Law school can get you down. There’s so much pressure to succeed, that when you don’t meet your expectations you feel like a big piece of poo. Additionally, because law school requires a huge time commitment, many students lose balance in their life. Both these factors can contribute to depression in law school. Once depression sets in, your grades suffer and you suffer. Today we’ll discuss some easy things you can do to avoid depression in law school
- Don’t equate yourself worth to your LSAT score or grades. Your worth as a human being isn’t determined by your grades.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. I know it’s hard not to compare yourself in law school seeing how grades are determined by how everyone else does, but make an effort to stop comparing yourself. Whenever you compare yourself to others, you’re always going to lose. There will always be someone who’s better than you. Just focus on improving your personal best.
- Exercise. Start an exercise plan and stick to it. Try to get in at least 3 workouts a week. Exercise is a great way to let off some steam from law school. Also a sound body means a sound mind which will come in handy on test day.
- Eat right. Don’t feed yourself out of the vending machine. If you eat crap, you’ll feel like crap. Make sure to eat breakfast everyday and bring a nutritious lunch to school.
- Sleep. Adequate sleep is an important part of avoiding depression. Ideally you should be getting between 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Sleep is especially important during finals. Insufficient sleep has been shown to cause a decrease in mental abilities. So, don’t pull all-nighters. You’re probably better off sleeping an extra 5 hours than studying an extra 5 hours. Don’t let the students who boast about pulling all-nighters get to you. They’re not going to do better than you. In fact, you’ll probably do better than them.
- Don’t drink. Alcohol is not the answer to your law school problems. Your bad grade will still be there after the hangover.Lawyers are notorious for having a high percentage of alcoholics. Often the problem began while in law school. Avoid becoming another statistic by not drinking.
- Maintain your hobbies. Many law students give up their hobbies once in law school in order to devote more time to studying. This is a big mistake. It’s good to do things that aren’t associated with law school to keep balance. Having a hobby is great for rejuvenating your mind and body to tackle law school. For example, my hobby is this blog. During the school year I spent about an hour each morning working on it. It really helped me to stay relaxed while in law school. While you may not be able to devote as much time to your hobby while in law school, don’t abandon them completely.
- Make time for friends and family who aren’t going to law school. While it’s nice to have friends in law school, you usually just end up talking about law school with them. You need to get away from law school as much as you can. Non law school friends and family will keep you grounded. If you’re married, make sure to have a night where you just hang out with your spouse. Don’t talk about law school, rather talk about normal stuff. It will remind you what’s really important in life.
- Don’t study all the time. Many law students have the false belief that that how much you study determines your success. The reality is that success in law school is determined by how you study. My advice is to treat law school like a job. Put in your 9 hours at school, come home, and leave the books in the bag. It will keep you sane.
- Seek help. If you feel like law school’s getting you down go talk to someone. Many schools offer academic support that has counselors that can help you. Also, try talking to your professors. You’ll be surprised how many are willing to listen and help if you’re suffering depression.
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[tags]law school, depression, lifehacks[/tags]