Serious Question

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Anonymous User
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Serious Question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:26 pm

I attend a T14 and have locked down a 1L BigLaw SA. Life couldn't be any better right? However, I'm miserable. I'm always on edge and stressing. Most of all, I'm completely insecure about myself and my abilities.

Even though I locked up an 1L SA, I'm still insecure. First, my stress used to be about getting good grades, then I got them. Then it was landing a 1L SA. I got that one. Now, I feel stressed about not making myself look stupid this summer. Does the stress ever stop? How do you live like this if it doesn't? What are the best ways to combat stress?

Is this common? I know some TLSers tend to post smart ass comments. But I'm actually serious and would love some real feedback.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Serious Question

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:35 pm

Going to try to not be a smart ass here. It hurts.

You are not alone. Many people feel how you do - even, and sometimes especially, when they are succeeding by all standard measures.

It's hard to generalize past that without knowing your life (not asking you to out yourself). For some people, the stress goes away once they hit some point of 'safety' in their mind: 2L SA, offer, passing the bar, or later.

For others, it's a sign of their personality and/or working style. The stress doesn't go away, and law can reinforce that in a vicious feedback loop.

There is nothing more important than your health, and that includes mental/emotional health. If you feel overwhelmed, counseling is a good idea. Most schools have programs in place for just this purpose. Maybe reach out toba friend, or cultivate a hobby if you can find the time.

You're not alone, and you're not a lesser person for your stress.

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BearsintheRafters
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Re: Serious Question

Postby BearsintheRafters » Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:40 pm

As a 0L, I can't really speak to the law-specific sources of stress that you're talking about. I can say that you shouldn't be surprised that stress continues even after you've achieved your goals. Can you imagine someone who feels more accomplished than the person who is elected POTUS? Can you imagine someone who feels more stressed?

I tend to look at anxiety more as a component of your personality. Anxiety is not contingent on stress-inducing pressures or obstacles--some people legitimately do not find things like exams, interviews, or public speaking stressful. Other people are extremely stressed by those things. You are probably someone who would feel stressed and anxious regardless of what was happening in your life. So long as you find productive outlets for that stress, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Stress can ensure that all your bills are paid, that you've sent out all your thank you letters after your wedding, or that you'll over prepare and over deliver on tasks at work. Just make sure it's not overwhelming you--sometimes you have to manage the stress, not the tasks.

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cyrilfiggis
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Re: Serious Question

Postby cyrilfiggis » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:04 pm

Try to imagine how much more stressed people are that are in worse positions than you (even at your school) and see if that helps you feel less stressed by comparison.

Best ways to combat stress: Exercise, healthy diet, drugs, alcohol, social interaction. Not necessarily in that order.

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MCFC
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Re: Serious Question

Postby MCFC » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:16 pm

Smartass comment: It might not be a bad idea to keep stressing over grades. Second semester counts too.

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transferror
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Re: Serious Question

Postby transferror » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:31 pm

Always having something to stress about is common. Journal write on, then summer performance, then OCI, then clerkship apps, then getting the offer after 2L SA, then blah blah blah. There's always something to stress about/compete for. Most students stress less as time goes b/c they realize the world won't end if they miss something or it doesn't work out as planned (this doesn't apply to getting the offer after 2L SA, as that is always stressful). And as mentioned, some ppl just stress over everything b/c of their personality. You're doing well so far and nailing 1L is the hardest part. You'll be fine.

Go have a drink and chill out.

KidStuddi
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Re: Serious Question

Postby KidStuddi » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:32 pm

If you're stressed to the point of discomfort by law school, which is basically 3 hours of optional class a day, you're almost certainly going to be one of the people who finds Biglaw miserable. I don't know if there's anything someone can tell you in an online forum that can constitutionally change you into someone who's self-confident and doesn't spend all day worrying about the what-ifs -- if it were that easy, I doubt psychologists / the makers of Xanax et al. would have such a sustainable business model.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Serious Question

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:39 pm

Avoid stress by engaging in daily exercise, social interactions, a healthy diet & minimal alcohol intake.

As you probably know, stress should be a very serious concern as the consequences can cause a bit of a downhill snowball effect for both one's physical & mental health.

I have a high earning relative who seems to match your profile. He has ended up in the hospital emergency room a few times due to stress related illnesses. Exercise, socialize, pray, eat right & drink in moderation. Finding a significant other who keeps your perspective balanced might also help. Consider asking your on campus health facility to speak to you &/or your law school about managing stress.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Serious Question

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:40 pm

I think one of the reasons it's all so stress-inducing (to some/many people) is that you're dependent on external things for your self-worth - getting into the right school, getting the right grades, getting the right job. Those things are decided by other people, so you don't really have control over them no matter how hard you work/how smart you are, so STRESS.

