Having elected to write this article at the beginning of the semester, it’s almost as though I subconsciously decided to use myself as a guinea pig to see just how bad things could get if I neglected myself in the name of law school.
Spoiler alert: I ended up in hospital. Twice. Once in emergency, and now for long term recovery care.
Yep, law school can be a dangerous place!
It all began innocently enough. I stopped going for my thrice-weekly afternoon run. Those three hours a week could surely be put to better use reading that massive corporations law textbook, right?
Then came fast food replacing my normally (relatively) healthy diet. Grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning – Ain’t no law student got time for that!
The next victim of law school was my hobbies. I stopped reading for pleasure, participating in political events I was passionate about, volunteering, and most strangely for me, I stopped writing.
Finally came my relationships. I stopped making the effort to ‘just catch up’, and hanging out seemed more like wasted time that I should be using to read that seemingly endless judgment.
Essentially, and most importantly, I put law school before my needs and my health. I failed to follow my own advice regarding managing your mental health, and I suffered a major depressive episode; hence the hospitalization. I also had to submit a late withdrawal form, which could mean that I accumulate the HECS-HELP debt and receive fails on my transcript because I am now unable to complete this semester.
But I didn’t get sick and have to withdraw because I have a mental illness. I became sick and had to withdraw because I didn’t take care of myself, and I put law school before my own health and wellbeing. My perspectives were way out of whack, and so were my priorities.
Great marks are great, but if the difference between a HD and a D is your health, then it’s not worth it, and it’s definitely not sustainable.
Don’t wait until you’ve hit rock bottom to reconsider your priorities. If you’re run down, feeling stressed, or just not feeling yourself, there’s no better time to start taking care of yourself than right now.
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