Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

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tyro
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby tyro » Fri May 04, 2012 5:04 am

Throwaway2013 wrote:I've heard this from multiple counselors, its a simple and poignant observation. But for me, some of the problems I've been facing in law school (disorganization, apathy, procrastination, anxiety) have been with me my whole life. In some sense, it's depressing to think about my problem like this. There are usually ways to address problems that are solely external, but I feel that if medication or therapy can't "fix" me then I may be broken like this for the rest of my life.

It is a pretty basic observation. Have counselors mentioned that your anxiety and procrastination could stem from your own perception of the work as unchallenging and pointless? Maybe the goals of your work are in contrast to your principles on what is actually important in life? Then again, you say those are problems you've faced your whole life.

keg411
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby keg411 » Fri May 04, 2012 7:30 am

Hey OP, I just want to let you know that you are NOT alone in terms of experiencing severe depression/anxiety/other issues. If you want to PM me at any point, please feel free.

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sunynp
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby sunynp » Fri May 04, 2012 7:33 am

But let me portray what career services/Columbia professors perceive "going home" to be like:
"Look at this fancy Ivy league lawyer, I sure wish we had someone from such an exotic and elite institution here! I don't even need to finish reading this resume, you come from such an esteemed school I have no doubt that you belong here at our firm."

Reality:
"We understand that you come from a great school, so while we usually pull only from the top 20% in area schools, for Columbia we are willing to dip into the top 30%."

Speaking generally: The arrogance of CLS and their refusal to understand that just being from Columbia isn't enough to make your way in life is staggering. This applies to the UG and any grad school program. The bubble they live in is very impressive.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri May 04, 2012 7:59 am

Best of luck to you, OP. This certainly sounds like depression and I'd encourage you not to give up on counseling and meds. You are not in the world's best position right now but it's nowhere near as hopeless as it feels. Honestly, the fact that you've gotten to where you are today without capitalizing on your potential should be encouraging, in a way. You have the capacity to succeed, without a doubt.

Have you spoken to timbs on TLS regarding the permanent job search post-EIP at CLS? He's posted about his experience striking out and recently found something that sounds like a pretty good job.

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FlanAl
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby FlanAl » Fri May 04, 2012 8:27 am

Throwaway2013 wrote:[u]

- I came into CLS with both an LSAT and GPA in the top-quarter of admitted students. I was able to handle my shit before law school, but something about being here has led me to fail more dramatically than I ever thought possible. Perhaps its depression, but the anti-depressants I've taken thus far haven't done squat for getting my motivation back.


I don't know if this happened to you but at the end of undergrad I only had small classes and professors were basically like mentors. Law school rewinds you all the way back to the power balance of high school. Don't cross this teacher they can give you a bad grade and ruin your life. Do your homework or else I'll try and humiliate you in front of 90 of your peers, and make little notes about how unprepared you are when you try to answer. This shift in the teacher student relationship plus the hefty price tag made it really hard for me to get fired up about school. Sorry for adding my own little rant...

Anyways OP I really want to thank you for posting. I think you should go for the unpaid position and then offer to work for them during the school year as well and hope that it turns into something paid or that you make connections through it to lead to something paid. Hang in there OP.

Throwaway2013
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby Throwaway2013 » Fri May 04, 2012 8:31 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Best of luck to you, OP. This certainly sounds like depression and I'd encourage you not to give up on counseling and meds. You are not in the world's best position right now but it's nowhere near as hopeless as it feels. Honestly, the fact that you've gotten to where you are today without capitalizing on your potential should be encouraging, in a way. You have the capacity to succeed, without a doubt.

Have you spoken to timbs on TLS regarding the permanent job search post-EIP at CLS? He's posted about his experience striking out and recently found something that sounds like a pretty good job.


Thanks for the encouragement.

I did hear about Timbs's situation (I also believe I bumped into him at EIP) but I really hadn't heard anything later than September about how his job search had progressed. He's always been very helpful and it was definitely disconcerting to see someone like him struggling to get a job. I'll see if I can't dig up what he landed.

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GATORTIM
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby GATORTIM » Fri May 04, 2012 9:11 am

Good luck bro. Remember its "school" and your last year at CLS amounts to about 1.5% of your entire life. Although many TLSers think LS success or failure defines you as a person, it doesn't. Your life and the American legal system will go on whether you quit or press forward. Remind yourself of those "happy" times you mentioned in your OP and figure out how to incorporate them back into your life. If you are going to blow-off your classes/assignments, try to spend the time doing something you enjoy rather than thinking about how you should be reading this or writing that.

