Law school is rough. Maybe you’ve heard about it.
Stress-filled nights turn into anxiety-filled weeks. Constant rumors about the poor legal market bitter your morning coffee. Competition for curved grades and limited internship opportunities turns classmates into opposition. You wake up, you go to class, you study until you pass out. Repeat. ‘Tis the life of a law school student.
Or so we’re meant to believe.
It is true that your journey through law school is hard work. A lot of it. But that doesn’t mean that you need to spend every waking moment reviewing for class. In fact, you’d be better off if you didn’t.
Student’s who are happy, enjoy their lives, and are less stressed will do better in school. Yes, it’s true. Maintaining your sanity during the school year is actually important and beneficial to you, both as a scholar and a human being.
Tips For Maintaining Your Sanity
Be Efficient With Your Time. As a law school student, you are going to have piles of stuff that need your time. Homework, class, studying, networking, interviews, research, and more are beckoning to be taken care of. You obviously don’t have time to put your maximum effort towards each, so you’ll need to be efficient the what time you do have.
Use a calendar, write “To Do” lists, and create daily schedules, anything to help you stay organized. Plus, the more efficient you become, the more free time you’ll have to tend to your all-important mental health.
Unwind Before Going to Sleep. Like I mentioned earlier, law school is rough. You will be spending the vast majority of your time doing law school related activities that drain your energy, zap your happiness, and confound your consciousness. Sometimes you just need a break from it all to unwind and relax.
Taking a break to unwind before going to sleep will be immensely beneficial to not just your mental health, but your physical health as well. Let me explain.
Your body obviously needs rest. But oftentimes it struggles to shut down completely when you have a million and two thoughts buzzing around in your brain. A day of hard word builds stress and anxiety, leading to sleepless tossing and turning.
Make Time For Your Friends And Family. Throughout law school you will experience your fair share of peeks and valleys. Staying close with the people who are most important to you will give you a sort of safety net that you can always fall back on in times of need.
Taking a couple hours to do something totally unrelated to law school is a great way to recover from the harsh beating your mind takes throughout the day.
This is probably one the most over-looked and underappreciated tips for maintaining your sanity, whether or not you’re a law school student. But it is essential for your long-term health.
Don’t Pull All-Nighters. Not only are you missing out on some much-needed sleep, you’re wasting your time.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “I’ll sleep on it” countless times. Research shows that getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t just help restore your body physically, but is proven to reinvigorate you mentally. Sleeping allows your mind and body to internalize everything you did throughout the day. When you’re sleeping, your mind gets a chance to organize and process everything it took in the previous day, allowing you to wake up fresh and ready for new challenges.
Indulge In A Guilty Pleasure. Whether you enjoy your daily does of old-school cartoons, a glass of wine before bedtime, or chowing down on some not-so-healthy snacks, it may actually be beneficial to treat yourself once you’ve finished your work for the day. Having something to look forward to will lessen the burden of working during the day, keeping you happy, excited, and mentally stimulated.
Make Friends With People Who Don’t Go To Law School. School related activity takes up the vast majority of your time, so when you have a break in the day, it’s nice to talk about something other than Professor Svinkolitz’s case study. Making friends with people outside of the legal community will give you a much needed law school breather, as well as some fresh conversational material.
Stay In Shape. Staying in shape will keep you mentally sharp, confident, and ready to tackle the day’s daily challenges. If you feel good about yourself, you’ll feel better about life. Whether you enjoy going to the gym, jogging around the block, or bike riding at sun-set, getting your fitness on is great way to escape from reality for a bit.
Eat Right. Going along with staying in shape and sleeping well, eating right will keep you physically strong and mentally sharp. You’ll feel better, look better, and will have the confidence to do better in school and in the workforce if you do the little things right.
Laugh Often. Law school is stressful! It’s hard, demanding, rigorous, and competitive. So when you have a couple hours of down time, turn on a comedy and just unload. Sometimes it’s nice to forget the big picture for a minute and purely live in the moment by laughing uncontrollably at something stupid or silly. Laugh, and laugh often. You’ll be happier because of it.