Already stressed as a 1L

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lawhopeful10
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Already stressed as a 1L

Postby lawhopeful10 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:56 pm

So I go to a T1 regional in a market where I have ties and not a crazy high debt load (probably 85-90k when all is said and done) but I keep worrying about being unemployed. I enjoy most of my classes and my classmates seem pretty cool but I can't get around the feeling that I'm in a year long competition for a job and not really in full control of the outcome. I literally had a nightmare one night where I was telling my friends I was unemployed. I think I can keep grinding and hope 1L works out but I was just wondering if anyone else feels the same pressure I do.

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Gamecubesupreme
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:07 pm

lawhopeful10 wrote:I literally had a nightmare one night where I was telling my friends I was unemployed.


If you think there's anything wrong with that, then you're a terrible human being.

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lawhopeful10
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby lawhopeful10 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:17 pm

Gamecubesupreme wrote:
lawhopeful10 wrote:I literally had a nightmare one night where I was telling my friends I was unemployed.


If you think there's anything wrong with that, then you're a terrible human being.

If you mean do I think there is something wrong with someone being unemployed and sharing that to their friends then of course not. I simply meant I am having nightmares about ending up unemployed. In the dream I happened to be telling my friends lol.

arklaw13
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby arklaw13 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:00 pm

1L here. I'm feeling some amount of stress as well. Just remember PAYE. If you end up with a shit job, at least you can push your debt off onto the taxpayers in 10 years.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:20 pm

It's only 10 years if you do public interest (PSLF). PAYE is 20 years for private sector jobs.

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Nova
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby Nova » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:24 pm

Worry about unemployment after fall exams.

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:05 am

Nova wrote:Worry about unemployment after fall exams.


Be stressed about more important things... Like figuring out how personal jurisdiction works or something...

Gorki
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby Gorki » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:06 am

Gamecubesupreme wrote:
lawhopeful10 wrote:I literally had a nightmare one night where I was telling my friends I was unemployed.


If you think there's anything wrong with that, then you're a terrible human being.


There certainly is something wrong w/that. Have you been in the Vale thread? It is fucking terrible to know you will have your first hefty student loan bill show up and have no income to pay for it. It is awful and a nightmare.

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Gamecubesupreme
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:44 pm

Gorki wrote:
Gamecubesupreme wrote:
lawhopeful10 wrote:I literally had a nightmare one night where I was telling my friends I was unemployed.


If you think there's anything wrong with that, then you're a terrible human being.


There certainly is something wrong w/that. Have you been in the Vale thread? It is fucking terrible to know you will have your first hefty student loan bill show up and have no income to pay for it. It is awful and a nightmare.


My point was more than 50% of law school grads these days are not employed upon graduation. It's becoming more normal to be unemployed than employed. Even getting top grades does not guarantee you will be hired after graduation.

A nightmare would be you finding out your GPA for the first semester is a 1.9. Simply being unemployed does not warrant the "nightmare" classification, especially when most of your classmates will be exactly that.

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lawhopeful10
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby lawhopeful10 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:14 pm

Gamecubesupreme wrote:
Gorki wrote:
Gamecubesupreme wrote:
lawhopeful10 wrote:I literally had a nightmare one night where I was telling my friends I was unemployed.


If you think there's anything wrong with that, then you're a terrible human being.


There certainly is something wrong w/that. Have you been in the Vale thread? It is fucking terrible to know you will have your first hefty student loan bill show up and have no income to pay for it. It is awful and a nightmare.


My point was more than 50% of law school grads these days are not employed upon graduation. It's becoming more normal to be unemployed than employed. Even getting top grades does not guarantee you will be hired after graduation.

A nightmare would be you finding out your GPA for the first semester is a 1.9. Simply being unemployed does not warrant the "nightmare" classification, especially when most of your classmates will be exactly that.

