TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

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06102016
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby 06102016 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:37 am

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Easy-E
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby Easy-E » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:08 am

[quote="thesealocust"][/quote]


Thanks man. You just made my weekend much better.




I've been talking to professors after class when I have questions, but I'm going to start using office hours when I can. Any tips for best using this time? I don't want to just straight up ask "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HOW DO I GET AN A", but I do want to get some good information.

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thesealocust
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby thesealocust » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:17 am

IMO, profs don't have any useful information to be gleaned from just chatting. They won't spill their secret sauce to an individual student and the law is straightforward enough to learn that you won't get an edge having them re-explain things vs. just plodding through case books, notes, and hornbooks.

If you can get them to review practice exam answers you've written though...

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:22 am

I think profs know full well that you want to get an A, and that that's one of the major reasons to go to office hours, so don't feel weird about that. They will know what kinds of information you're looking for. I think it helps if you can go in with specific questions, even if that's just "I don't understand the RAP" or the like. If you've had a midterm, bring it in to talk about. What happens after that depends a little on the prof - some will be chatty and ask you about yourself and such, some won't (will just answer your questions and send you on your way) and that's fine. I think most schools try to staff 1L classes with profs who like to talk to students.

(Another good general topic is advice for the future, but it's probably too early to start asking profs about jobs/course selection - they'll tell you not to worry about it yet.)

(This is a little more "how to make connections with profs" than "how to get an edge on exams," but I think you can get a sense of what a prof wants on exams from talking to them in office hours.)

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Easy-E
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby Easy-E » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:30 am

Thanks for the response TLS and Mouse. My professors are all very friendly based on my interactions with them, and I get the sense people are not really utilizing the office hours as much as they hope.

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North
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby North » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:41 am

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brotherdarkness
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby brotherdarkness » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:04 pm

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thesealocust
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby thesealocust » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:48 pm

Can't apply law without using policy. I'll go to my grave that enough profs who profess different styles really looks for and grade in an almost identical manner.

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby brotherdarkness » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:24 pm

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thesealocust
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby thesealocust » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:31 pm

brotherdarkness wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Can't apply law without using policy. I'll go to my grave that enough profs who profess different styles really looks for and grade in an almost identical manner.


My income tax professor said that he couldn't give two shits whether or not we discussed policy on the exam; all that matters is coming to the right conclusion according to the Code.


My Italian professor also cared more about my ability to speak the language than about policy arguments. Much like your tax professor, my Italian professor did not teach common law 1L courses :lol:

And even in code based classes there are ambiguities that can only be analyzed fully by reference to policies behind the laws.

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby brotherdarkness » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:43 pm

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:02 am

I am having an absolutely awful time in law school.

I cannot even seem to get my casebook reading done, much less being able to start on E&Es, and I don't know why. I am very rarely ever fully caught up with the reading, even after a full weekend to catch up, and I have no good reason for that to be the case. I don't have an onerous amount to do--in fact, I was surprised by how little reading I'm assigned on a daily basis. I can understand the material when I read it, I just...I don't know why I can't do it. Looking back on undergrad, I'm staggered by how I managed even my shitty, shitty GPA. I have never had anything that even begins to approximate a work habit. I feel like I'm going to get destroyed in Biglaw, if I even make it there because everyone else is already destroying me right now. I can't understand why I can't seem to do it. Even if I fall behind during the week, catching up during the weekend should be easy. It's 150 pages and I have three days to do it. 50 pages per day means four hours, tops. It sounds so easy when I put it like that, but come Sunday night the time's all gone and I'm still behind, and I can't even understand where all that time went. I have no extracurricular activities, I haven't been going out, nobody has invited me to anything, and I know it's not going to web surfing because I put a password lock on my internet with a long and unmemorizable character string so I wouldn't remember it. It's written on a piece of paper at home so I never access the web while at school. I feel like I've done everything I know how to provide the most favorable circumstances for me to get my reading done...and I can't do it. And I don't know why. And I don't know any other solution to my problem other than "Just do the reading." It feels like I'm watching my future slip away before my eyes and I can't seem to do anything to stop it. The weekdays are even worse--falling more and more behind with each passing day as the desperation to keep up ratchets up another notch, and the risk of getting embarrassed in a cold call because I'm not prepared, like happened in CivPro, is ever present.

