“I am Worried about Starting Law School”
I am Worried about Starting Law School: There are many reasons people worry about starting law school: Some worry that they will “fail out” or not do well and disappoint everyone. Others are worried about the public speaking aspect of it (“I will look like a fool when I am called on.”). Others worry that they won’t find a job. Or that they will hate law school. There are lots of reasons why you may be worried about starting law school.
In many ways, it is easy to worry because law school is, in many ways, “the unknown.” It is a different game than undergrad. You do not know exactly what to expect. And it doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being easy and fun. So, below we list five steps to take if you are worried about starting law school.
5 Steps to Take if You are Worried about Starting Law School
First, Identify your fears.
Take a minute to name your fears. Rather than just feeling this general horrible anxiety about law school. Ask yourself, “What am I really anxious about?”
Name everything that you are anxious about – public speaking, making friends, getting good grades, getting a job after law school, law school oral arguments, the law school workload, etc.
Don’t examine your thoughts at this point. Just name them. Write them down in a journal until you feel you have all of them there!
Second, conquer your fears.
Whatever your fears are, you can conquer them. One way to conquer them is to get to know more about whatever it is you’re afraid of prior to starting law school. Learning more about it can give you a sense of control. It will get rid of that nagging feeling in the back of your mind!
Here are some ways to conquer specific fears:
- Are you worried about the Socratic Method? Read How to Conquer the Socratic Method here.
- Worried about law school oral arguments or public speaking in general? First of all, you are definitely not alone! Read our law school oral argument tips as well as our public speaking tips! (I give speeches all the time and I am very familiar with this fear! But, you do not have to let it control you!)
- Are you intimidated by law school cases? Learn how to read law school cases (and read them quickly!) by clicking the link before you even start law school!
- Are you worried about making friends or creating a good network? We have plenty of networking tips here!
- Are you worried about test anxiety? Learn a cool new tip to control test anxiety (which a lot of our students find helpful!) here!
- Are you worried about law school exams? We have a LOT of tips for you! We have a lengthy in-depth guide on how to succeed in law school exams. We also have posts on how to take law school practice exams, three steps to success on a law school practice exam, how to prepare for law school exams, how to write law school exam answers, tips for multiple-choice exams, among others!
- Worried about outlining? We have an in-depth guide on how to outline here, as well as a very good post on how to learn your law school outlines.
- If you are worried about legal writing, read our five legal writing tips for starting law school here!
- Worried that you don’t have any goals? First of all, it is okay to not know what you want to do with a law degree (that keeps more possibilities open!). Rather than worrying about what you want to do the rest of your life, think about some things you want to accomplish in law school! Read our post on how to make a law school bucket list for some ideas!
- If you are worried you will feel lost (or you already feel lost) read our tips on how to feel un-lost in law school!
- If you are worried the workload will be unmanageable, create a law school study schedule! (You will feel better as soon as you do it!) Also, I graduated as the #1 student in my class and still managed to take one full day every week off — so you do not have to make law school your whole life to succeed!
- If you are worried you won’t understand anything, or won’t know what to do, consider signing up for law school tutoring or our law school prep course where we can make sure you are on track!
Worried about something else?
Check to see if your fears are irrational. If your fears are irrational (“My parents will disown me. My family will no longer love me if I don’t do well. I will fail out and be the laughingstock of the school, and my girlfriend will break up with me . . .”) remind yourself that they are irrational! Some law students really will have this nagging feeling that they will be unloved or abandoned if they do not succeed in law school. This is not true! (If your sibling or significant other or best friend struggled in, say, medical school, you would not love them any less or look down on them any less!)
Keep this in mind if you tend to struggle with irrational thoughts. Still let yourself think of them (if you try to stop the thought from ever crossing your mind, you will think it all the time!). Instead, just remind yourself not to “engage” with the thought or accept it as true.
Third, get to know law school a little better. Learn some strategies for success.
We have ten million law school posts here! We have a post on five tips for starting law school and a lengthy and wonderful post on how to succeed in law school. Having some strategies for success will make law school less scary and less unknown! You will feel more confident going into law school!
Even if it is not something that you are “afraid of” specifically, you will feel better — and less worried about starting law school — with some secrets and tips up your sleeve!
Fourth, stay healthy! Take breaks!
It is very important to eat right, exercise, and sleep in law school! It is also important to not cut off all ties with your family members and friends.
If you have absolutely no idea how to keep a balanced life in law school, it may help to create a law school study schedule ahead of time so you can set specific times for sleeping, exercising, taking breaks, etc. It may also help to read our law school posts from the third tip. Some students find they don’t have time to do anything because they are simply not being efficient! If you have an efficient approach to law school, you will not feel guilty if you take a break!
Also, exercise, eating well, and sleep will improve brain function, improve your ability to learn new things, recall information you have already learned, and apply that information. To do well in law school, it is crucial to take care of your physical health!
Fifth, stay positive! And take more steps if you start to feel anxious!
Anxiety may re-creep up on you as law school approaches! Try to stay positive. Re-visit this post if you start to feel worried about starting law school again. Feel free to contact us if you want to chat about your fears or come up with a game plan if you feel lost.
If you need to consult a professional and explore other ways to reduce anxiety, take initiative and do so! Contact your school or your primary care physician to see what steps you can take to talk to someone.
If you are interested in an in-depth course that goes over how to succeed in law school, please consider signing up for our law school preparatory course or utilizing our law school tutoring services if you need help while you are in law school. We have helped many students succeed in law school (and succeed in and transfer to, prestigious law schools, such as the University of Michigan Law School, Cornell Law School, Duke Law School, among others).
We hope after reading this, that you feel a little less worried about starting law school!
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