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Maintaining Perspective in Law School

I’m taking six classes this semester.  In two classes, the professors like to assign 70-150 pages of reading per class.  I’m also working on two papers and doing research for a professor.  Needless to say, I’m pretty busy.  I feel like I’m constantly running between classes, work, and other commitments.   When I have “free time,” I’m struggling to get through my immense reading assignments and hoping that I’ll remember half the information.  I had to quickly accept that the majority of my weekends this semester would be taken up with reading.

By four o’clock this past Saturday afternoon, I was tired of reading cases.  There was no end in sight, and, if anything, I was becoming a little panicked by the amount of work I had left to do.  I decided if my Saturday night was going to be spent alone with my books, then I deserved to study with cake.

I don’t keep junk food in my house.  My rule is I can eat any junk food I want if I’m willing to leave the house and get it.  One of my guilty pleasures is the “single serving” of white sheet cake with frosting from Safeway.   I usually make myself walk or ride my bike to get my junk food, but the sky was turning dark with storm clouds and I didn’t want to get caught in the rain.  I also didn’t feel like I had the time to spare, so I opted to drive.

Tybee Island
Image by Rebecca_M. via Flickr

As I pulled out of my driveway, the reality of my life hit me like a ton of bricks.  I thought, “Wow, I can read.”  I spent  my drive to the store thinking about how many people in the world don’t know how to read, especially women.  I am surrounded by piles of books and more information than I know what to do with.  How many people don’t have the opportunity to go to school?  Who am I to bitch about all the opportunities I have, when the majority of people on the planet never have the chance to go to law school or even get close to it?  My life is awesome, even when it’s hard.

This experience doesn’t change the fact that I miss seeing my friends, getting a full night of sleep, or having enough time to shower every day.  It has, however, made the long lonely hours more bearable.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks I really really needed to read this today. Since school has started I have been doing the whole “woe is me” bit when in fact (and deep down I think I have) I need to be extremely grateful of my second opportunity I was presented. So what I work 35-40 hours a week and then head to class at night. So what if I cannot find time in the evening to eat dinner which results in unhealthy fast food. So what I barely get five hours of sleep because I have to wake up at the crack of dawn to catch up on the reading I could not finish last night. Its like what you said…. We have opportunities that some people do not think will ever exist for them.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad my post helped you. I think we get so busy and overwhelmed with what we’re doing that it’s hard to step back and see the big picture. Good luck with everything you’re doing and hang in there!

  2. Ashley says:

    I’m glad LNLAWSCHOOL retweeted your post because this was one of those midweek wake up calls I needed. I will be saving this for sure, so when I go to law school in the next two years. I can remember to count my blessings!

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks for your comment Ashley! When I get stressed about law school I try to remember a few things:
      1. Going to law school was my idea.
      2. I’m lucky to have these opportunities.
      3. It’s my responsibility to make sure I’m having fun.
      4. In the words of Will Keim, I’m setting the table for the feast I’ll eat for the rest of my life.

      Good luck in law school!