I don't at all mean that as criticism - people who do well enough in school to end up at a top law school tend to have received accolades from others most of their life, and so it becomes super easy to see those things as what make you worthwhile. And I also don't have a magic solution for developing an internal sense of self/self-worth that doesn't depend on what others think of you (I really wish I did), but being aware of the external/internal difference can help.

Personally, I find it helps a lot to find other outlets/activities besides law - hobbies, sports, exercise, volunteering, stuff completely unconnected from law - because then you have things in your life where your legal abilities really don't matter at all. I know it can be hard to do that in law school, because there's the feeling you're supposed to devote all your time to school, and if you moved to a new place for school you may not have a big non-legal network in place. But to the extent you can do that, it really helps. And keep in mind the cliche, you can't control other people (professors/grades/employers), just your reactions to them.

cyrilfiggis wrote:Try to imagine how much more stressed people are that are in worse positions than you (even at your school) and see if that helps you feel less stressed by comparison.

This kind of thing just makes me feel guilty, but who knows, maybe it helps some people.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Serious Question

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:47 pm

In my opinion, the above post is right on target. Great insight expressed in a very helpful fashion.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Serious Question

Postby Desert Fox » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:31 pm

cop some xanax and zoloft. You are this stressed, you will never not be unless you take medicine.

queerqueg
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Re: Serious Question

Postby queerqueg » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:42 pm

What Mouse said. I will add that it's definitely worth seeing a psychiatrist. Self-medicating is a very bad idea, especially since there are conditions where drugs are completely ineffective (CBT usually being the only effective treatment in these cases).

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Yardbird
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Re: Serious Question

Postby Yardbird » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:10 pm

Find a hobby that helps you release that stress. Things I know many people do to relieve stress: exercise, cook, clean, hike, scenic drives, drink (socially, not alone), play music, softball. The list can be endless. Find something that works for you and MAKE time for it and stick with it. Your body and mind will thank you.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Serious Question

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:27 pm

If it helps to give it a name, you're likely suffering from imposter syndrome - a common "there's nothing to diagnose about you" diagnosis in high functioning adults.

As others have suggested, find something that makes you tick. But, also, own your shit. Being a touch lay-neurotic has worked for you. You're not pathological to the extent you don't recognize your shit. Get some exercise. Join a painting club. Sing in a choir - anything to bring out your human BEing when you feel like you're just a human DOing. Normalizing is important.

Basically, just own your shit and you'll be fine and realize (often while driving or showering or other benign exercises) that you've gotten to this place through hard work and natural talent and that those two attributes compliment each other beautifully when one feels lacking.

Also find a good bourbon when self-affirmations don't suffice.

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Yardbird
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Re: Serious Question

Postby Yardbird » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:47 am

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:Also find a good bourbon when self-affirmations don't suffice
Pappy van Winkle. Let your search begin.

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fisheatbananas
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Re: Serious Question

Postby fisheatbananas » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:22 am

You must be extremely busy but I'd really hard to make time to do something regularly that helps to make you less stressed, such as sports, working out etc. Of course it doesn't have to be something active but that is how I release my stress so I couldn't think of any other examples off the top of my head

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: Serious Question

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:46 am

shadowofjazz wrote:
NonTradHealthLaw wrote:Also find a good bourbon when self-affirmations don't suffice
Pappy van Winkle. Let your search begin.

Now there's a worthwhile law school hobby.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Serious Question

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:48 am

Other25BeforeYou wrote:
shadowofjazz wrote:
NonTradHealthLaw wrote:Also find a good bourbon when self-affirmations don't suffice
Pappy van Winkle. Let your search begin.

Now there's a worthwhile law school hobby.


Far more pertinent than 'Getting to Maybe'

Anonymous User
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Re: Serious Question

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:24 am

I would recommend against Xanax and Zoloft - my advice: double down on the reefer

Seriously though, I was a much more relaxed 1L (and 2L... and 3L) because of it.

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: Serious Question

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:11 am

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:
Other25BeforeYou wrote:
shadowofjazz wrote:
NonTradHealthLaw wrote:Also find a good bourbon when self-affirmations don't suffice
Pappy van Winkle. Let your search begin.

Now there's a worthwhile law school hobby.


Far more pertinent than 'Getting to Maybe'

No kidding. I can't think of anything that will get you more partners willing to mentor you than a bottle of Pappy sitting on your desk. Preferably the 23 year.




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