“Break” me off a piece of that… Turkey?

As echoed in previous posts, law school Thanksgivings can be a tough balance of: relaxation and work, family movies and tort law, avoiding relatives and FedRCivP Rule 23(B), etc etc. Having encountered my first law school Thanksgiving, I’m choosing to reflect on what the break taught me about slowing down.

Before leaving for break, people (myself included) were stressed about how much work to take home, uncertain about how much it would be feasible to get done at home, and more or less anxious about having a change in schedule so close to exam time. Upon return, general demeanor echoed feelings about difficulty returning to a schedule and disappointment about not getting everything done that was anticipated. But I also noticed something else about the general demeanor: nobody, in expressing the difficult return or disappointment about work, seemed unhappy about it.

I didn’t get as much of my outline done when I was home. And I’d be lying if I said it was easy returning to my apartment and heading to school the next morning after 4 days of sleeping in. But this break was rewarding, relaxing, and necessary for both physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It was necessary to have a few days with no set schedule, eat home cooked meals, and be able to stay up a little later and sleep in a few more hours. Spending time with family and friends and being able to indulge a little certainly filled up my soul.

Thanksgiving break is exactly the refresh I think we all needed to gear up for the coming weeks of exam prep and finals. It also illustrated the importance of taking care of oneself both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Taking breaks shouldn’t be taboo- in fact, they should be mandatory. Letting your mind reset and enjoying non-law-school things is absolutely integral to keeping a balance of school and life. Without these breaks, it’s not sustainable to be firing on all cylinders all of the time. And it seems like everyone else is firing on all cylinders all of the time, but I promise, they’re not. It’s important to remember to run your own race, and if that means taking a day or two off to rejuvenate, then that’s perfectly okay. Maybe Thanksgiving break actually comes at exactly the right time, and serves as a reminder to relax, breathe, and maintain a balance heading into finals. And I’m thankful for that.

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