Asking For Help

I think a lot of people, including myself, view asking for help as a type of taboo in law school. Law school can be overwhelmingly difficult and the pressure often feels quite tangible. Conversely, I’ve also found law school, thus far, to be both rewarding and inspiring.

From competing against friends and classmates for the set number of top grades to securing employment for the summer to balancing the many commitments of a 2L, law school can be very demanding. I’ve always been comfortable with over-extending myself and handling pressure in a very calm and successful way. I was (foolishly) expecting 2L year to be much less stress than 1L year. At times, I joke with my friends that I actually miss 1L year when all I worried about was exclusively reading and doing well.

Unfortunately, I realized at the start of the semester that I was not fully prepared to confront a second year of studying the law. I found myself snoozing my alarm regularly, working out very inconsistently, and eating quite poorly. Being a morning person who goes to the gym religiously six days a week, I felt less in control of my life than I ever have before. Within a few weeks of 2L year, I was staring at a stack of self help books on my bookshelf, trying to find some solution to handle all the stress I was feeling.

I remember working out with a friend at the gym one morning and as I was sitting on the leg press machine, he said: “you know, you’re always someone who seems to have everything together and under control and lately, it seems like you might not.” I was struck the first few months of school at how many of my friends were noticing my downward shift and offering a shoulder or ear.

As law students, I think many of us, myself included, are very used to being perceived as high achieving, successful, type-A adults who have everything color coded and in line. Many of my friends have expressed how they wish issues surrounding personal health were more openly discussed in the legal community and among classmates. Law school is quite a unique experience in the American education system and I am proud that our Student Affairs Office has made improvements this year to adress issues surrounding emotional and mental health in the legal field. Boston University also has great counseling services offices for students and, unsurprisingly they are very used to dealing with law students. I’ve felt a great deal of support from the BU Law community since I began as a 1L and that support has certainly continued throughout the start of my 2L year.

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