Stress Less

I want to keep this post short seeing as how everyone is busy studying for final exams. I can’t believe how quickly this term has passed. It only seems like yesterday that I was trying to be a tree, didn’t know what a CAN was, and was a foreigner to the concept of studying on a Friday night.

But the term is over, and that means exams are coming, seemingly with an extra-large side of stress. We’ve had ‘We Love Law Students’ week with cookies, free massages and puppy therapy, which is such a wonderful effort by UBC Law’s amazing staff and faculty to take care of us. Going off of that theme, I want to use this post not just to wish everyone a good exam season, but also as a reminder not to stress out too much. This is mainly directed at 1Ls, but if you are a 2L or 3L reading a mere mortal of a 1L’s blog post, you are awesome and I am giving you a virtual hug.

Here are some of the phrases I’ve heard about law school/finals this past week or so: hell, stressful!, like being punched in the head every day, I wake up in the middle of the night because of stress, I can’t sleep, there is no time to do well!, toxic levels of studying… and other phrases which demonstrate too well the versatility of a certain expletive. Even one of our professors commented that this year the level of 1L stress seems to be higher than normal. I have friends in medical school who are learning how not to accidentally kill people who stress less than some law students.

So, even though you’ve heard this a million times, here it is in classic final-exam condensed form:

  • Your health > your marks | marks are NOT determinative/necessarily reflective of: intelligence, amount of hard work you’ve put in during the year, ambitions, or future success as a lawyer.

I may be the worst offender myself sometimes, but my best stress reduction technique is to keep things in perspective. If I feel overwhelmed, I stop and think: If I went to bed last night with a full stomach and a roof over my head, I’m better off than a massive portion of humanity, past and present, and my stresses are relatively minimal. So, take a breath and slow down. Try to balance your day of studying with breaks, physical activity, time with family, friends, pets, and don’t let stress get the better of you. We’re almost there!


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