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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby TheZoid » Fri May 04, 2012 10:03 am

Really tough situation OP, I'm sorry to hear about it. If I were you I'd try to get into a good routine. Exercise or meditate or pick up a hobby or do something positive to get yourself feeling good again. Finish up exams and then get your mind right. Everything is secondary to that. Best of luck to you, hope it all works out for you.

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20121109
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby 20121109 » Fri May 04, 2012 10:04 am

Hey OP.

I'm not suffering through quite the same issues you are, as most of my problems stem from childhood, but I know what its like to feel horribly depressed that you can't even sleep, and ironically, can't even get out of bed. I don't want you to feel like you're alone and no one cares, because people do. Please, please do not entertain any suicidal ideations. TLS can be a great resource and support system. I'm PMing you right now! You can make a change for the better! <3

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franklyscarlet
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby franklyscarlet » Fri May 04, 2012 10:18 am

OP,

No advice, but sending you all the love and support in the world right now. I spend my whole first year of my current job so depressed that I sometimes wouldn't sleep for days only because going to sleep meant getting up to go to work in the morning. None of us can understand exactly what you're going through, but please know you're not alone.

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swc65
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby swc65 » Fri May 04, 2012 10:19 am

I wish I knew who you were so I could hug you! It sounds like you are going through a terrible ordeal and I wish you the best.

A couple of suggestions-

1. Take a leave of absence- you might even convince the admin to wipe away this semester's grades (or even more depending upon how generous they are- you would not be the first). Go to Reg Services/the dean/whomever, dangle next year's tuition in their faces if you have to.
2. Share this with people you know here! Fuck dignity. We have all been through this and most of us understand that it is harder for some people than for others. We all checked our dignity at the entrance to the Double Tree last August.
3. If not 1, then quit or take some time off with the grades you have. What will be different next year? And if things are different, will it matter? It sounds like this place is killing your soul (something I can identify with).
4. If you need to chat, PM me. I totally get what you are going through and went through the same thing second semester 1L, and first semester 2L.

Throwaway2013
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby Throwaway2013 » Fri May 04, 2012 11:02 am

swc65 wrote:I wish I knew who you were so I could hug you! It sounds like you are going through a terrible ordeal and I wish you the best.

A couple of suggestions-

1. Take a leave of absence- you might even convince the admin to wipe away this semester's grades (or even more depending upon how generous they are- you would not be the first). Go to Reg Services/the dean/whomever, dangle next year's tuition in their faces if you have to.
2. Share this with people you know here! Fuck dignity. We have all been through this and most of us understand that it is harder for some people than for others. We all checked our dignity at the entrance to the Double Tree last August.
3. If not 1, then quit or take some time off with the grades you have. What will be different next year? And if things are different, will it matter? It sounds like this place is killing your soul (something I can identify with).
4. If you need to chat, PM me. I totally get what you are going through and went through the same thing second semester 1L, and first semester 2L.


Thanks for the support. These messages really do mean a lot, it's really encouraging to remember that other people care.

I feel like I'm still too stubborn to take the leave of absence at this point. It was offered at one point, but as if to encourage me student services mentioned "It's not going to be fatal for future job prospects". At that point I decided (maybe incorrectly) that dragging myself through the semester and getting lousy grades and couldn't be any worse on my transcript than a set of letters indicating my absence. Either way I'm planning on giving the same explanation, but the "stick it out" plan doesn't cost me wasted tuition dollars.

As for #2, I definitely feel more isolated here than I've been in my whole life. It wouldn't feel right to dump a bunch of emotional baggage on people I've cut myself off from.

#3, I'm considering it. It depends on what happens over the next few months. There will be a few changes next semester that might be enough to really turn things around, I'll just have to gauge the situation as the next semester gets closer.

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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby anonymcoffee » Fri May 04, 2012 11:25 am

Hey OP, it could always be worse. I hope you get help but think there's people out there that would want what you have. I was on CLS waitlist until the end and didn't get in, I go to a shit school, far away from family, horrible grades, crap medical problems, and always wonder/regret what would have happened if I got into that amazing school, in that great city, close to the ones I love, that would care for me. What I wouldn't give to be there - count your blessings, enjoy the happy things in your daily life, and consider that others are worse off - not trying to sound mean, but hope you get help.

