Law school is an inherently stressful experience. There are deadlines to assignment you have no idea how to complete, constant reading (that actually has to be done), and numerous students who will be more than happy to consistently remind you of all the tasks that need completion. Figuring I needed even more of a workload I signed up to be on law review! While it is an honor to be accepted, law review adds citations, papers, and blogs to the ever increasing workload I decided was necessary to fulfill a “true” law school experience. To deal with all of these fun activities I have come to the conclusion that if one wishes to continue to be a productive member of society, it is essential to escape these traps. Everyone has different approaches, but I thought I would do society the service by demonstrating the best one, mine.
Discovering “Jeff time” was no easy task. When I first came to Law School I was told there were specific things I needed to do in preparation for school. These included watching Law and Order, Erin Brockovich, A Civil Action, The Paper Chase, and reading the book 1L. This brings me to my first point: do not read/watch any of these. While they may be enjoyable to the person who wants to think about law school 24/7, I find it much more desirable to watch a movie like The Big Lebowski. There is just something so reassuring to witness the Dude go through his life, drinking White Russians and knocking over pins (the anti-law student). While a movie may be nice, I found that school life required me to spend enough hours on my rear end, and 2 hours??! More time is required to truly recharge your body’s batteries. As such I recommend at least 4-5 hrs of free time, per day, for students. Now I’ve heard all the excuses: “But Jeff I have too much work”, “But Jeff how can I do my chores”, “But Jeff I need to sleep!” Well I’m here to break the cold hard truth…some of these things actually become fun in law school, some of them are part of your free time now. Tasks I dreaded in college are now activities that help me escape the confines of assignments: I yearn to clean my room, I daydream about going to the gym, and grocery shopping? I’d punch a kitten in the face to be able to do it on a consistent basis. Attending law school, as I reluctantly accept some adult responsibilities, these tasks are now fun to me (sigh). What’s more they are necessary. I don’t think I could be my charming, witty, and productive self if not for my “Jeff time”.
While law review has infringed on some of my “Jeff hours” (I’m now down to under 4 per day), it has enhanced my writing and editing skills considerably, which in turn shortens the time I spend writing all of the wonderful papers I am assigned. So I guess there’s a give and take in Law School, an ebb and flow of work that continually passes through us. While it may seem stressful at times remember to keep your “Jeff time” and you’ll end up all right. Or at least you’ll only be as crazy as me.