Post-Finals Reset

Now that finals are over, most of us have at least a week of break-time before jumping into our next adventures at our summer jobs. Last year I had three weeks of down-time, and this year I only have one-and-a-half weeks, but nonetheless there are a few things that I find absolutely necessary to reset my physical, mental, and emotional well-being and bring me back to balance before embarking on the next adventure. I thought I’d share a few of the things I find imperative, and hope to hear from others on what they like to do to unwind after a long year!

Time with Family and Friends

I’ve spent the past month and a half saying no to engagements with family and friends on the weekend because I’ve needed the time to study. The first thing I like to do after finals are over is to say “yes,” immediately, to seeing my family and friends. This accomplishment of finishing the year is not just mine but also the accomplishment of my support system as well. This year, finals ended right before Mother’s Day, which was perfect timing. I got to celebrate with my parents and family, including my sister on her first Mother’s Day and my niece! I also made plans to see my college roommates for a girls’ weekend at the lake and to catch up with law school friends outside of the classroom before we go our separate ways for the summer.

Clean (again!)

If you may recall, I recently wrote a post about “procrasti-cleaning,” or the pre-finals cleaning I have to do before I really get down into studying. Well, despite the cleaning I did before finals, things always end up being somewhat of a disaster after finals, as well. Enter: another round of cleaning! It helps “purge” the stress, tension, and anxiety that have been building and harboring for the past month. I also take this time to return textbooks and recycle class papers and notes I won’t need. This helps de-clutter and make way for any documents or materials I’ll need for the summer and next school year!

Something fun by yourself

Something I’m actually not very good at yet but am trying to do more of is doing things alone. I usually get so caught-up in seeing everyone else and attending to relationships that I haven’t been able to support in the past months that I forget to take some time to breathe, alone, and be proud of myself for the effort I’ve put in. This year I got lucky, as the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Playoffs had an opening round game at Boston College, and the two teams playing were Syracuse (my favorite team) and Princeton. It was a balmy Friday afternoon and though I was tired from the flurry of activity right after finals I drove myself there and went. When I was there, I wasn’t a law student on break, I was another lacrosse fan who just sat and was present at the game. It was a fantastic game (though Syracuse lost) and went into double overtime. Doing this one thing by myself was really relaxing, and I enjoyed the sense of calm it brought.

Something fun you’ve been putting off

This can be with friends or alone, whichever you prefer, but I think it lends less to self-reflection and more to fun. We’ve had to say “no” to practically 75% of the “fun” things that come our way during the school year because we don’t have the freedom our peers have on the weekends. Take some time to schedule something you had to miss out on, like going rock-climbing or to a food truck festival, or even just take a Sunday and do “normal” things you don’t usually get to do: go to Brookline Booksmith, visit a specialty food and wine store, read a novel, and enjoy the freedom of not having a schedule for once!

Self-Care

Self-Care is one of the things I think our generation in general is lacking, not to mention everyone in law school who puts their studies above their own well-being. Self-care is really important and integral to personal maintenance; without self-care, you won’t be able to jump into the summer as your best self! Self-care can mean a lot of things: it can be treating yourself to a pedicure, getting a massage, buying a new outfit for work; it can also mean stocking up with healthy food at the grocery store, scheduling doctor’s appointments that you’ve been putting off, or setting up a work-out routine. Self-care isn’t always “treat yo’self,” and sometimes it’s not that fun (doctor’s appointments and working out!) but it is so important to making sure we can keep going and be our best selves.

Are there any routines or things you like to do after finals to reset? Let me know!

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