Law school is not easy. It is difficult to keep up with all your work and hard to see the big picture at end (the exam). In the midst of all the law school shenanigans, the “real world”, i.e. the world outside of the law school, continues. This means that friends still want to hang out with you, family still wants to see you, and your significant other still wants to spend time with you. While it may be tempting to put your blinders on and focus on school, it is important that you balance your relationships as well.
Who has time for a relationship?
Relationships are time-consuming and can be a lot of work. It is easy to question if you actually have time to invest in someone else. Your significant other will want you to spend time with them, go on dates, and do typical couple activities. However, you need to study and prepare for class. So you are stuck in a conundrum: do I focus all my time on studying or do I sacrifice studying to spend time with the person I care about? Also, when a relationship is struggling, it can cause additional stress and take more time out of your schedule. Even if you are a very prepared student, you may feel guilty spending time that you should be studying with friends or loved ones. Ultimately, you just need to manage your time so that you do not have to sacrifice one for the other.
Supportive Partners = Stress Relievers
Significant others that are supportive and understanding can really help you succeed in law school. These individuals can be your biggest cheerleaders in law school and encourage you to work hard to achieve your dreams. They can also help you relieve some stress by performing little tasks or running errands for you. You can also vent or confide in them if you are stressed about something.
Be Open with your Partner
Being open with your partner will help relieve some of your relationship stress. Most people know that law school is a huge time commitment. Afterall, I am sure at least a few of your friends said, “You’re crazy for going to law school” or “Well, I guess I’ll see you in a few years”. While these are good-natured jokes, there is some truth to them. Law school is very stressful and the pressure to succeed is very high. Ultimately, your significant other is with you because they care about you and want you to be successful. If you tell your partner that you need to focus on studying and can’t go to their brother’s soccer game or need to take a raincheck on your date, they will compromise with you. If you are honest with them about your needs and situation, they will understand.
Do not Choose One or the Other
While life is about choices, law school does not have to bar you from having a romantic or social life. Even if you need to study, you can still spend time with your significant other while preparing for class. Alternatively, you could plan out time to go on dates or spend the afternoon with your loved one. Life is a balance and the most effective way to have both is to manage your time and prioritize your to-do list. Focusing on something other than law school can actually clear your mind and help you focus on the law when you go to study later. You do not have to choose law school or your relationships, you can have both.
Although it can be tempting to seclude yourself so you can focus on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or understanding what defense you can argue against a negligence claim, do not push your friends and loved ones away. Ultimately, these are the people who will be a source of love and support as you are journeying through this crazy thing called law school. However, if the relationship is causing you additional stress on top of the normal law school anxiety, it may be time to address your loved one and find a path to help ease the relationship pressure. Overall, relationships and law school can co-exist!
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And check out these helpful posts:
- Parenting in Law School: Surviving Your 1L Year While Raising a Family
- How to Organize Your To-Do List in Law School
- Do You Need a Sponsor to Stay Productive in Law School
- Dealing With Law School Time Regret
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