By Ms. JD Editor • August 09, 2021•Ms. JD, Writers in Residence, Law School
A quick guide on “How To and Things to Do”
It still feels surreal! You’ve tackled the tedious studying of the LSAT. You’ve sent in your applications to your top schools. You’ve received the acceptance letter and it all seems to be happening so fast. Attending law school has been a dream of yours,-your whole life. Just like that you can now say that YOU ARE GOING TO LAW SCHOOL!
But now what? The sun is out, the pools are open, and you can smell the fresh lemons from the lemonade stand indicating that summer is finally here, the time is drawing near. It’s the summer before law school, which is sure to trigger some anxiety, so here are a few things you can do to keep your peace as you await walking into the doors of your law school.
Take Time To Process It!
Everything happened so fast. Have you taken the time to process that you have just accomplished a major step in your dream? Giving yourself the permission to feel, learn, and understand what you are experiencing is critical in moving forward. It can even motivate you as you take your next steps. Research shows that processing your feelings and emotions isn’t necessarily the easiest, however it is the most rewarding when you allow yourself to understand your reasoning, and feelings in given moments and events. For example, you may sit quietly as you read your acceptance letter to yourself and reflect on all of the steps that you did to get there. Internalize each feeling that you might have felt at each stage of your law school journey and relive those moments. Processing can look different for everyone but giving yourself a few minutes, hours or days to sit quietly, focus on your body, and identifying what you feel as you are entering the summer before law school is a start!
Invite your best friend over or maybe just turn on your favorite soundtrack with your favorite wine and celebrate. Oftentimes you may feel like your accomplishments (small or large) aren’t worthy enough to be celebrated. It is imperative that you congratulate yourself on the next step we’re heading towards in our life. Celebratory moments like these become memories that can bring happiness, positivity, and motivation as you begin and continue along your law school journey.
Take A Trip!
New Scenery, new places, new things! Studies show that when a person travels it is 80% more likely for a person to see a significant drop in their stress level.The benefits of traveling (near or far) can instantly boost happiness and satisfaction. What’s more peaceful than lying out on the beach listening to the waves as you read one of the many books from your “pre-law” book editions? Even if you don’t get to feel the sand between your toes, taking a trip to a place where you feel most peaceful and happy, will help you clear your mind and release some of that anxiety.
Spend Time With Family!
Throughout law school, your family will be your support system. They will cheer you on from the first day until graduation. It is important to spend as much time as you can with your loved ones to create memories. Law school can demand most of your time leaving less time to see or speak with those close to you. Spending time with your family this summer can eliminate the feelings of loneliness that may creep up as you begin this new journey.
Let Go Of The Negative!
The most important thing to do to keep your peace is to let go of the chaos! Chaos can be anything from unwanted stress from activities, and even relations. It is anything that disrupts your happiness without proper cause. Get rid of the negative things and negative people that are holding you back. Say your goodbyes, pack up the things that have brought negativity into your life (old pictures, odds and ends, clutter etc) and throw these items away. Consider doing a deep summer cleaning to allow space for new opportunities, and people to come into your life. Studies show that unnecessary baggage and energy can cause stress, high blood pressure and can impair your immune system and way of thinking, essentially leaving you feeling heavy as you try to elevate yourself to the next level. Look below and you will find examples of how stress and anxiety can effect your body.
Credit: Effects of Anxiety on the Body - Healthline
Starting law school can be overwhelming, as you walk into the unknown. However, developing peaceful practices the summer before you begin law school can relieve some of the anticipation and stress you may be experiencing. No matter what you choose to do, finding and keeping your peace will be essential as you start your journey to becoming an attorney.
Jada, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School 17’ says: “I got into yoga and worked out 4 days a week which helped me out a whole lot.”
Khala, Saint Louis University School of Law, 22’ says: “Enjoy every single moment of your summer. Do things that are refreshing; travel, and relax so you can be ready to take on the world on the first day of law school!”
Danae, Northeastern University School of Law, 22’ says: “My advice for the summer before your 1L year is to relax and enjoy time with friends and family. Your time will be incredibly limited, so I highly encourage you to spend your summer doing the things you love!”
Cherney, Kristeen. (2020). Effects of Anxiety on the Body. Healthline.com