Spring/Winter semester starts off with a bang right after New Year’s. You get back in the swing of things, then you get back into the grind, and suddenly you are beginning to feel run down and overworked. The only thing that motivates law students to keep going and stops them from mental breakdowns: spring break. This makes sense, typically spring break is in the middle of the semester so it serves as a checkpoint for law students. Breaks are very important for your health. They give you a moment to take a breath, catch-up, and not feel constantly stressed. That’s why I didn’t feel bad about enjoying my spring break and taking a much needed vacation.
My Crazy, 2L Life
My 2L year has been crazy to say the least. I am constantly bobbing between one activity and the next. If you looked at my planner on any given week, you would wonder how I do it all. This isn’t uncommon for me as I have always juggled a lot of activities on top of work and school. However, 2L year has really kicked my butt into gear and this year of law school has definitely been the busiest year of my life. I am taking a full load of upperclassmen classes, I work for Lexis as a student representative, I am the head student rep for another company, I am the treasurer with the Women’s Law Caucus, on the mock trial team, work part-time as a law clerk, work as a Ms JD Writer in Residence, and participate in numerous clubs and activities. Surprise, surprise, I had spring fever like WHOA. I am constantly stressed and feeling run down. Thus, I was beyond ready for spring break.
Enter Spring Break
The safe haven that is spring break – the mid-semester break that allows you to catch up on your sleep, see people you haven’t seen in awhile, and decompress from the craziness that is law school. In my opinion, this break makes the spring semester go by so quickly. Typically it begins in early-mid March, after the shortest month of the year. Then, after break is over, you typically have less than a month of classes before the exam period begins. Many students use spring break as a time to prepare for exams, catch-up on reading, and work on their outlines. There is nothing wrong with using your break for school-related activities (after all, this is YOUR break, do what you need to do). However, you should also assess what you actually need to do. You are an overstressed, overworked law student (shocking!!!) Tune into yourself and assess what would be best for you during spring break.
What I Did During Spring Break
As a first generation college student, I would tend to spend my breaks studying, working, or a combination of the two. I haven’t really been on many vacations in my life and the first time I had ever been on a plane was the August before my 2L year. Thus, my boyfriend and I decided it was high time to invest in a little R&R. A cousin that is practically a sister to my mom lives in Florida and my mom hasn’t been down to see her since before I was born. So when I brought up the idea of a vacation to my parents, they were more than happy to tag along. This began the planning stages of our trip to the sunshine state. My cousin Sharon lives in Titusville, a city near the Kennedy Space Center and an hour away from Orlando. My parents decided to purchase a truck from her but my mom hates driving. Thus, the plan was to fly down together, my parents were going to stay all week with my cousin, and my boyfriend Sam and I would do our own thing and leave early to drive back to Michigan. The first day we arrived in the morning and had a relaxing day at Sharon’s house in the sun. The next day, Sam and I went to Orlando and met up a close friend of mine who graciously took us on an adventure at Universal and around the city. The following day, Sam and I explored Disney for the first time and watched the happy ending fireworks at Cinderella’s castle. We also stayed at a nice Airbnb. On the final day, we went to the Kennedy Space Center with my dad then loaded up and made the trek back to the mitten state. Overall, I had an amazing time and was very thankful for my vacation. I had been run down during 2L year and needed not only an escape but something to look forward to at that time. This vacation helped me relax and reset my focus to studying.
Don’t Feel Bad For Taking a Break
Taking vacations or breaks are important for your health. Law school is stressful and breaks are crucial for your sanity. You have to stop thinking about the law, your casebooks, exams, and how you will become a successful lawyer. You need to take a mental break from law school. Thus, don’t ever feel bad about taking a vacation. They allow your brain to reboot, and you can come back feeling refreshed. This will help you get back into the swing of school and push through until the end of the semester and head toward your exams. So plan a vacation to go visit your family or just take a staycation in your hometown. Whatever you do, give your mind the time it needs to recuperate!
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