Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, November 5, 2018

Recall Your Purpose for the Finals Push

The wind is gently blowing while the sun rises over the horizon.  A cool morning inviting everyone to enjoy the sunrise with a nice run.  Many dream of the excitement of running another race, feeling healthy, or being outside.  I am not one of those people.  Mornings are meant for sleeping.  Running is only useful for competitive sports or survival, and I am long past my competitive sports prime.

While I don’t want to run races, especially long distance races, I do run for about half the year.  For the past 3 years, I trained for and ran in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Relay from November to April.  I ran the 5k portion my first year and a 10k leg last year.  I plan to run the 12k leg this year.  I reluctantly started training a couple weeks ago and will continue until the end of April again.  I don’t like to run, but I am doing it.

I never enjoyed running in itself, so why would I put myself through the rigor?  The answer is the purpose for the run.  I was only 5 miles away on a middle school soccer field when the bomb exploded.  The explosion and smoke seemed to be around the corner.  No one knew what happened yet.

The bombing was surreal.  I watched the events unfold on a CRT TV on a rolling cart in English class.  My mom called my school to let me know she was ok because she worked across the street from the Murrah Building on the non-blast side.  I know numerous people who lost family in the bombing.  One of the staging areas for first responders was the original Oklahoma High School, which is the building OCU School of Law moved into a few years ago.  The bombing affected nearly everyone in OKC, so my purpose is more important than my disdain for running.

Passion and purpose are critical to success in law school and the practice of law.  Many people talk about grit, but some forget the passion aspect.  Dr. Angela Duckworth’s book titled Grit explicitly states passion is a large piece to overcoming adversity.  Perseverance without passion is unsustainable.  Having a purpose is what helps us continue through the roadblocks.

Recalling why you want to be an attorney is critical during law school, especially near finals.  You need to keep reading your assignments each day, but you should also start preparing for finals.  1Ls probably had a large memo or brief due recently.  2Ls have more classes and may even be working.  They are overwhelmed.  Pure perseverance may have sustained you up to now, but you probably need a recharge to push through November.  When getting the work done seems tough or when you feel like there is too much to accomplish, sit back for 5 minutes to think about why you want to become an attorney.  Are you in law school to help the underserved?  Do you want to fight injustice?  Do you want to change the trajectory of your own life?  Be specific to why you are in law school.

Know why you are putting yourself through the rigor of law school.  Seeing progress towards the end goal can make the pain worth it.  I don’t like running in my neighborhood, probably the only neighborhood in OKC with hills, but the pain is worth it knowing the cause I run for.  The rigor of law school is also worth it if you know what you can do when you are an attorney.  Now is the time to remember it to make that final push through finals!

(Steven Foster)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/academic_support/2018/11/recall-your-purpose-for-the-finals-push.html

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