Every law school student reaches a point in their studies when they’d like to call it quits; just throw in the towel, call it a day, and start moving back home. For lack of a better terms, this “mid-law school crisis” is common and therefore treatable. While actually suffering the pangs of such a crisis might be unavoidable, there are several ways to cope. From pampering yourself to seeking professional help, you can restore faith in your choices and get back on track to reaching your goals as a successful attorney. Read the tips below to start calming your nerves and get headed in the right direction again.
Take A Personal Day
When you start feeling the walls of stress beginning to cave in on you and your sanity, you need to stay strong by reaffirming your belief in yourself. It might sound pretty “soul-searching-esque” but a little bit of “me” time can help bring you back down to Earth.
As long as you don’t have a major exam, internship, or interview, take a day to cool your jets. Plan to do all of your favorite activities, eat your favorite foods, and watch your favorite movie. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as it makes you happy and gets your mind of things. If you have a free weekend coming up, consider flying home to be with friends and family. Talking to those closest to you can help put things in perspective and remind you of why you wanted to go to law school in the first place.
Taking care of yourself, getting some sleep, and making a little time for your passions and hobbies can give you the strength you need to walk back into law school like you own the place. When you have faith in yourself, the rest falls into place.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
If you’re always hanging out with “that guy” who questions the professor just to be a devil’s advocate, who whines every time you have to go to the library, and is questioning his own belonging at law school, then you have to cut them loose. That anchor is only going to bring you down with them.
Instead, look for positive, ambitious, and enthusiastic people to study and hang out with. They might be just as miserable as you, but they haven’t lost sight of what’s important. Furthermore, they can help motivate you and keep you on track when you’re feeling weighed down by more than just textbooks.
Walk It Off
Every law student has seen Legally Blonde at least once, right? Think back to the part where Elle tells everyone, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Well, happy people also don’t drop out of law school! That means it’s time for you to start getting some endorphins.
When the going gets rough, walk it off and get to a better place. Work out your frustrations at the gym, on a treadmill, on a hike, or wherever you like to exercise. Just get out there, get a little sweaty, and work through your issues. Physical activity lets you hone in on your problems, think things through, and find clarity. You might not have a solution by the time you’re done working out, but you’ll be pretty darn close. And if anything, you’ll feel prepared to take on any obstacles.
Give It Time
Big decisions, like dropping out of law school, should never be made on a whim. Life-changing decisions that can alter the course of your life should be carefully considered over lengthy talks with family, friends, counselors, through soul-searching, book reading, movie watching, and lots of time to sleep on it. If you’re in the midst of a mid-law school crisis, take some time before you act on it.
It can be difficult to let a problem like this sit on the back burner. You might be itching for a new course of action or some easy answers. But the truth is that this is a hard choice to make and easy answers won’t come to you. And if they do, they’re probably the wrong answers to have. Do your best to think, wait, contemplate, consider, sleep, and then think some more before you make any sort of decisions on where your life is heading.
Talk To A Counselor
When all else fails, or even before you get to that point, seek help. Guidance counselors and therapists might not have the answers, but they can direct you towards finding your own solutions. Most likely, your law school has a counselor program set up through student services where you can seek free or affordable care. Just talking to someone might help clear things up for you.
Also, don’t wait until the pressure becomes too much to seek professional help. Often times, talking to someone with experience before matters get worse can help you avoid stressful situations and make the right decisions. When in doubt, talk it out.
Mid-law school crises can happen to just about any law student, no matter how ambitious or smart. Instead of fearing the inevitable, you can prepare to cope with your crisis with grace and clarity. It might be a difficult path to travel but it will only make you stronger and more successful in the end.
Written by Pete Wise for the Douglas and London Law Firm; whom represent clients across the entire US. They have decades of history as an New York law firm and I help by posting to my facebook page and writing for the firm.