You can change the word nightmare to dream if you want, all my original point was saying is that I dreamed I was unemployed and the thought of winding up that way coupled with the challenge of doing well 1L year weighs heavily on my mind and I was just wondering if others feel the same. If I knew my grades I think I would be more relaxed but I feel like I'm just awaiting a game of Russian roulette.
Edit: on a side note I don't think the fact that a lot of people are unemployed changes the fact that winding up not being a lawyer after 3 years of law school is still a nightmare scenario for most people.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:29 pm

Some people don't like this advice or don't understand it - but use that fear as a motivator to kick ass. I was afraid my 1L year too. Fucking terrified actually. Let's not candy coat it - you ARE in a competition with literally every single classmate, first for grades then for a job. Each one is an enemy who wants to take your A and your job for themselves. The key is how you act under stress. Some people shutdown, others work harder. Be the second type. When the dread creeps up, keep working. Just KNOW that YOU will win. Be sure of it.

Totally normal feelings. And ignore the people above quibbling over whether "nightmare" is the right word. It is, but who cares.

thegrayman
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby thegrayman » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:24 pm

It's never too early to start stressing out about 1L exams, period. Now get back to studying.

pingpong86
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby pingpong86 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:20 am

If it helps, I felt a lot of stress during my 1L year, also to the point of occasional nightmares and other indicators of strong anxiety. I also did extremely well in terms of grades. Frankly, the stress doesn't entirely stop with 1L, either, even if you get a permanent job offer. If you're at all sensitive to performance pressures, your entire legal career will probably be filled with some heightened sense of anxiety and stress. That, of course, doesn't mean that it won't be fulfilling.

The truth is that you're perceiving things accurately. You're in a high-stakes 8 month marathon race where the other runners are virtually invisible. You have very few indicators as to whether you're keeping pace, and certainly no guarantees that you'll cross the finish line in a desirable position. The mind games that you can play with yourself--imagining them "sprinting" while you're "stopping for water", or imagining that no matter how hard you "run", you'll still finish last--are infinite and tormenting. At the same time, I think you can also understand that thinking like this does nothing for you in the excess. You should embrace these feelings to the extent that they inspire you, and disregard them past that. Here are some things you can do that might help:

1. Don't study on campus. Some people find studying on campus helps them; I personally found it very distracting. When I was around other students, I couldn't stop comparing myself to them: who was in the library longer, who was checking facebook more, whatever. It wasn't always conscious and it certainly wasn't intentional, but it caused me to think and worry more about the competition aspect of law school. I found I achieved a higher level of focus and absorption off campus. In a sense, I felt like it became just about me and my understanding of the material--a sort of direct relationship--as opposed to me and my understanding of the material relative to my peers. This helped.

2. Socialize with people outside of law school. Hanging out with law students often exaggerates the importance of law school, which of course extends to the competition aspect. Alternatively, I've noticed sometimes that 1L social groups get strangely anti-competitive. It seems like they enter into some sort of arms treaty where they share platitudes about how doing well isn't that important and start to try less hard to avoid appearing more "gunner" than their peers. There's certainly no need to be cut throat or act like law school is the navy seals, but it's also important to keep your eye on the ball: most students in your law school will end up unhappy employment circumstances, and strong 1L grades are probably your best insurance against that happening to you. Don't become totally complacent.

3. Don't be afraid to acknowledge the possibility that things may not work out. You may give it your best and get mediocre results. That's okay, and you will be okay. You'll be able to turn it into a growth experience, especially knowing that you gave it your best. Because of your debt situation, it sounds like you'll have reasonable options, even if they don't involve continuing with law school. Many happy and successful lives have started with walking away from law school after the first year.

4. If you still find the stress invasive, you might consider employing worrying self-help techniques. One that I know many people consider very useful is setting aside a half hour each day to worry. If you start to worry outside of the half-hour block, just acknowledge the worry, assure yourself that you'll be able to address it later during your worry session, and set it aside for the time being. During your worry session, don't fight your worries; embrace them, and ask yourself questions like: is this a worry that I can realistically solve? (In regard to general 1L stress, I think the answer is generally no.) If so, try to outline practical steps that you can get started on toward making the situation better. If not, appreciate that fact and let it diminish how much weight you give to the worry. My understanding is that this technique has proven vastly superior to attempting to outright suppress anxious thoughts, which generally just exacerbates them.

Well, this was an extremely long post, but I hope it helps. Good luck with your 1L year and beyond.

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lawhopeful10
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby lawhopeful10 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:21 am

pingpong86 wrote:If it helps, I felt a lot of stress during my 1L year, also to the point of occasional nightmares and other indicators of strong anxiety. I also did extremely well in terms of grades. Frankly, the stress doesn't entirely stop with 1L, either, even if you get a permanent job offer. If you're at all sensitive to performance pressures, your entire legal career will probably be filled with some heightened sense of anxiety and stress. That, of course, doesn't mean that it won't be fulfilling.

