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How to keep things in perspective

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During law school, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to learn about complex areas of law, perfecting clerkship applications, participating in extra-curricular activities and cramming for exams. As law students, we tend to possess Type A personalities and perfectionist tendencies, meaning that it can be very easy to lose perspective.

It's important to remember that your identity and self-worth isn't based solely on being a law student. When I find myself stressing out about clerkships, an upcoming exam or even about keeping up with the readings during the semester, I ask myself: will this really matter in a week, a month, a year or five years time.

This helps to remind myself that the situation that I am stressing about, as horrible as it may appear, will most likely be insignificant in the future. Yes, failing a subject or missing out on a clerkship might be extremely disappointing, but you can always repeat a subject and there's almost always an alternative. The issue is just a small obstacle that can be overcome, and remember, law school is not the only means of becoming successful.

To retain perspective, I ensure I spend time with my non-law school friends. They're brilliant because they help you remember that there's life outside of law school. And it can be reassuring to realise that friends completing other university degrees also suffer from similar stresses.

Finding ways to manage stress levels can also help you keep things in perspective. Regular exercise can do wonders, and really helped me to retain my sanity over my previous exam period. 'But I don't have time to go to the gym' you may exclaim. However, simply going on a 15 minute power walk may be enough to make you to feel refreshed and ready to tackle another practice exam. Getting away from your desk and venturing outdoors into the real world can also be beneficial. For example, I find it relaxing to watch the ducks swim at the local lake. Watching the ducks peacefully going about their life without a care in the world besides basic survival, helps to remind me that, I too can be at peace.

And as stressful and as exhausting as law school can sometimes be, I am lucky to have roof over my head, the knowledge of where my next meal is coming from, the ability to pursue higher education and access to Netflix. So while everything may feel unbearable, these negative emotions are transient. So stay positive, remember that you will be able to overcome the challenges of law school and start getting excited for the upcoming summer break.

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