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Staying Sane While Under the Laws Thumb

You enrolled in law school with the understanding that it was a professional school. You’d attend class, study and someday join the ranks of proud and accomplished men and women making a nice living in a noble profession. You’d ride the law school love train all the way to the bank.

No one told you about the insanity.

Cases come to you in your sleep. You can’t escape the gunners–hands up, smug smiles, eagerness as annoying as a paper cut. Sometimes, you talk to yourself. You find yourself defending answers to the most inane questions–“Would you like fries with that?”–as if your grade depends on it (damn you, Socratic Method). Mostly, though, you’ve lost touch with reality.

Law school is intense, confusing and enough to make you go off the rails. It’s hard work and enough to make you wonder if you’re losing your mind. If you feel like you’re at risk of riding the law school crazy train, you need to find ways to pull yourself together before your grades–and future–suffer.

Here are three ways to stay sane while under the law’s heavy, heavy thumb:

Eschew Routine
You might think you know what works for you. You think sitting in the same spot on the bus, buying your coffee from the same shop, getting to class at the exact same time every day is a good thing. But it could be the definition of crazy. Change it up. Ride your bike to class. Get a different kind of coffee from a different location. Get to class right on time. You might feel a rush of adrenaline, which could remind you how it feels to be alive again.

Get Away
If you spend all your time on campus and with other students, you’re not giving your mind a chance to get away from the pressure. Go out away from campus. Meet people who don’t want to be lawyers. Talk about something other than the law. It will give your mind a chance to relax a little.

Be Yourself
Law school is all about comparisons. You compare yourself to the gunners, to your friends and to the students who make law review and get prestigious clerkships. Stop it. None of them matter. Comparing yourself to them will only make you lose focus on what really matters: doing the best you can do.

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