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Handling those Not-So-Awesome Days

Two people eating comfort food

So, here I am. Having skipped my last hour of class today, I find myself extremely tired, shaky from too much coffee, stressing about my moot tomorrow and thinking about life in general.

Life. When did it get so damn complicated? I’m talking relationships with family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and any other person in between. Then there’s jobs and of course our ever demanding love/hate relationship with the law. The law. Where do I start?

Our relationship started with so much promise. There were giddy, excited feelings when we first met the law and these continued for the first couple weeks of our degree. This evolved into feelings of dread as we pull ourselves from our beds at the crack of dawn. We get ourselves out of bed and pull on our clothes (whatever is clean), collect our 10 kilos worth of textbooks and make our way to law school each day. Week after week we make the rounds, go to classes, prepare tutorial work, read notes and write notes, and go to class for hours at a time (sometimes without a break), just to get those awesome grades that will get us that awesome grad job.

When we emerge form our study comas at the end of the week, just in time to see the last rays of a Friday night sunset, we trudge off home to family that hasn’t seen us in days, or if they have, they’ve seen moody, stress-causing, anti-social messes.

My big epiphany moment came just a couple days ago. I have been feeling stressed; there are bags under my eyes and I have a worsening dependency upon caffeine. It had been a bit of a crap week, and when everything boiled over I decided to take some time out.

I realised that we need people in our lives and that neglecting my friends and family had left me with no social interaction and contributed to my worsening stress load. As law students, most of us have this idea that we are super-human and can deal with everything life throws our way, and then some. It has taken me a long, long time (and a burnout along the way) to realise that I’m not super-human and can only deal with so much on my own.

If you feel like things are getting on top of you, have a chat with a classmate, a family member, a friend, one of your professors or a guidance counsellor, anyone. Do something that you enjoy or get some advice on how to alleviate that stress.

Learn how to identify and tackle problems early, and send that not-so-awesome day packing!

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