January 30th, 2013 – 3:30 pm
It is important in your first semester of law school to stay focused. This includes making sure that you stay current on your school work while at the same time maintaining a balanced life. In order to achieve this, I personally approached law school like a job where I put in a certain number of hours-per-day. Such an approach left time for other activities like socializing with friends, going to the gym, and spending time with family.
These different interests break down into pretty simple groups: Academics, Extracurricular Activities, and Socializing. All of these are important to doing well in school. Any imbalance in one area leads to an imbalance in another and, if not corrected, can lead to negative consequences. For instance,
These impacts are not the same for everyone. If you are a genius, then you can pretty much do as you please.
The best thing I can recommend is that you be honest with yourself about what you are actually doing and not doing. If you are behind in your reading, accept it and work every day to get caught up. If you are lonely and have had trouble making friends, join a student group and get involved with that organization and the people in it. If you think you are studying too much, call some friends and go have a beer, see a movie, something—even if it is a Tuesday night
The biggest problem first year students have is trying to make time for everything they want to accomplish. I recommend making a schedule and in it scheduling assignments, chores, errands, and gym times.
Overall, it will take some time to figure out a system that works for you. Don’t get nervous or overwhelmed when it seems like everyone else has it figured out. Everyone is different. I recommend when you start law school to focus on going through the motions; get your reading done each day to stay current in your classes, make sure that you get all participation points that are available, join an extracurricular group that you like, and start to participate in it, and make friends with people inside and outside of your section-including upperclassmen. 2Ls and 3Ls are great sources of information and tips that will help make law school easier.
Most everyone at TU is very nice. Once here, try to take advantage of the people (the professors and administrators included!) during your time in law school.