Every semester starts with the best of intentions. You make study resolutions to secure that internship, top your classes and better your previous GPA. You’re also going to participate in a myriad of extra-curricular activities, maintain an active social life and volunteer at your local community legal centre. All while working part-time.
Three weeks in and with waning motivation, you ask yourself if you’re doing too much. “Never!” your type-A personality tells you. You’re a perfectionist: you can’t fail. Everybody else is in the same boat. You can’t fall behind.
You’re running on caffeine and sugar as you dart frantically from class to class. As you hand in the semester’s first assessment, you wonder if you’ll scrape a pass. The census date looms and you’re struggling to cope.
The census deadline is nearly here. If you’re thinking about withdrawing from a subject, it may feel like admitting defeat, but dropping a subject isn’t a sign of failure. In fact, it may prevent failure.
At the end of the day, everyone’s law school journey is different, and if it takes you longer than some other students, so be it. Although it’s a competitive degree, most of the time you’re competing with yourself. You should trust your instincts and know when you’re in too deep. Law school is already stressful enough already without putting additional pressure on yourself.
Remember that dropping a subject isn’t always the easy way out. You’ll repeat classes and assessments, and although the topics may vary, you might find the subject more tedious than the last time round. While there’s the risk of becoming complacent during your second attempt, you may find that you approach the subject with a greater level of understanding, confidence and enthusiasm.
Law school is a journey, not a race, and it’s important to enjoy it. Don’t be scared to drop a subject. In fact, the question I ask myself is, “why didn’t I drop two?”
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