work smarter. Once you master what working smarter means for you, you’ll find that you can still work hard, put the time in, and alleviate the stress you probably felt from 1L. This isn’t to say stress will completely disappear but an immense amount of stress we each feel in law school is self-imposed. For whatever personal reasons, we feel this pressure internally then we push ourselves too far for too long.

For whatever your own personal reasons to pressure yourself, please keep in mind that you can only do your best. It’s cliché; I know. It’s also true. At some point, we push ourselves well beyond what our bodies and minds can handle. Believe it or not, you need sleep. Restful sleep. You also need to eat. You need diversions to let your brain process and relax. My old boss once told me that when you intellectually stimulate yourself (e.g. studying), you need more sleep to help recharge your body and your brain. It may explain why you may think an all-nighter or back-to-back twelve-hour days on maybe six hours of sleep may be what you need to do, but it is not working smarter. Law school is a marathon. You need to recharge to keep going because these small spurts or sprints won’t be the best for you. Not only should you do your best but you should do what’s best for you.

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