The first thing I feel when I wake up in the morning is inadequate. I feel like I'm a broken computer with no tech support and that every page behind represents some level of personal shortcoming. I wonder every day if I've been Peter Principle'd. The second thing I feel is anxious; there's a lot of reading to be done. I start talking to myself in terms of what a normal person should be able to do in a day, then I provide a massive discount for my inexplicable inability to do that. And then, most days, I come home at night feeling more inadequate, because I probably didn't get done what I planned on getting done. Somehow I'm falling short of my own incredibly low expectations for myself. It's not just that I'm failing when reading is the first priority--it's been the only priority. I have nothing else going on in my life. No TV, no Internet during daylight hours, no bar hopping, no exercising, and really almost no communication with friends. I have almost literally zero things that could reasonably get in the way of doing the work. I'm in the library for hours and hours every day. The same library cohorts all recognize me. The library staff has stopped clearing the books away at the desk I sit at late at night because they know I'm going to be right back in the morning when they open. The structure for getting work done is all there. I've had every opportunity to be able to do this. And I can't. I'm malfunctioning and I don't know how to fix me.

I spend every day listening to students who have clearly done the reading, and clearly understood it better than me. And then I listen to those same students talking about the bars they're hitting, the basketball games they're going to, the weekend excursions to Atlantic City or a film festival or whatever. I want to grab them by the lapels and yell "HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR LIFE GO SO PERFECTLY?" My desperation to get this done means I'm shut off from people for most of the day. I feel very, very isolated in the context of my class, and I feel like there's no one I can talk to about this that would be able to understand why I can't just get it done, because I don't understand it either. Every day it's a struggle to present myself like everyone else does, like "Whew, things have been busy, but I'm doing okay!" because it's not okay to just say I have no idea what the fuck is going on with any part of my life. Along with the daily anxiety, I feel terrified for my future and ashamed of my inability to be successful. And nothing I tell myself can make it better, because I couldn't stop feeling terrified and ashamed any more than I could stop my heartbeat. And on top of all that, it's just not fun. I haven't had a positive day in a month, even though the days are screaming by with seemingly no way to slow them. The highlight of my day yesterday was a two-minute conversation with my buddy. The day before, it was a halfway decent crab cake. Most days I take something small like that and tell myself it's a silver lining to the dark gray cloud of my life. I always feel like I shouldn't be having fun, anyway. I don't even want to do fun things anymore, and I feel disgusted by myself for that. None of the things I used to find fun seem like a good way to spend time anymore. I feel like I would be depressed if I had time to deal with that. I want this all to be over, or maybe to have never started. I want it to be ten years from now, or maybe ten years ago. Hell, I'd even settle for two days from now, or two days ago. Somehow now just feels like the worst possible time.

I don't know if I have a question or if I just needed to see all of that typed out. In any case, thanks for providing a forum to vent.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:39 am

MO, I had an experience very like that in another grad program; I'd get up bright and hopeful in the morning and plan out a day full of work! and! productivity! But then I'd futz around at this, that, and the other thing, and suddenly the morning was almost gone and I was no longer getting my early and productive start. Well, I'd say, it's too close to lunch to start now, I'll start after lunch. So I'd eat lunch, determined that my afternoon, IT would be productive. And then suddenly it would be 3:30 pm and I hadn't done anything. And I'd panic about how it was too late to get in my full 8+ hour day of work (never mind that I still had time to do, say, 4-5 hours of work, easy; I couldn't meet my original expectation!), and figure, I can't start now, I'll just get up early and start again tomorrow. So I would, with a burden of guilt and anxiety and increased expectations for that day (which had to bear the burden of both being productive in its own right and making up for my previous day's failure), which would multiply again and again when the pattern just repeated itself. It was miserable and wearing and the amount of guilt I felt for being a pathetic loser who couldn't even open a book was overwhelming. Oh, and the other fun part (which sounds like what you describe) is that because I didn't meet any of my self-imposed expectations, I wouldn't let myself do anything fun - exercise, watch TV, go to the movies, hang out with friends, etc. - because I was a bad person for not getting my work done, and I should be working, not enjoying myself. All that meant was that I was unproductive AND isolated and miserable and couldn't think about anything but the work I hadn't done, which didn't really put me in a more productive frame of mind.