The truth is that you're perceiving things accurately. You're in a high-stakes 8 month marathon race where the other runners are virtually invisible. You have very few indicators as to whether you're keeping pace, and certainly no guarantees that you'll cross the finish line in a desirable position. The mind games that you can play with yourself--imagining them "sprinting" while you're "stopping for water", or imagining that no matter how hard you "run", you'll still finish last--are infinite and tormenting. At the same time, I think you can also understand that thinking like this does nothing for you in the excess. You should embrace these feelings to the extent that they inspire you, and disregard them past that. Here are some things you can do that might help:

1. Don't study on campus. Some people find studying on campus helps them; I personally found it very distracting. When I was around other students, I couldn't stop comparing myself to them: who was in the library longer, who was checking facebook more, whatever. It wasn't always conscious and it certainly wasn't intentional, but it caused me to think and worry more about the competition aspect of law school. I found I achieved a higher level of focus and absorption off campus. In a sense, I felt like it became just about me and my understanding of the material--a sort of direct relationship--as opposed to me and my understanding of the material relative to my peers. This helped.

2. Socialize with people outside of law school. Hanging out with law students often exaggerates the importance of law school, which of course extends to the competition aspect. Alternatively, I've noticed sometimes that 1L social groups get strangely anti-competitive. It seems like they enter into some sort of arms treaty where they share platitudes about how doing well isn't that important and start to try less hard to avoid appearing more "gunner" than their peers. There's certainly no need to be cut throat or act like law school is the navy seals, but it's also important to keep your eye on the ball: most students in your law school will end up unhappy employment circumstances, and strong 1L grades are probably your best insurance against that happening to you. Don't become totally complacent.

3. Don't be afraid to acknowledge the possibility that things may not work out. You may give it your best and get mediocre results. That's okay, and you will be okay. You'll be able to turn it into a growth experience, especially knowing that you gave it your best. Because of your debt situation, it sounds like you'll have reasonable options, even if they don't involve continuing with law school. Many happy and successful lives have started with walking away from law school after the first year.

4. If you still find the stress invasive, you might consider employing worrying self-help techniques. One that I know many people consider very useful is setting aside a half hour each day to worry. If you start to worry outside of the half-hour block, just acknowledge the worry, assure yourself that you'll be able to address it later during your worry session, and set it aside for the time being. During your worry session, don't fight your worries; embrace them, and ask yourself questions like: is this a worry that I can realistically solve? (In regard to general 1L stress, I think the answer is generally no.) If so, try to outline practical steps that you can get started on toward making the situation better. If not, appreciate that fact and let it diminish how much weight you give to the worry. My understanding is that this technique has proven vastly superior to attempting to outright suppress anxious thoughts, which generally just exacerbates them.

Well, this was an extremely long post, but I hope it helps. Good luck with your 1L year and beyond.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to post that. Your response as well as others in this thread I think definitely will help and give me a good perspective.

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Zensack
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby Zensack » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:30 pm

I'm in the same boat as OP. I'm spending about 15 hours a day on campus and barely keeping up with class and sleep. When I realized I had forgotten to turn in a required form to use a laptop on my midterm I had the second biggest school induced flipout of my life. I've begun overhauling my entire law school strategy in response to it, hopefully the new strategy takes me in the right direction.

Gotallanswers
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby Gotallanswers » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:59 am

Zensack wrote:I'm in the same boat as OP. I'm spending about 15 hours a day on campus and barely keeping up with class and sleep. When I realized I had forgotten to turn in a required form to use a laptop on my midterm I had the second biggest school induced flipout of my life. I've begun overhauling my entire law school strategy in response to it, hopefully the new strategy takes me in the right direction.


You sure? 15 hours is a bit overboard. If your honestly spending 15 hours your doing it wrong. Unless your literally reading every case briefing every case then briefing the hornbook on the topic. Than after class briefing your notes rereading the cases than rereading the hornbooks and updating your outline than you should be spending about 15 hours a day. Actually know that still won't be 15 hours a day. You then read read the cases and the hornbooks before class and rebrief them, that should be about 15 hours per day.

