Monday, October 15, 2007

Stress and Law school

I haven't been too stressed out about school. I admit, I freaked out a bit when I got sick and fell pretty far behind. But I tried to put on a happy face and tackle the backlog, the whole time giving myself ridiculously positive reassurance. This comes from a life time of being a really negative person. I was the cynic, sometimes the whiner, but I could always find the cloud in a clear blue sky. That never worked for me. I have talked about this before.

So today, we got a lecture about how we should not be stressed and if we are we need to get help. Now, I don't want to say "duh" because when someone is in the midst of depression, alcoholism, or any other problem, it is really hard to have any perspective. What I did realize is that I feel sorry for any one in school younger than 28. Aging is crap, but the one thing it really can do for you is to put things in perspective. I realized in that talk, I wish someone had said these things when I was 28 and starting graduate school. What they did say was "hard work is its own reward." What a load of bollocks. Hard work is great, don't get me wrong. I am as Puritanical as the next American. But hard work and the work ethic isn't everything AND it shouldn't be. So if I were giving advice (ask me after this year and grades come out), the very first thing I would say is: "If you are over 28, you likely understand what it means to try to balance life and work. You may not have done it successfully, but at least you know that it must be attempted. For those of you that are under 28, or worse yet, just out of undergraduate school, yes, you have been shocked at the work load. I hear some of you flipping out when others tell you they spent 12 hours in the library yesterday. I have heard you moan that it's just too hard. I want each of you to take a deep breath and think about this for a moment. Do you really need to listen to how other people study? No. Worse, some of those people spent 6-7 hours surfing the web. Some are attempting psychological warfare. Still others don't get it, even after 12 hours in the library. Let that go. Find what works for you. What really works for you. So you think sitting in front of the TV briefing cases? Turn off the TV and ask yourself questions about the case. If you can answer them, great that does work. If not, turn the freakin' tv off..." and on in that vein.

Anyway, I am finally glad I am old.

Oh, 28, 25, 30, doesn't matter. I picked the age that I could point to myself and say, that's about the age I stopped being a dill-hole.


Luke Gilman said...


MMC said...

Most important lesson I ever learned in law school came after first year Christmas exams. I walked out of a property exam and everybody was yacking away. What was easy, what was hard, what the right answers were...

There was a particular question which I had tackled as a bailment. But I heard 3 people going on and on or about it ... as being something else. Can't remember what now. That happens with age.

Anyway, it completely flipped me out. I was sure I had failed. When we got that exam back (which I was totally amazed about my mark in) the prof went over it in class. Came to that particular question and said some of you went on about this, some of you went on about that... Why did the majority of the class seem to have no knowledge of bailment?

Lesson learned. Its hard. But you just have to tune it all out and trust yourself. And whatever works for you.