Tuesday, March 24

5 Things -Not- to Do in Law School

#5: Insult How Other People Dress
Trust me on this one - nothing good can come out of insulting how your fellow classmates show up to class. People wear a lot of different things - some people wear suits (if they have an interview or something important that day), some people wear sweatpants (we all have those days), some people wear jeans and a nice shirt, etc. There is no rule about what you should or should not wear to class, and making comments about how you respect your classmates less because they don't wear what you wear is a great way to lose friends. This goes for if you think people dress up too much or too little - in the end, it's not your business and it shouldn't affect how you learn - so get off your high horse, and if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

#4: Get a Reputation for Being Selfish
Law school's a competitive place, but studying often happens in groups. Sometimes people take advantage of the group atmosphere by getting the benefits of their classmates' knowledge without giving their own knowledge. Yes, classes are curved. It tends to promote an atmosphere of, "I don't care how you do as long as I do better," but if you get the reputation of being that person who doesn't share notes or give as much as you get, beware! Law students talk, and if you're acting cutthroat and selfish, people will stop sharing with you.

Honestly, studying in groups (or at least with one other person) can be really beneficial. As they say, two minds are better than one. You may not understand the material, but another person might. Plus, studies show that teaching another person makes you understand the material better, so it's actually really beneficial to help your classmates. If you're so focused on yourself that you can't or won't help other people, you're really only hurting yourself.

#3: Party More Than You Study (and Vice Versa)
Law school is a balancing act, which means you need to find that sweet spot between fun and work. If you spend all your free time partying instead of studying, you're going to fall behind in your reading and homework (big no-no) and won't do well in your classes. Yes, law school can't be all work, but don't forget that you're here to get a law degree. You can't get that if you're not learning the law.

On the flip side, if you over-study and don't take time to relax and have breaks, you're going to wear yourself out. I talked to people in my class who spent all their free time studying, but actually did worse in those classes. They freaked themselves out, overloaded themselves, and kind of made themselves hate those subjects because they never got a break. Yes, you're in law school to learn the law, but it's already a stressful and difficult process - so give yourself a break and allow yourself to have a little fun while you're here!

#2: Only Talking About Law School
The biggest mistake 1Ls make (and trust me, we all do it) is talking about law school with our law school friends. You'll be at a get-together with a bunch of your girlfriends, the wine is flowing... and all you guys can talk about is law school. Bleh! TAKE. A. BREAK. When you're doing something to relax, you need to separate it from school. You're already eating, breathing, and drinking law school - don't let it invade your relaxation too! It's really hard not to talk about it, because law school is something you all have in common, and it takes up 90% of your time, but make the effort to talk about other things. Trust me, you'll thank me after. You deserve a life outside of school.

#1: Eat Your Feelings (Or Don't Eat at All)
When I got to law school, some 3L looked at me in the library and told me I was going to gain 20 lbs while I was here. Nice, right? Well, it happens to a lot of people. People deal with stress in different ways. Personally, I stop eating when I'm stressed, so I actually lost 10 lbs my 1L year. This year, I've worked harder on keep track of how much I'm eating, and I've added exercise in. Sometimes people deal with stress by eating their feelings, so they do gain weight. Just be careful - know yourself, know how you deal with stress, and make sure you're dealing with it in a healthy and productive way!

What would you add to this list? How do you deal with dress?

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