Dealing with Your Support System in Law School

My grandmother didn’t appreciate my answer when she asked what I would be giving up for Lent.

My social life.”

I’m pretty sure she was thinking:

slapped

The sunburn I got from her glare was almost enough to shrink a bit. Maybe before law school I would have. Maybe. 

By this point in the semester, you’d think I was comfortable with learning to ignore family and friends in order to make the grade. Constantly running away from family functions, friend hangouts, and bookstores is the worst bit of law school. Before law school, I hosted friends at our home nearly every weekend. The beau and I enjoyed galavanting around the city, trying new restaurants and exploring Dallas every chance we got.

A few weeks into my 1L however, those experiences faded away. I knew it would happen, my professors said it would happen, but I had no idea how angry my support system would get. Truthfully, I thought they would understand . 

It should come as no surprise that being ignored feels bad. Funnily enough, most law students (including myself) don’t realize that our reading for class makes you feel ignored. The fact is – for me, at least – I am doing everything I can to keep my own life in balance.

This week alone is jam-packed with assignments, work, presentations, and a butt-load of reading for class. Now, with the few minutes of free time I was enjoying, I will be working out in order to win my FIT BET. [It’s a competition…so, I plan to crush it!]

But some of my favorite people in the world feel ignored. What can I do?

Not a damn thing.

“This is your time to be selfish.” – UNTDCOL Professor said this to my class during Fundamentals week. It sounds harsh, I know, but those words are what I cling to when someone tries to guilt-trip me into going out for a drink or just lunch

When your friends and family ask you why you’re “ignoring them” please feel free to say this:

I wish I could be more lax sometimes, but the reality is that I am working toward earning a degree and I need to bust my butt to earn the grades to accomplish my dream of becoming an attorney.
It’s my job to excel in class and work (clerkship + internship this semester). This is
my career. Which begs the question – do I sidetrack you in your career?
I don’t think so. But maybe I should drop by your house unexpectedly, or call and yell at you for forgetting to send you a birthday card,  or invite you to dinner and then text you ten minutes before the meal to say I can’t make it. 

[The advice I have for my wonderful family and friends is] – learn to deal with me not being around all the time. I miss you too. I miss being able to just jump in your car and head out on an adventure. I miss impromptu travel plans, late nights laughing and early work days. I miss movie nights and wine nights. I miss it all. I miss you. 

But right now it’s about me. Not you. I have goals and dreams and hopes for my career. Right now I need you to be strong, for me, because sometimes my want to push an assignment aside outweighs my want to actually complete it. Sometimes, I find myself wondering if law school is worth the struggle. And if you find me in a weak moment, I need your help to drag me back to my desk and tell me to get to work. 

I need your support, but if you feel like my attending law school is too much for you to handle – then maybe this is where our paths diverge. I plan on becoming an attorney and I wish you all the best. 

mic drop

 

Succeeding in law school is all about balancing your life. Do what makes you happy, but make sure not to let anyone mess with that happiness.


Sarah

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