Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Secret to a Great Weekend Get-Away!

I just had one of the best weekends of my life.  

But, before I get into the details, here's a bit of background about law school life in general.

As summarized by the Colorado Supreme Court, a 2016 survey of 3300 law students at 15 law schools indicated that law school life is, simply put, brutal to one's well-being.  

Here's the specifics:

  • 23 percent of surveyed law students reported mild to moderate anxiety with another 14 percent reporting severe anxiety
  • 17 percent of surveyed law students reported being depressed
  • 43 percent of surveyed law students reported binge drinking at least once in the previous two weeks 

http://coloradosupremecourt.com/Well-Being

In short, law school life can be really tough.  I know.  In my case, anxiety started to first take over my life...as a first-year law student in law school.  There's so much to think about, which I translate into "there's so much to worry about."  And, I was worried about everything, especially being called upon, in which, of course, I felt like I would finally be revealed as a fraud - an imposter not really belonging in law school.  Ever since I have realized how powerful our thoughts can be to our well-being.

That brings me to my recent weekend adventure...  

You see, it started just like any other weekend - busy.  In fact, extra busy.  So, busy that in my rush to wash my blue jeans, I forgot to check my pockets. Yep, my gleaming smartphone took a deep water plunge into the washing machine...for a good hour (my pants were really dirty).  The good news is that my phone was really clean now.  The great news...I actually felt relieved.  I felt free.  I no longer had this overarching, almost itching desire to constantly check my phone for messages, texts, and yes I'm old-fashioned, phone calls.  Simply put, my phone was dead.  Completely lifeless.  Just a bunch of fancy sparkling metal and glass that couldn't speak to me, write to me, talk with me, or respond to me.

At first, to be honest, that left me speechless.  But, oh what a weekend did I have! Or, to put it better, what a weekend did I experience!  

Why, I started to connect to real things, real people, real situations, real life.  And, in the course of connecting (or rather re-connecting), I started to feel less anxious.  I wasn't worried about constantly checking email.  It was almost gleeful.  

Now, I don't recommend washing your phone.  But, it was a lesson well-worth the price of admission.  Even now, with a replacement phone at hand, I try to leave it behind.  That's because the farther away my phone is from me, the better my own well-being.  

So, with finals almost finished (or nearly so), take a weekend get-away that will be, simply put, priceless.  Put that phone of yours away; bury it for the weekend; and go meet up with the world.

For more tips on developing well-being, please see the ABA's "Well-Being Took Kit for the Legal Profession," written by Anne Bradford, available at:  

 https://www.americanbar.org/well-beingkit  

For the entire article regarding the survey results of law students, please see David B. Jaffe, et. al, "Suffering in Silence: The Survey of Law Student Well-Being," available at:

 https://jle.aals.org/home/vol66/iss1/13/.  

(Scott Johns)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/academic_support/2018/05/on.html

Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink

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