Friday, January 26, 2024
It’s the third week of spring classes here in Idaho. Grades from the fall term were released and exam reviews are underway. A few students are feeling elated with their fall performance. The majority (even those who did well) are experiencing disappointment. Emails are going out to students from all directions with words of encouragement and tips for what to do next.
When I think back to my best and worst semesters of law school, I can’t remember the grades earned. I can remember the key ingredient that made the difference: fun. I worked hard, yes. I remained diligent and met all deadlines. But when my head was swimming with legal theory, or I had simply finished my workday in the library, I went and had fun. That’s right, I actually spent time doing things I enjoy with the people I love – as a law student!
The bad semesters, the ones full of stress and anxiety, were full of wasted time and wasted opportunities for fun. I should get ahead on my reading. I don’t have time for the things I like to do. I can’t meet you for dinner because I’m sitting here looking at my books (not reading, looking at). When I gave myself permission to create more balance in my life and schedule, my work was more efficient, I felt happier, and I learned more.
We spend a lot of time talking about wellness in law school. I love meditating. I love thinking about ways to optimize my wellness. I also think we forget that having fun is a big part of being well. So, let’s all commit to blocking off some time for hobbies, time with family and friends, and doing something for the sake of fun. It’s good for us.