If you find yourself relating with the above image, trust me, you are not alone.
Last night I hit my breaking point. Between constant networking events and informational interviews, student org duties/responsibilities, re-drafting my resume for the 50th time, social circle drama, anxiety over readings, studying/practicing (or lack thereof), and the occasional self-doubt, I’ll be the first to that, YES, I CONCEDE. I HAVE BURNED OUT.
And maybe you have too…
We’re getting down to the wire, no doubt. But there’s one thing this week that has concerned me more than how little I’ve practiced torts all semester; a few of my colleagues have approached me about feeling alone. Alone, loneliness, isolated, are only a few ways I’ve heard these feelings described. To me, this is heartbreaking. Half the battle of law school is the mental game. I’m not talking about the obvious mental fatigue which we’ve all learned very quickly how to power through, but rather, the anxiety, stress, and mental health issues that arise from this fast-paced, high stress, pressure-cookeresque environment we thew ourselves into. Then throw in the readings, practice exams, practice problems, supplements, outlining, flow charting…do you ever find yourself saying, “If only I could get all this work done so I could finally start studying…”? I get it.
Bottom line: Law school is fucking hard. And no matter what you thought at the beginning of the semester, it’s not something you can do alone. No one, and I mean it, NO ONE, should have to go through this experience alone. A positive support group is important not just for studying but also to reinforce that you’re not the only one having these thoughts and feelings of demotivation, self-doubt, panic, burn-out, etc. You cannot do this alone.
With that, I want to make it very clear, if I hadn’t already at the beginning of the semester, that if you’re feeling isolated or need encouragement, motivation, a friend, or a study buddy, I am here for you. Find me on campus (I’m almost always on the 3rd floor), reach out to me on Facebook or via email. No one at Santa Clara Law should feel as if they have to go through this by themselves. Reach out to the faculty too. Every professor I’ve interacted with has been nothing but encouraging, supportive, motivating, and sympathetic. Every person in this building wants to see us succeed, including our peers. I can’t emphasize it enough. REACH OUT.
If you’ve ever had days where you’ve felt like you’re not doing enough; you are not alone. If you’ve ever wondered if law school was really the right move or if you’re still cut out for all of this; you are not alone. If you’ve wondered if you’re not doing enough to advance your career; you are not alone. If you have no idea what the hell you’re doing; you are not alone. If you’re feeling burnt out; you are not alone. If you’ve contemplated quitting or wondered why you’re doing this; you are not alone. If you feel like you just can’t fucking win some days; you are not alone.
We’re all in this together. You are not alone. You belong here.