Stress and anxiety are real. So let’s talk about it.

One of the best pieces of advice I received my 1L year was to have a go-to de-stresser. Dealing with stress is hard, and it takes work, but I found this advice very helpful. Developing a habit of turning to something healthy and de-stressing in times of high stress has been a lifeline.

This is going to look different for everybody – some people run, read, paint, take walks, or do breathing exercises. Others cook, write, clean, go for a bike ride, or take a relaxing bath.

Here is my #1 de-stresser:

  1. Singing. Walking from the Green line to my apartment, I will often sing quietly to myself (hoping no one can hear me and think I’m crazy). I may have had a long day, and/or have a long evening of studying ahead of me, but something about singing really calms me. Personally, I find it much more calming than listening to music.

These are not necessarily “go-to’s,” but I have also found the following helpful when I’m having a hard time managing my stress levels:

  1. Take a day off. I know, it sounds crazy for a law student (especially for a 1L). But your grades will not drop, nor will your career come crashing down around you if you take a day off. Law school is exhausting – it pushes your brain harder than it may ever have been pushed. The stress can also be exhausting. Taking a day to not think about school can sometimes be exactly what you need. Don’t be afraid to do this when law schools feels overwhelming.
  2. Hang out with non-law students. I love my law school friends, but sometimes it can be really healthy to hang out with people who don’t know who Justice Harlan is, or who have no idea what IRAC means. It gives you perspective, and it reminds you that there is a world beyond the law tower!
  3. Go explore Boston. Boston is an amazing city, with an incredibly rich history. It’s easy to spend all of your time either in the library or your apartment. The T takes you directly to downtown Boston – take an afternoon and explore! Get a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry. Enjoy the Boston Commons.

I don’t mean to over-simplify stress or anxiety. They are complex, and you may need help to learn how to deal with their presence in your life. Our school has fantastic resources (contact info for the school’s student health services is listed below), to help students struggling with anxiety.

Please just consider this some suggestions that have helped me, as I continue to learn how to manage my own stress!


BU Student Health Services/Behavioral Medicince
881 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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