We usually turn to lecturers, our law school buddies and law grads for advice when it comes to battling our way through law school. But what about our good old parents? Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, they have an uncanny ability to ruthlessly dish out advice with #nofilter, right when you need it most (even though 9 times out of 10, it may not necessarily be what you want to hear).
1. “You can’t drop out and become a stripper”
A very common phone call home amongst law student circles concerns the notion of throwing in the towel for greener pastures (or poles, whichever takes your fancy/pays better at the time). I have lost count of the number of times I have called my mum and told her I wanted to drop out and be a stripper, trophy wife or WAG. When she finally responded with “you don’t have the boobs!” I conceded that perhaps I was better suited to a life of law, after all. The point of this little piece of advice, I came to realise, is that you can whinge and complain about university and exams all you want, but at the end of the day, we all chose to start this, and we’re all too stubborn not to finish it.
2. “Act like a turtle on weed”
After some asking around I realised that this particular sentiment is probably exclusively imparted by my mother, however, the message behind it is one that all law students can relate to – just relax. In law school, things can get a little hectic, and it’s important that we take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture. Our parents have seen and experienced more than we have, and often they know when us kids are overthinking things a little (or a lot), or need to take time out. In other words, “act like a turtle on weed” - you can use the phrase, my mum won’t be offended.
3. Eat well
Your friends can’t give you this advice, because chances are they’re sitting next to you in the library at 2.00 AM, chowing down on mi goreng. Parents, however, seem to be able to sense when you’re one frozen pizza away from contracting scurvy. Eating well (and taking care of yourself, generally) is a crucial ingredient in surviving the tougher times at law school, and your parents are the ones who’ll be on the phone to you asking you when was the last time you ate a vegetable. Chances are if they don’t feel as though you are heeding their advice, they’ll be at your door with a care package full of vitamins and healthy snacks, and checking the expiry date on the milk in your fridge faster than you can say “salmonella”.
4. Just Breathe
It sounds so simple and yet, coming from our parents, it seems to make so much more sense. University is stressful, and when we get stressed, we tend to forget the simplest of things. Parents are often some of the first people to notice when we’re stressed, and remind us to just step back, sit down, and take a breath.
5. If you need to, come home!
Ah, the magic words. Occasionally, all the advice in the world cannot compare to the re-energising, de-stressing powers of a dad-hug. Sometimes, we just need to go somewhere that doesn’t remind us of university or exams; where you can have a home cooked meal and use someone else’s internet. And where you know you’re surrounded by people who will love and support you, no matter what.
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