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Dropping Out of Law School

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Nothing great in life comes without its challenges and law school has to be one of them. Law school is hard. You don’t have to be a law student to know this either – there’s generally a quiet understanding (or non-quiet understanding depending what kind of law students you are friends with) that this is the case.

Naturally, doing a degree that requires hours and hours spent on reading, giving up Friday nights and weekends to study and closed book exams worth 70% means that it's often easy to lose sight of why you chose to study law in the first place. With an assignment due in five days, you find that you’d much rather prefer to be watching another episode of Friends on repeat, make an elaborate 10-ingredient green smoothie that tastes like grass, or even read about how many ants each person on Earth would have to kill in order to completely wipe out the ant population. You can’t even begin to think about how you’re going to do this for four subjects two times a semester for five years.

Unless you're someone that had an "a-ha!" moment about why you were studying law mid-way through your degree and you have some kind of insatiable drive and hunger to get there, many of us lose sight of why we wanted to pursue a law degree in the first place. The feeling of exhaustion, burn-out and not wanting to attend class is probably a sign you just need to take a break.

I’ve been there. It’s hard to remind yourself why you started studying law in the first place, and often it takes a while before you remember why. Sometimes we might forget the ‘why’ part completely – either our priorities change or we realise that law just isn’t for us. I’ve had many moments of doubt, worry and disappointment, all of which have made me want to just drop out.

But what do you do when you get to that point? For me, speaking to a friend helped to bring sense to the decision I was so close to making. Going through the reasons why I wanted to drop out and why I should keep going or started studying law in the first place brought a sense of clarity that I had otherwise lost. Yes, law school is hard but as cliché as this may sound, the challenges made the journey all the more exciting. Coming out with a law degree is an accomplishment – it’s a testament that how I can apply myself and overcome challenges.

Tip? Don’t be too irrational and don’t be too quick to make any decisions. Talk to people and surround yourself with the wisdom of others and go from there because I would have surely dropped out if I didn’t get another person’s perspective. Find people who have your best interests in mind. My friend did not condemn me or tell me how ridiculous I was being but allowed me to assess the consequences of what could possibly happen. More often than not, you just need to give yourself a break – take the day off studying, do something for yourself and just refresh.

So yes, in the midst of studying for a 70% closed book exam you may find that you’d much rather be doing everything else but that – including watching paint dry. But try and separate these fleeting moments from your real feelings that law is not the direction you want to go in.

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