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by Christine Szpet
Law school is the ultimate test of balance. There are 168 hours in a week. As a law student, you will spend 16 hours of those hours in class and somewhere between 48 to 64 hours outside of class reading and preparing yourself for class. Subtracting 7 hours a night for sleep, 1 hour for eating all your meals, and a half hour to shower daily, a typical law student is left with 20.5 hours a week of free time. For those of you who aren’t good at math, that’s equates to less than 3 hours a day of unscheduled activity. With so little time to spare, you can understand why staying healthy is important.
At this point, you’re probably wondering, is law school really do-able? And if so, how? The best advice I could give to an incoming student is to go back to the basics. Take care of yourself. You need to sleep, eat well, exercise, and take time to relax and unwind. All of those things will enable you to perform at your best.
The key to law school is mastering your time management skills. What does “time management skills” really mean? It means being organized, making weekly or daily to-do lists, and generally being mindful of the time. Prioritizing what you have to do today, tomorrow, next week, next month, and before the end of the semester is really important. Staying on top of your work by reading and being prepared for class so that you can actively participate will pay dividends in the long run. And ultimately, remembering that while there are lots of things you would like to get involved in, it is best to just say “no” when you start feeling overcommitted.
Understanding and accepting that you are human, and that even you, have limitations; there will be days when you will be too tired to read another word, and that’s okay, because if you’ve managed your time well, you will find that you have scheduled in time to take care of yourself and attend to what you really need.
Questions? Find me on the Law Ambassador website.
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