To say the least…Law school is a pretty big undertaking! At my school, we were told to expect law school to be the equivalent of a 60 hour work week, which is a lot, especially given that those 60 hours will be filled with mentally demanding and academically challenging material. It impacts your daily life enormously, including your relationships and other personal responsibilities and obligations. Enrolling in a full time graduate program is a huge life change, and I’m not always the best at handling big changes. I definitely wanted to take steps to prepare myself to succeed in what I knew would be a challenging experience. Here are a few of the things I did to get ready.
I knew I wouldn’t have much time to keep up my apartment in law school, so I made sure to do lots of deep cleaning and organizing before school started. I know it will be significantly easier just to do maintenance cleaning during the semester, and it makes me happy to have a space I enjoy coming home to.
In my opinion, cleaning house goes beyond your home into your life and relationships. I made sure to clean up my friendships before heading into this adventure, saying farewell to old friends who weren’t contributing to my success or happiness and making sure to reconnect with the people I truly care about. I also made sure to talk to my husband about the changes coming, so he wouldn’t feel blindsided when I couldn’t give him as much attention.
You know I had to see my best girl Ellie to get pretty hair before I started school. She turned my balayage into a beautiful, platinum blonde that makes me feel confident and wonderful. Shameless plug: If you need your hair done, check this girl out. She’s pretty amazing.
Planned a schedule and routine
Time management is key when you’re trying to balance intensive schoolwork, your job, your marriage, and your sanity. I don’t trust myself to manage my time well without a detailed plan. So, I’ve planned out my days from 6:00 a.m. until 10 p.m. Minute by minute, because I know I will have to use my time well in order to succeed. I use Passion Planner. I’m on my third one, and it’s amazing.
I also planned out a daily routine, including a short morning workout on my stationary bike, a few hours of work each morning, and a lot of hours of studying throughout the day. I’ve also made a promise to myself not to use social media on weekdays until all my work for the day is done, so don’t be offended if I don’t get back to you super quickly! You can always text me.
It may sound superficial, but I wanted to look good in law school. Sue me. Haha. But seriously, investing in a reasonable black blazer and a couple professional outfits seemed like a good idea. I also bought a giant glass whiteboard to write all the assignments I have each week on. I’m hoping it will help me visualize and plan out my homework for the week.
I also (unfortunately) had to buy a new laptop right before school started because the display on my old one kept glitching. It’s a rough way to start out the semester, but at least it didn’t break right before finals. Plus, I got a free pair of Beats, perfect studying headphones.
Created good workspaces
I knew that between work and school, I’d be spending a lot of hours on my computer and reading. I wanted to have a variety of workspaces to choose from so I wouldn’t feel bored and annoyed. I already had a desk set up for work and I occasionally like to work on the couch (just being honest). I made a few modifications to these areas like adding a monitor stand and better lighting, and it improved them greatly.
I also decided to convert my IKEA daybed in the office to a little study lounge. My lovely momma took me up to IKEA again and we bought a table to use as a desktop and tons of pillows to fill the space and make it inviting. It turned out really awesome and it’s a great place to study in extreme comfort — Sometimes you need that after a long day!
One of the more important things I did to prepare for law school on Monday was attend orientation last week. The Willamette staff puts on an extensive three day orientation to prepare incoming 1Ls for what’s to come. We met with attorneys and judges, heard from faculty and alumni, and learned about everything from the library to student loans. I had a chance to meet some of my fellow classmates, but I can’t say I was all too social. We also had a chance to do things like pick up our student IDs during orientation, which was helpful.
Although the orientation was fairly informative, it was also long, keeping me busy and at school from 9–5 every single day. It will be nice to have a slightly more flexible schedule next week when classes start. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I only have two classes, which leaves a lot of time in the day. I hope to write another update about how things are going after I’ve had a week of classes, but we’ll see how much homework I have next weekend!