Halfway Done with Law School

As of Friday, I am at the halfway benchmark of completing Law School! It’s so hard to believe that I’m halfway there. I had two traditional finals during the first week of finals week, and then I came home to New York and wrote my big final paper for Entertainment Law. It felt so good to submit (especially after finalizing so many footnotes!) and to relax and hang out with some of my oldest friends as a little celebration afterward.

I’m home on break now (and thankful that break is a little big longer this year, as we don’t have the Lawyering Lab this year). I’m taking advantage of this longer break by going to Paris with my college roommate for New Years. I’ve never been before, and couldn’t be more excited! I will likely do a post on the trip once I return, but for now I thought I’d reflect on the most valuable lessons I’ve learned at the halfway mark of this educational journey:

  1. Make time for balance. Understandably, I had the most difficulty with this as a 1L due to the sheer volume of work that had to be done each week. I am the queen of telling everybody how important self-care is. The constant stimulation that most of us experience in daily life needs counter-balance. For me, it means taking time for exercising, hanging out with friends, going to the movies, reading non-law school books, cooking, taking Epsom salt baths and doing face masks, organizing my apartment (I find it super therapeutic), or just giving myself a simple manicure. There are so many ways to approach this – it could even mean carving out 15 or 30 minutes in the evenings to listen to a podcast, scroll through your favorite blog, or meditate. A mantra that I’m taking into 2018 with me: “Extremes are easy. Strive for balance.” – Colin Wright
  2. Schedule your weeks in advance. Every Thursday after classes end for the week, I take time to map out how my next week will generally look. This helps me to block out adequate time for doing homework and assignments (I had the issue 1L of not setting time parameters around my work and spending way too many hours doing readings in the first month or two). It also helps to block out time for running errands, socializing, cooking, the list goes on. I love doing this because it helps me to prioritize my workload and also allocate time for non-academic pursuits.
  3. Don’t be attached to outcomes. As a self-professed Type-A (and at times, straight up control freak), this is very difficult for me, but it’s probably the biggest life lesson that law school has taught me so far. There’s a lot of unspoken (and spoken) pressure to perform exceedingly well in class. Most of us were used to this before entering law school, but there’s something to be said for working hard, giving your best effort, and then accepting the result – no matter what it may be. I think it’s very easy in life to fall into the trap of having external factors affect our self-worth. It’s a dangerous game because we cannot be in control of how things turn out 100% of the time no matter how hard we try. There is something beautiful about surrendering to that uncertainty – it’s definitely a practice and it take conscious effort, but it is transformative to live in that space.

Thanks for reading! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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