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howell
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby howell » Fri May 04, 2012 12:52 pm

This has been a painful thread to read; it brings back very similar feelings/experiences I had in college. There has been a lot of good advice in this thread, but I would not suggest the "buck up & soldier through it" route. Mallard listed a great approach. I would add that, at the very least, you need to take a leave of absence. Your approach to law school is self-destructive, and the stress of having to get a job and figure everything out right now is not helping at all - rather, that seems to be the main driver of your emotional state. You clearly seem to be depressed, and getting mentally healthy should be your first objective. I know that's tough - in your state you probably don't even want to get better.

My emotional reaction is that if you were to print out your original post and let a dean read it and the deans did not move heaven and earth to help you, then you would need to leave the school immediately. It is undeniably apparent to me that your problems are not that you are lazy, undisciplined, etc. How someone can read your story and not ache for you is beyond me.

You mentioned your parents. Do they know you feel this way? You do not need to keep this to yourself. At all. Your comment "It wouldn't feel right to dump a bunch of emotional baggage on people I've cut myself off from," was troubling, because I can imagine exactly where the feeling behind that statement comes from.

My main suggestion would be to take a year off with the understanding that you might or might not come back. Move home, start doing things to get emotionally healthy, and build one small step at a time from there. Maybe that involves coming back for your 3L year with purpose at some point; maybe it doesn't. One other bit of advice that may or may not work for you is to volunteer/help out others. It gets your mind off of your problems, throws a huge wrench in the rationalization engine in your mind that controls your negative thoughts, and lets you see that your problems are manageable.

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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby acrossthelake » Fri May 04, 2012 12:58 pm

howell wrote: Your comment "It wouldn't feel right to dump a bunch of emotional baggage on people I've cut myself off from," was troubling, because I can imagine exactly where the feeling behind that statement comes from.


As someone who has had people who cut me off come back from out of the blue and admit that they had been struggling with depression, knowing that it wasn't personal is enough for me to ignore being cut off and to be interested in supporting the person. Choose wisely, of course. Anyone who has a very strong "anyone can do anything they put their mind to, no exceptions" mindset will probably be...unhelpful. But there's bound to be someone who would be a good choice.

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nshapkar
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby nshapkar » Fri May 04, 2012 1:41 pm

.

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ThreeYears
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby ThreeYears » Fri May 04, 2012 2:14 pm

Absolutely talk to the school administration and convince them that grades of this semester should be removed. You need a leave of absence and you have already started it a year ago. The depression of course is from ourselves, the lack of motivation, the conflict between the need for being alone and the desire for being embraced. But depression can be so much worse with real world consequences. We have to make things bearable for ourselves, otherwise the downward spiral is absolutely horrifying. Right now it seems the things eating you up is the upcoming finals and your bank account. Take care of those two things, starting from getting a leave of absence.

I am really sorry things are tough right now. But a lot of people are going through it or have gone through similar periods, some of them are not as bad as yours, some of them are much worse than yours. I had my share and I am sure some of the repliers here had their share too. Best luck to you but at the end of day, you have to pick yourself up. Go talk to the school, and then your parents, and then yourself.

nomnomaments
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby nomnomaments » Fri May 04, 2012 5:45 pm

.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Fri May 04, 2012 7:25 pm

OP, I hope things work out for you in the long run. I've struggled with mental health issues myself and I know it's kind of impossible to explain what you're feeling to other people, but you did a terrific job of coming close in your OP. Out of curiosity, were you raised by parents who had super high expectations and didn't handle your failures very well? I think this may have affected me, but I've come to realize that all you can do is your best TODAY and dwelling on the past doesn't help anything. Good luck to you.


rad lulz
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby rad lulz » Sat May 05, 2012 10:35 am

Feel better bro

apl6783
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby apl6783 » Sat May 05, 2012 3:28 pm

.
Last edited by apl6783 on Sun May 06, 2012 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dresden doll
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby dresden doll » Sat May 05, 2012 4:35 pm

apl6783 wrote:If you quit being lazy, you would do very well at any company.


I really don't think it's productive to characterize OP's issue as 'laziness.'

acrossthelake
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby acrossthelake » Sat May 05, 2012 4:38 pm

dresden doll wrote:
apl6783 wrote:If you quit being lazy, you would do very well at any company.


I really don't think it's productive to characterize OP's issue as 'laziness.'


Yeah, a quick lesson for the people who post in this thread and don't understand:

Depression =/= lazinesss

Thank you.

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thesealocust
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Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby thesealocust » Sat May 05, 2012 5:29 pm

Law school sucks, but it's not a prison. If you hate it, you can do anything you want with your life. If you want to keep swinging, get some help and keep swinging.

Somehow law school is great at building up artificial stress and making things seem more serious than they are. You'll be OK.




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