Monday, July 21, 2008
I remember the shock my mother always expressed when back-to-school sales started in July...we just got out of school, how could it be starting again? That is a little of how I feel right now...I just sent my 1L's off for the summer, and I am already bombarded with new 1L's. I have hardly had time to catch my breath, and I am being bombarded with calls and emails from incoming students. I share their excitement for the new year, but I also have a few pieces of advice about the right-now:
1) Enjoy the rest of your summer. Law school will be your life for the next three years.
2) Enjoy time with your family. They will be your sustenance and support over the next three years.
3) Enjoy a summer off, if you have one. There will be no more "summers off" (if you are lucky) after this one.
4) Enjoy YOU. Do all the things that make you special and unique. Just as a strong core helps keep you standing straight, an emotionally healthy core of beliefs and values will help you stand straight when you are bombarded by rumors and intrigue that permeate (and poison) the first year of law school.
5) If you are not healthy, get healthy. Exercise, learn to enjoy healthy eating habits. Not only is this a life skill, it will help you through the next three years more than you know. And it just might help you get better grades.
I have different advice for all the new ASP professionals out there, but my message is the same:
Enjoy the right-now. Don't get overwhelmed yet; no matter how prepared you are, you are in for an amazing adventure this year. You will face challenges you can't anticipate. Anecdotally, I hear the burn out rate for ASP professionals is roughly that of public school teachers--many of us don't make five years. Don't let that be you--this is the best job in the world if you embrace the challenges and roll with the setbacks. (This is one piece of advice I need to take as well as give.) Get to know your colleagues this summer; they will sustain you. The veteran ASP professionals I know are some of the nicest people in the world. I could not have made it through the past three years without the support and wisdom of Gail, Ruth, Mike, Paula, Corie, Eric, Scott, Amy, and so many others. If you don't have a support team of other ASPer's you can call anytime for advice and encouragement, build one now. If you are a new ASPer, email me anytime (I am notoriously phone-phobic, but you can give me a call if you need help!) It may take me a few days, but like most ASPer's, I am here to help.