There’s something about a day of sitting in classes, reading between classes, and looking forward to a night of more reading that can really wear a girl (or guy) out. Luckily, I’ve already found a few tried-and-true remedies to perk me up after a full day at Green Hall.
This is definitely an old favorite. To veg out with real flair, I recommend investing in a Netflix subscription. If you don’t have cable (like me), Netflix is a necessity; but even if you do, it’s great for bingeing on hours of commercial-free TV. Even if you opt out of Netflix, make sure to give your brain some “candy” occasionally, whether it’s in the form of “Family Guy” reruns, a video game, a novel, or a magazine like Cosmo. Nothing recharges me for a new day of learning the law like spending an hour or two turning my mind into mush.
I have never been a huge fan of “physical activity.” There’s something about making myself tired and sweaty just for fun that’s always seemed counterproductive to me. However, since all of our law classes are in one building, eliminating any need for walking around campus, I realized I needed to get moving. Fortunately, KU has a lot of exercise options. Some of my sportier friends have joined the 1L flag football team or Lawrence’s ultimate frisbee team, but I wanted something more laid back. I paid a visit to KU’s Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center (the Rec for short) and started taking the yoga and pilates fitness classes they offer regularly. I really like yoga and pilates because they’re not too strenuous, but they allow me to relax, stretch out, and work my poor atrophied muscles. The Rec is free for students, but classes are $3 each, or $50 for a semester pass. That’s a really good deal considering other Lawrence fitness clubs charge between $100-$200 for six months. The Rec offers a wide variety of fitness classes during all times of the day and evening, so it’s easy to set up a schedule that fits my week and stick with it. After I work out, I feel refreshed, refocused and pleasantly reminded that my body is good for something besides sitting hunched over books all day.
Who wants to think about making dinner after a full day of school and studying? Not this law student. I want something easy, quick and cheap, and I can only eat scrambled eggs for dinner so many times in a week. Luckily, Lawrence is full of options that fit my budget. One of my favorite areas to grab a bite is Massachusetts Street. This is Lawrence’s soul, a cute downtown area full of shops and unique (but cheap) restaurants. For great pizza, head to Papa Keno’s, where the slices are big, the toppings are varied and the prices are low. If you’re craving Latin American cuisine, I recommend La Parrilla, which serves authentic dishes in huge portions. Is comfort food what your heart desires? Noodles & Co., although a chain restaurant, is a good bet for warm pastas and a cozy atmosphere. If none of those eateries sounds like what you’re looking for, just take a stroll down Mass. Street some evening and browse. Italian, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, seafood or a good burger: You’ll find it all at a decent price.
“Social life? What social life?” That’s something I expected to hear from most KU Law students when I first came here. Happily, nothing could be farther from the truth. While law school is undoubtedly time-consuming, the students here place a big value on taking time off to relax and socialize together. The Student Bar Association does a fantastic job of organizing all kinds of events, such as football tailgates, a weekly TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday) outing to a local bar, and even a spring prom. There are gatherings on a weekly basis where we can all hang out and finally talk about something besides civil procedure. But even if you can’t stand the sight of your classmates after seeing them in class all week (which is unlikely), it’s important to see your friends and get out of your rut. Maintaining your social life will help you maintain your sanity. So find something fun to do with friends once in awhile, whether it’s at a law school function or not.
Long story short: Don’t let law school make you a sad little prisoner of the Wheat Law Library – it doesn’t have to be that way! Find what helps you unwind the best and make sure you take the time to do it regularly. Allow yourself the time to do something you enjoy, and give your mind and body a break from the grind. I haven’t been here long, but law school is proving to be an exciting adventure. I don’t want to miss a second of it from being burned out!
Aubrey Wilson, 1L and Student Ambassador
Labels: advice, law school, student life, work-life balance