Should I Continue Law Next Year?
There’s no question that law school is an emotionally, physically and mentally grueling journey. Throughout my time at law school I have said “oh well, I’ll just quit at the end of this semester” more times than Lindsay Lohan has pleaded not guilty.
After an emotionally intense three years of law, I am in my final year. Reaching your final year of law is an accomplishment in itself. Hell, finishing one law unit is something to be incredibly proud of! But if you’re sacrificing your general wellbeing for the sake of a degree, you should consider whether or not law truly is your end game.
Why are you Studying Law?
We all choose to study law for different reasons. You’ll hear a lot of law rookies claim that they chose law because their favourite Uncle Pat was a criminal lawyer or because it ‘sounded smart’. Then you get the law students who openly admit to solely seeing dollar signs and those who cite parental pressure as an entry requirement.
If any of these kinds of reasons are the driving force behind your legal studies, you could be setting yourself up for a world of pain. Passion is most definitely a requisite in order to breeze through law school.
What about your Health?
Continuous anxiety attacks, severe bouts of crying and depression, a never-ending flu resulting from immense stress and sleepless nights? Perhaps you need to either reevaluate the way you’ve been dealing with the workload and expectations of a law degree, or maybe a change beckons?
Health is paramount to, well...life! Without a healthy mind, body and soul you’d simply be running on empty. Countless friends who have experienced high levels of anxiety and sleepless nights have opted for a lifestyle change and have rarely regretted it. For example, in second semester of first year I had a friend who could simply not attend university without feeling an overwhelming sense of panic. Lingering in the back of her mind constantly was the option of a switch to journalism. Once she made a change she found she was enjoying life a lot more and attends work experience at a radio station where she is absolutely thriving. As clichéd as it sounds, everyone is correct when they say you should listen to your heart.
Are you doing it for you?
Often, students who jump straight from high school to law school have been advised by family members and teachers that law would be compatible with their interests. While this has proven successful for many, some students are driven by the pressure and expectations of others to absolute breaking point. At the end of the day, impressing your peers and your parents won’t make you happy.
Law is a ‘calling’ not a choice and it consumes your entire being – as such, certainty is essential. If you are having any doubts about continuing your degree, the best options are to speak to the counseling staff at your university, utilise the support of your law society and faculty staff, and take deep breaths.
If you’re feeling like law is not for you, you’re definitely not alone. Take a look at these famous law school dropouts.
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