By Susie Lloyd • May 05, 2017•Writers in Residence, Law School, Other Law School Issues, Issues, Balancing Private and Professional Life
Happy May 5th! Yesterday was my favorite “meme” day: May the Fourth be With You (and last night was my first major study break of finals, so my husband and I watched Revenge of the Sith and The Empire Strikes Back). But did you also know that May 4 is the day Alice fell down the rabbit hole? For those who are familiar with my love of literature (English Lit major here!), you know that Alice holds a special place in my heart. Her story was one of the first I remember reading without my mom's help, and I have always loved the Disney cartoon and other odd and interesting interpretations of Alice's story. She even played a minor role at my book-themed wedding, where my bouquet was made from pages of Through the Looking Glass. (photo cred: Landon Wise).
When I was reminded of the Alice connection yesterday, I felt a pang because I realized I have not had a moment since school started to read Alice in Wonderland, or any other novel for that matter. I watch a lot of movies and go on some serious Netflix binges in my downtime, but those are semi-mindless activities that do not require my full attention (and to my husband's annoyance, rarely get it). Last year, I was taking classes from January through May, May through August, and August through December. In the two or three weeks I had in between each semester, I was consumed by work or trying to fit in trips to see family and friends I had neglected during the semester.
Law school comes with sacrifices. Whether it means missing a friend's Connecticut wedding to take a midterm, or selling my Derby Day ticket and forgoing the big hat and mint juleps for another year, time flies and life does not stop for studying. I have made many efforts to maintain my "normal" life, and this summer, I am looking forward to getting some of it back. I have decided not to take summer classes, extending law school a full semester. Yes, I will still be working, but I am cutting back on that, too. This summer, with still a year and a half of school to go, I am taking a big step back to remind myself why I am going through school and spend some time with those who so ardently support my progress. As I struggle to complete my exams, my reading list grows longer. Every so often, I look up and stare longingly at my pile of summer reading accruing on my desk, knowing that in just a few weeks I may actually get to (guilt-free) open one of the books and immerse myself in a different world, if only for a few months. Maybe this will serve as a reminder to some of you: what we are experiencing as law students is amazing, and the sometimes painful classes and exams are pushing us closer and closer to our career goals. But without a few breaks to experience life away from advising appointments, resumé building workshops, externships and tests, it is possible to lose sight of ourselves. To all my classmates, good luck on exams! I will see you in the fall!
Do you have reading suggestions for me? Or any other questions? Please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org!