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Law School Breakdowns

By: Archiebald F. Capila

How many times have you cried in law school?

It is safe to say that for the most part in this journey to becoming a lawyer, law students have had an episode or two of breakdowns and the like. Whether it be because of law school itself or because of indirect reasons also related to the study of law, law students from all over the country have cried puddles of tears just because of their goal to becoming a member of the profession.

More often than not, law students cry because of the study itself. A law student may find himself on the brink of despair—trying to understand the text-heavy laws and annotations brought about by the same. These law students have a hard time fully memorizing the assigned provisions and jurisprudence. One way or another, they would find themselves crying in the middle of the night while trying to absorb what the law provides or how the same is applied in several instances.

Accordingly, law students also cry after the period of study. Some law students cry because of a failing mark. For one too many reasons, law students forget the provisions they memorized or the jurisprudence they were tasked to analyze. Because of the many assigned reading materials, a law student can only do so much. Because of this, they fail to deliver based on the standards they have set. They fail to reach a passing mark in recitations, quizzes, short exams, or even the test which comprises the biggest portion of their final grade. These law students breakdown because they knew in themselves that they have given everything they got. They breakdown because they know that no matter what inspirational posts they see or read, they are not enough to justify their subpar performances.

Aside from these instances related to the study, law students also cry and become sad because of other reasons. They could hear some words of disappointment from their loved ones—on why they are struggling amidst the fact that they have ample resources to pass their subjects. Some questions are left unanswered because law students do not know how to address them. Why did you get a failing mark? Why will you need another year? Why will you not be a part of this year’s graduating class? Why are you so afraid of taking the Bar? These questions from loved ones and families carry with it a heavy burden that law students cannot carry alone.

In addition, these law students also cry because whatever they do, they feel like the time in their hands is not enough. They miss several important occasions or events. They fail to attend milestone dates of friends and families. They feel like they do not have the right to enjoy because they are law students who need to prioritize their respective studies. These law students breakdown because whatever explanation they say, or whatever justification they propose, these are all read and understood as mere excuses so as to avoid any commitment or any schedule aside from the study itself.

It is inevitable. Law school is and will always be a haven of tears and melancholy. Law school is a place where even the most brilliant minds fail to endure the pain and carry on. Law school is where the worst is expected, and the best can only be achieved once in a blue moon. To some, law school is the personification of hell. To some, it could even be worse.

Some people would not understand the same. People would always aver that maybe law students are just exaggerating. Some people would think of law students as creating their own demons. Because we cannot explain in full what we are going through right now, all we do is rely on our own strengths and keep the sadness within us so as to avoid conflict.

Let this be a reminder that breakdowns in law school will always be present. Whether it be because of law school itself or because of the people around it affecting the same, law school will always be a place where your emotional endurance is put to the test. Your fortitude when it comes to handling these kinds of problems will be put in shambles. Your doubts as to whether or not you can really finish the degree will grow at a very fast pace. Your tears will be drained every time you feel like you are finally doing good for yourself. You will be reminded that at the end of the day, no one goes unscathed in law school.

But amidst all these, look at where you are right now.

There will always be nights when you’ll start to cry while in the middle of your studying session. There will always be times when you stare blankly at your ceiling while laying your back down and then cry yourself to sleep. There will always be times when you can’t help but cry while in the middle of the day, eating your meal and contemplating on what you should do after. But after your breakdowns—after all the heart-breaking stories you tell yourself, you try to put the same behind you and move on. You try to tell yourself that no matter what happens, you continue to fight for your dreams and believe in yourself that one day, you will eventually become a lawyer.

Ask around bar candidates and lawyers. They have experienced these struggles too. But look at where they are right now. They are currently living the dream they once aimed for back when they were just studying law. With hard work and perseverance, they thrived in the area they once wished for. They are now officers of the court who have surpassed the curses of law school.

The same could also happen to you—to all of us. Just remember that while you breakdown, never let the same fill you up. The release of these emotions is necessary in order to move forward. Better yet, do not do the same alone. While some of your families, loved ones, relatives, and friends would not understand in full, they will always be there for you nonetheless.

Remember that they are some of the main reasons why you keep on fighting for the dream. Remember that they are also sources of strength and wisdom. Remember that at the end of the day, they are fighting with you.

To all the law students who are experiencing consecutive breakdowns for the last couple of days, please do remember that your emotions are valid. Please do remember that whatever happens, we are with you all the way. Nobody gets through law school without such dark chapters in our lives. What you need to look forward to are the next stories in store for you. The same could only be clear and bright if you continue to fight for your dreams and never surrender because of different setbacks. What you must remember is that you must use the tears you have drained as strength in order to shower yourself with greatness in the future.

Always remember that you have not gone this far only to go this far. You will always be meant for something great. All you have to do today is to endure the pain a little longer. Cry if you must. Rest if you can. But do not give up on your dreams of becoming a lawyer. Breakdowns will come and go. They will always be present in your pursuit of a degree in law. But you have to counter the same with a strong will to be great. You will be rewarded sooner than you think. You will eventually become a lawyer in the future.

At the end of the day, what matters most is that you continue to do great and be great. All these circumstances will serve as a lesson. At the end of the day, you fight. At the end of the day, you strive to be better.

Law school may hand you breakdowns, but the same must not break you.

Stay strong, future lawyers.

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