By Emily Rock • May 22, 2012•Writers in Residence, Law School
1) Read books for fun
I jump-started this item by reading the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy, which had been sitting on my shelf for months, all in one day after I finished my final exam. Friends had assured me, when recommending the novel, that it would be a quick read, but I didn’t want to start anything while I had so much reading to do for class. Reading has always been my main downtime activity, but in law school, the idea of more text in front of my face seems much less fun. Now, though, I have a lot of catching up to do—the second two books of the trilogy, a bunch of memoirs and novels I’ve heard good things about, plus all the random titles that catch my eye any time I enter a bookstore. When I went to the New Haven Public Library last week—for the first time since last August—I almost grabbed a dozen books before remembering I had to carry them all home.
2) Watch some movies
While my Hulu habit picked way up this past year, I could rarely justify spending a whole evening on a film. So, time to hit the theaters and maybe renew my Netflix account.
3) Work out regularly
I’ve tried to keep an exercise routine this past year, but it’s certainly lagged at times. Summer is a chance to get back into a good rhythm, so I’m planning to start jogging again. I’ll be in DC, where it tends to get pretty hot and humid, so my other exercise goal is yoga: there are several studios with inexpensive introductory deals, and my roommate (who’s already in DC) asked if I’d want to check some out with her. It always helps to have a work out buddy.
4) Catch up with non-law school friends
Some of my favorite people are not in law school, and I’m pretty excited to spend a lot of time this summer not talking or thinking about cases, First Amendment rights, or cite checking.
5) Try out new recipes and cook more meals that involve non-ready-made items.
6) Get as much wedding planning done as possible (my fiancé and I are getting married next May, right after exams end)
You might notice the lack of legal content in the list above. True, I’ll be interning full time, and doing a few hours of research each week for a professor, so hopefully my Westlaw skills won’t get too rusty. But I think it’s also important that my other life skills—interacting with people who aren’t thinking about Crim all the time; spending time outside; doing things for myself just because they’re fun—don’t get rusty either.
Breaks and transitions are always a good time to reevaluate priorities, and the summer gives me a chance to reconnect with who I was before I started law school. I don’t think I’ve changed radically in the past year (hopefully I haven’t turned into a bad lawyer cliché yet), but I have learned and grown a lot, and summer will be a time to reflect on the shifts.