Savoring Spring Break
Welcome to Nashville y'all!
I'm sitting on a porch warmed by the sunlight, looking out at the skyline of Nashville as I write this and I cannot believe it is Spring Break. Well, the 80 degree weather and sun on my skin doesn't make the fact that it's Spring Break hard to believe, maybe it's more that I can't believe I am already over 3/4 of the way through my 1L year.
If first semester is when you get used to the reading, the cold calls in class, and the fact that a lot of times your free time is not your own but belongs to the red bound casebooks you've been schlepping around, then second semester is when you learn you can do a lot more than you thought you could.
Second semester is fast, furious, and front-loaded. Just when you feel like you can't possible do anything more, you do. You learn that somehow you can get it all done. You learn that as competitive as law school is, you're all in the same boat, and the encouragement or laughter of a friend might be that little something extra you needed to push though. You realize you can do more than you ever thought you could and there is something so satisfying in that.
And in the spirit of this second semester, Spring Break is turning out to be just as busy. Even though this is turning out to be a working Spring Break, full of outlines, class projects, oral argument preparation and applying for summer aid, I can't stop thinking about what our mentors told us at the beginning of this crazy journey...
As part of UC's Academic Success Program, 1L's meet with a group of advisors from the 2L class to talk about not just how to succeed in academics but how to adjust to law school and start good habits that will stay with you your whole career. One thing that has stayed with me is that you cannot lose yourself or who you are in this craziness. I feel like I've realized that more this semester than last.
In a profession where burnout sometimes seems to be a question of when instead of if, it's so important to always make time for yourself, friends and what you love. I have definitely dropped the ball on that.
The second part of this semester I'm going to squeeze time in to go run, to hang out with friends, write, and cook. Like I've mentioned before, your first year of law school is a huge learning curve. Everyone expects that. What people don't expect is how much you learn about yourself, how you work, how you play, how you succeed and how you thrive. Not just in class but in life. That might be the best lesson you can learn before entering the legal career. It's all about balance.
So while the first part of this semester was fast and furious (and I don't see that changing anytime soon), the second half is going to be about balance. Starting today.
After a full day of getting things in order and outlines filled out a bit more, I'm going to celebrate Spring Break Nashville style. It's time to relax and recharge. Time for a run, wine on the porch, and dinner and a movie with friends.
Work hard, play hard right. Everything in balance.
Photo from Rumours East Website