In any case, while I didn't do so, I really really wish I'd talked to a counselor about it. It sounds (to my completely un-professsionally trained ears) like you're dealing with a combo of depression and anxiety (or maybe depression arising out of anxiety?) beyond the normal first-semester 1L anxiety and frustration. I subsequently found out that procrastination (which is what it sounds like you have perfected, from your description) often derives from perfectionism, and a consequent fear of failure (because if you never do anything, you can't fail at doing it!) (the subconscious is so unhelpful). It can be very very very helpful to talk to a professional about this, to get some perspective on what you can and can't expect yourself to do (sometimes the problem is unrealistic expectations, which, of course, you fail to meet, then you think you're a failure when in fact, you're just being too hard on yourself), and to help train yourself into thinking in productive ways (if that makes any sense. I'm not good at describing what therapists/counselors do).

I don't know where you're in school, but I'm pretty sure it's a very very good school, and such schools tend to be filled with high-achievers who frequently run into issues like this. So I would bet that you could go to the student health services and very quickly get directed to someone who could help and is used to seeing this. Because I do think it's common among high-achievers facing new expectations/requirements (it's not that I think you're remotely crazy; it's that I think you've had a dysfunctional adaptation to a new experience, which can be addressed). In any case, I wish you the best.

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby thesealocust » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:42 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:I am having an absolutely awful time in law school.


It's certainly designed to be overwhelming, and especially around now it's not at all surprising that you're not having a wonderful time "learning to love the law" as the saying goes.

You got to where you got because you were smart. You're laser focused on this task and the skill you've developed most strongly thus far is probably self criticism. But you'll be alright.

Nobody is destroying you. Everyone is an undifferentiated mass right now.

The gnawing sense of inadequacy is normal. It's awful, but it's normal. I know people clerking for federal judges, working on billion dollar deals, climbing through prestigious public interest organizations, etc. who still feel completely moronic and like an imposter (I think 'imposter syndrome' is even a real sciency thing?).

If you're going through hell, keep going. And if it is truly severe, there's no shame in seeking help. A lot of law schools have support services, and there's nothing at all wrong with tapping into them when things get dark.

For some perspective, here's a snippet from a blog I kept 1L year, right around this time in October:

A long time ago, I wrote:In general, the work load is increasing as is general pressure in my life. The cracks are already starting to show in myself and classmates... complaints are at an all time high, class attendance is dipping (but not dramatically), people admit to being behind in reading now and then... For the first two weeks, everyone was in lock step - assignments were easy and energy reserves were maxed out. The actually difficult portion of 1L - the scare you to death part - is definitely getting underway. Midterms, papers coming back marked up, reading that's literally 2-3x the volume per week in some classes, trickier cold calls, colder weather, and the sense of doom imparted by This Economy... I predict the tone of this blog is going to be a lot more dire from here on out.

Here's hoping I keep my head and don't fall behind myself, but that might be hoping for too much... I am definitely beginning to understand why they call law school an endurance contest. Bring it on, October.

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:45 am

Yup, imposter syndrom is a real thing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome). Very very real.

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby 06102016 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:51 am

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby thesealocust » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:57 am

If this weren't the internet I'd say now would be a good time for a group hug.

INSTEAD WATERFALL GIFS. WATERFALL GIFS FOR EVERYONE:

Image

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06102016
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby 06102016 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:58 am

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thesealocust
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby thesealocust » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:02 pm

Surely spending time with neurotic wound up law students will ease your anxiety~

I kid, I kid. Letting hair down will almost certainly help. I just loathe law students and the thought of spending time with them being desirable confuses me.

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby 06102016 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:04 pm

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KD35
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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby KD35 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:14 pm

Granted I'm a 1L as well, so take all of this with a grain of salt. What has worked for me so far when I start to get stressed (not when I am fully overwhelmed) is to remind myself that this is not the defining part of my life. Yes law school is important, and it is crucial to do well in it, but if you don't keep the bigger picture in mind then you can fall down a deep hole that is hard to climb out of. When I remind myself of this and sincerely believe it, I work more effectively because it puts less of a stressor on everything I am doing to prepare for LRW/class/midterms/final/etc.

And it is really important to start out your day with confidence. Doing well in law school requires you to be confident in your abilities to succeed. Otherwise, lack of confidence in your ability to succeed is just going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby sublime » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:20 pm

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby 06102016 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:39 pm

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby sublime » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:44 pm

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Anxiety Meditation Retreat & Spa

Postby 06102016 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:47 pm

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