Unlike undergraduate, most law students do not live on campus. While you have the freedom to live off campus in any location, the battle of commuting is a struggle. Unfortunately, your commute is something you cannot avoid if you want to get to class. However, it does provide the benefit of preparing you for commuting to work daily when you are a practicing attorney.
Commuting, In General
No one really likes commuting. Even people who like to drive typically do not like commuting. Commuting takes time, there is always traffic, and honestly you have much better things to do with your time. Unfortunately, commuting is inevitable. You cannot always live right next door to your school or work. However, commuting does not have to be an unpleasant experience.
If you are like me, you typically get stressed during your commute. I go to school in a very populated area, so traffic is always frustrating. This is further escalated during rush hour, when traffic is constantly at a standstill and my commute time doubles. Not only is traffic typically bad on my normal commute, when it rains or snows even just a little, it is like the world ended. The picture I am attempting to paint is that commuting can be very stressful and unfortunately stress is the one thing (besides interesting legal facts) that law students always have in excess.
Since the typical law student is a very stressed individual, the commute to or from law school could be used as a time to relax. Obviously, when you drive you need to be focused on what you are doing (otherwise you might be breaching a duty to your fellow motorists–negligence much?). During your drive, you can organize your thoughts and clear your mind. Switch on the radio or get your playlist together and just de-stress from the day (if you are leaving school) or get yourself mentally prepared (if you are heading to school). Nevertheless, let your normally stressful commute turn into a relaxing moment of your day.
Errands to Run?
No one likes to get home and realize that they need to go run errands. The nice thing about commuting is that you are already out and about. As you travel to or from school, you can run any quick errands that you may have. A typically time-consuming annoying task could be a quick trip on the way home so that you can get home to study for the next day’s class.
Study While Driving?
Well, sort of. I would like to first say DO NOT take out your books while you are driving. That can be very dangerous (no matter how good of a driver you claim to be). It can be tempting to start studying when you are backed up in traffic but it definitely creates a risk of harm to you and other motorists. However, there might be a way to study (safely) during your commute. Instead of listening to the radio or your spotify, you can listen to law lectures or audio-books. This will help you get your mind geared to what you are going to discuss in class which could help you if you get cold called! You could even listen to podcasts from the Law School Toolbox.
What if you make your commute a pleasurable experience? Well, you can take a page from Parks and Recreation and ‘treat yo-self.’ Sometimes at the end of a stressful day at law school, I will swing through my favorite coffee shop and get a delicious beverage. On these days, I really look forward to my commute home because I know I’m going to have an amazing experience from my treat. You can use a treat as an incentive to get up early to study or to make your commute that much better.
Commuting to law school does not have to be a terrible experience. Taking a drive can clear your head so that you can focus on law school and studying. You can also save time by running your errands while commuting or even studying by listening to legal books or podcasts. Overall, commuting does not have to be stressful and could be a very pleasant experience.
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