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Zensack
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby Zensack » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:07 am

Gotallanswers wrote:
Zensack wrote:I'm in the same boat as OP. I'm spending about 15 hours a day on campus and barely keeping up with class and sleep. When I realized I had forgotten to turn in a required form to use a laptop on my midterm I had the second biggest school induced flipout of my life. I've begun overhauling my entire law school strategy in response to it, hopefully the new strategy takes me in the right direction.


You sure? 15 hours is a bit overboard. If your honestly spending 15 hours your doing it wrong. Unless your literally reading every case briefing every case then briefing the hornbook on the topic. Than after class briefing your notes rereading the cases than rereading the hornbooks and updating your outline than you should be spending about 15 hours a day. Actually know that still won't be 15 hours a day. You then read read the cases and the hornbooks before class and rebrief them, that should be about 15 hours per day.


I arrive every day shortly before 9am and rarely leave before 11pm, often after midnight. The fact that bus service now stops at 1am has left me stranded before. Time gets squandered, but I always have my cases read, my briefs written, and my ICWs submitted. The ICWs are worth points, but the other two are getting the axe to stave off burnout, and allow a healthyish sleep schedule.

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gdane
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby gdane » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:14 am

Not to be a dick, but if y'all are getting so "stressed out" by 1L y'all are not gonna be able to handle the biglaw job y'all are no doubt gunning for.

Settle down. Relax.

ash0117
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby ash0117 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:39 am

Seriously, you all need to be concerned about burning out long before finals. It's not about how long you work, it's about how smart you work. And right now, in the first semester of 1L, your focus needs to be on FINALS and GRADES, not jobs. Jobs depend on grades. And if you worry about and take on too much you will drive yourself crazy. Just focus on doing what you need for finals (aka understanding the basic rules and application of those rules). Nothing else matters. There is just no way you aren't going to burn out doing 15 hour days. I can't imagine you get much accomplished after that many hours.

Pace yourselves. And don't let the shit that people say get to you. It's a competition and a game. Total psychological warfare. At my school, Fall 1L is like a hazing period. Those that are able to stay relatively calm and pace themselves do better and "win." Those who panic and freak out or work until they can't function end up failing at the game.

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FKASunny
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby FKASunny » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:10 am

Maybe I'm doing it wrong, and I won't find this out until it's too late, but I feel like the 2Ls are WAY more stressed out than we are. I definitely get the general anxiety that comes with not knowing if we're doing this right, but seriously, how the hell do you spend 15 hours a day on this stuff?

ash0117
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby ash0117 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:18 am

ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) wrote:Maybe I'm doing it wrong, and I won't find this out until it's too late, but I feel like the 2Ls are WAY more stressed out than we are. I definitely get the general anxiety that comes with not knowing if we're doing this right, but seriously, how the hell do you spend 15 hours a day on this stuff?


This. Fall 2L has been WAY more stressful than 1L ever was. But at the time, 1L was the hardest thing I've ever done. Hindsight is 20/20, I guess.

KidStuddi
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby KidStuddi » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:10 pm

You should be taking 1L deathly serious as the outcome obviously matters, but there's nothing stressful about it. You're given syllabi that tell you exactly what your assignments are and when they're due. And none of those assignments are even graded (with the possible exception of LRW at some schools), what the hell are you stressed about in September? Being called on in class and having to take a few seconds to recall the case? And 2L being stressful? WTF? You picked your classes, why would you pick a schedule you can't handle? How is it even possible to make a schedule you can't handle? I went to like 40% of my classes and played golf every other day and my GPA went up over 1L.

If having to read books according to a prescribed scheduled stresses you guys out, you'll have no chance of surviving in BigLaw (and many other types of practice) where the deadlines are hard, quick, appear at random, and every assignment could be the one that gets you fired. Work on your time management skills and, for the sake of your own sanity, calm the fuck down.

sparty99
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Re: Already stressed as a 1L

Postby sparty99 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:22 pm

There is nothing to be stressed about. It is a lot of reading. Skip a week and just read for like two classes. Hell, take this week off and do the reading for the entire semester for two classes (if not all). Then you will be done.

Then you can focus on October and November on passing the final. You will have time for practice exams, etc.




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