Burnout in Law School
By: Archiebald Faller Capila
Tired is the general state of the mind and the body when you are engaged in the study of law. Because of kilometric reading assignments and various external acts that need to be accomplished, a law student could only do so much.
One day, you feel like you have all the energy to finish everything. You feel like you could accomplish so much that you start your day with a smile and with the hopes of sustaining such level of positivity in the long run. However, reality hits faster than your thought process. You will realize that there is no amount of positive mindset that can save you from your tired state.
There will always be a time when you feel like you have done everything you can—everything in your power. By that time, you feel so weak and exhausted. By that time, you become a servant of your own bed and try to drown in an imaginary world wherein you are excelling. However, amidst your greatest efforts, you still come up short. There will always be a time when circumstances will make you fall. Even though you have given it your all, you will still stumble. Even if you thought you are about to succeed, that will be the moment you often fail.
Because of this, you will feel a burden in your chest that will make you slow down in your journey. You will eventually feel tired and feel empty. By that time, you will ponder upon what you are doing and doubt your journey in the process. You will ask yourself whether or not it is still worth it.
What you may be feeling is a sense of burnout. Almost every law student goes through this phase. Burnout is where everything seems like a blur. It creates an environment of chaos. It makes you doubt yourself when in fact you are doing the right thing.
Burnout could in fact be one of the most famous elements there is in law school. One may not be able to identify the same as it is but it is most likely that they have experienced the same as well one way or another.
It starts with a blank stare. No matter what you do, you feel like there is something preventing you from doing your work. Your focus seems to shift. Your attitude towards the same changes as well. All of a sudden, you feel like that it is now an impossible task at hand.
Slowly, you will reach for your phone and try to take a break. You will browse some worthy entertainment or news to shake off the rust building from within. You will then try to think of the things to say in a tweet or post. You’ll share some memes with your friends as well. This is the first stage of burnout—looking for more time to relax and take a break.
The next thing you’ll know is that you’ll want to take a nap—a short one. You’ll try to rest a little bit by lying down on your bed and eventually close your eyes to take a break. Suddenly, you’ll have a guilty feeling of taking a rest while it is your schedule or time frame to study. Nonetheless, you continue to take your break that is not plotted in your to-do list. Such a rest signifies that your mind may want to push forward, but your body could no longer take another beating.
Burnout is a result of all things law school and all things leading up to the same. It could be that which comprises of the different reading assignments. It could be that which comprises the stress while you are studying for a subject. Or, it could be any other reasons which eventually lead to the road of law studies like financial, emotional, or social problems.
Contrary to popular belief, burnout can in fact take or be experienced in different forms. It is not boxed into one category of stress. It can be seen and experienced through different means and methods. And in law school, there will always be more than one reason which causes the burnout that we all experience.
However, as known to almost all of us, burnout is not permanent. It is a temporary hump that we all need to go through one day at a time. It is not a permanent state of the mind and the body. It is but a phase or a stage that needs to be attended to before it gets worse and turns out to be something more troublesome for us and for the people supporting our dreams to become lawyers.
Burnout can be attended to by resting a bit. It can eventually be overcome by taking a break from all the stress law school has to offer. It can be dealt with through some form of comfort in the hug from a relative, a pep-talk from a friend, or a simple exchange of banters and jokes with your colleagues in law school.
Burnouts come and go, but a positive mindset remains forever. All you have to do is to listen to your mind and body from time to time and treat them with the rest they rightfully deserve. Your body and mind may break if you will not take a step back and relax and rest even just for a little bit. Breathe slowly. Take your time in finding your rhythm. Slowly create an environment that harnesses your energy in full.
Rest is necessary in law school. Sleep is an essential element so as to give your mind and body the best condition to perform. You cannot overcome your burnout if you will not rest. One thing is for sure—you must fight it. Rest if you must, but do not let it take over your system. You must keep the fire in you alive. For you to finish your journey, you must continue and never quit. Believe in yourself. Take care of your well-being. Conquer the world one day at a time.
At the end of the day, you will realize that what you needed was just a simple break and that’s it. You will find yourself back at your feet and you will eventually get your groove back for the same. Burnouts in law school are always present, but that does not mean that you will be defeated by such.
Keep the faith and carry on. Burnouts come and go, but a positive mindset remains forever. Stay positive and remain fighting. Good luck, future lawyers! We are with you all the way.