5 Tips to Manage Law School Stress: Law school is stressful. With the amount of time and effort required to do well, it is no wonder many students feel at the end of their rope. To really excel, you need to be able to manage your stress efficiently. Here are our top 5 tips to manage law school stress.
5 Tips to Manage Law School Stress
1. Identify what stresses you out and find ways to reduce that stress.
This doesn’t mean spend 30 seconds saying, “Oh gee, law school generally stresses me out.” No. This means sitting down and reflecting on your major stressors. Is it that you can never complete your reading assignments so you feel unprepared for class? Is it that you have zero clue if you actually understand what you have been studying? I promise that there are solutions to your stressors. But if you don’t spend time to think about what stresses you out, you can’t begin to find a solution.
So, once you identify what you are worried about then you can come up with solutions. Maybe you need to start skimming your text books and stop briefing and instead read the Case Briefs version of your book. Maybe you need to carve out time each week to practice exams and talk to your professors or a study group about them. Maybe you need private tutoring.
It is much easier to come up with solutions when you know your problem!
2. Take care of yourself.
You might feel like you have zero extra time for anything other than a few hours of sleep a night and law school. But, you need to make time. This means you should get enough sleep each night. You should make sure you are eating healthily, even if this means sacrificing some study time to food prep. You should even make time to exercise. Many students find that finding some time to work out each week allows them to be more productive during their study sessions. Therefore, it is like they created more time!
Taking care of yourself also means paying attention to your mental health as well. If you need to talk to someone like a counselor, make sure you do that. Lastly, make sure you are not excessively consuming caffeine or booze to get you through your law school years. If you think you have a problem, you should definitely talk to someone.
3. Make a schedule.
Many students do extremely well once they get on an established schedule. Take the time to schedule out your general week. Your schedule should include things like when you have class, incorporating your study times based upon when it works best for you, time to exercise, extracurricular activities and groups and even time for fun. If you stick to a schedule you are less likely to join too many extracurricular groups that suck up more time than you have. You are also more likely to enjoy your “fun” time because you know that it has been accounted for and that you are otherwise handling your obligations.
You should also make sure your schedule includes things like time to outline and practice exams. This may sound like over-kill, but give it a try. You will likely find that sitting down to plot out your days will reduce some stress in itself.
4. Maintain a life outside of law school.
This may sound like something you don’t have time for but it is super important. Try to keep up with a friend that isn’t in law school or make time for some family. Having a reminder of the “non-law school” world will keep you grounded. Sometimes a little goes a long way, too. An hour or two with some family or a dinner with a friend can do wonders to your stress levels. If you have hobbies or clubs that you are a part of outside of school, try your best to keep up with these too. Law school may seem like it has become your life, but it doesn’t and shouldn’t be your whole existence.
5. Write down and re-visit why you chose law school.
You may have decided to go to law school because a parent or mentor is a lawyer. Maybe you had a life experience that inspired you to pursue the legal field. Regardless of your reasoning, write it down and revisit this when you feel stressed. It might help to take this a step further. If your mentor is a lawyer, try to schedule lunch or coffee dates with them. Or if a person or event inspired your career goals, read their biography or learn more about it. Remembering why you made such a big life decision will help keep you grounded throughout this stressful process. Simply revisiting the list may give you a little bit of motivation that you need to get through the day or the week!
This post on the top 5 tips to manage law school stress was written by our law school tutor, Meagan Jabbori, who has helped several students succeed in law school and on the bar exam!
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