However, one of the hardest things about law school is that you are thrown into a different world. You will be speaking in public when you are called on, whether you like it or not. You will be expected to write, clearly, articulately, and well. You will need to keep your physical health up (exercise, sleep, and eat healthy) to maintain your mind. Basically, you will be challenged in some way and likely many ways!
So, one way to prepare for law school the summer before law school is to build up your self-esteem by venturing outside of your comfort zone, and doing something that challenges you. Think of what makes you the most uncomfortable: public speaking, writing, research, meeting new people, or something else?
Law school Confidence Builders – the Summer Before Law School:
Public Speaking: If you don’t like public speaking, join a toastmasters group – these are groups that meet across the country to help people improve their public speaking skills. Or volunteer to give a speech to a club, group, or organization. Or speak up at work or in class. Make it a goal to find, or create, a public speaking opportunity.
Writing: If you don’t like writing, buy some basic grammar and writing guides to learn how to write. Write every day in a journal. Read articles and copy the editorial style you see.
Meeting People: If you are not very comfortable with meeting others, join a meetup group, a pre-law group, or networking group. Consciously put yourself in a situation where you will be forced to meet new people. Say hi to someone you don’t know at a party, or start a conversation in line.
Physical and Mental Health: If you are inactive, make it your goal to run a half-marathon (or 5k or whatever!) by the end of the summer. Make a schedule for yourself and track your progress. Or get a personal trainer. Or sign up for and commit to a yoga class. Or learn to cook. There are a lot of potential avenues to improve your physical health. If you struggle with mental health issues, try to find a counselor or an avenue to relieve stress, depression, or anxiety. By doing this now, not only will you be taking control of the situation and building your confidence, but you will also be putting these mechanisms in place ahead of when you start law school, in case you find that your mental health suffers.
Traveling: If you are worried about going to a new city for law school, travel there or somewhere else before law school. Or just go to a new place in your city or state that you have never been to (and make it your goal to enjoy the unknown and explore).
Something different: If you can’t quite point to one thing, then just try something new. Start a club. Start a nonprofit. Write a book or a chapter in a book. Learn a new skill.
It is okay to start small in your venture. There are no shortcuts. But there are baby steps. If you hate speaking up, there is no need to volunteer to give a huge speech. Just start small. Start by speaking up in a club or class or meetup group, or raising your hand. Then you can move forward from there.
Our natural state, as human beings, is to avoid the unknown and discomfort. But when we are in our comfort zone, we don’t learn anything new, or build any new skills, or grow.
By consciously venturing outside of your comfort zone the summer before law school you will learn to not avoid discomfort, but to embrace it and master it. That is where the beauty and magic and brilliance is.
And while it seems unrelated to law school, the courage you build, the confidence you find, and the resolve you develop, are all tools that will be invaluable in law school. They will help you face the challenges and experiences that lay ahead in law school and beyond with boldness and brilliance.
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