Featured Slider

Tips for Managing Stress in Law School

Happy Hump Day Y'all!

In case you didn't know, it is Law School Mental Health Day (it's also generally Mental Health Day so this applies to everyone). I think it is so great that law schools and the larger legal community are getting better about encouraging mental health in law students. Law school is so hard... it stresses you physically and emotionally. Historically, law school existed with a culture of "weed out the people who can't stand up to the challenge" and was pretty unforgiving (watch The Paper Chase on Netflix to see what I mean). I think the trend has moved in a positive direction to have more academic help available, encouraging a balance between law school and regular life and encouraging students to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing.

During my own law school journey, my mental health has been at an all-time low. The stress and pressure of law school have on more than one occasion sent me into a downward spiral and I have had more panic attacks than I care to admit. I can't even count the number of times I have had an emotional breakdown in front of my husband and told him I wanted to give up on this crazy lawyer dream. If anyone ever tells you that law school is easy, they are either lying or crazy. Law school is really hard and really stressful but there are so many ways to handle it and get through it.

Today, I am coming at you with a highly requested blog post on managing stress in law school (or life in general). I am not going to say I am an expert at managing stress (I am far from it), but now that I have reached my 3L year, I do think I have learned some quality coping tips.

10 Movies I Watch Every Fall

Happy Fall people!

At risk of sounding like a basic white girl, I LOVE Fall. I love the decor, I love the cooler weather, I love pumpkins, I love leaves... I seriously love it all. I have been baking all the pumpkin things and my house has pumpkins on every surface... I may be out of control but I have no shame.

One of my favorite things to do on a crisp Fall day is curl up with hot tea and a blanket to watch my favorite Fall movies. I have a slightly random list of Fall movie favorites... some are probably super obvious but others might surprise you.

1. Halloweentown
My early 2000's Disney Channel obsession is showing... but I have no shame. This is seriously such a classic. (The sequels are good too!)
Image result for halloweentown GIF
2. Hocus Pocus
Quite honestly the best Fall/Halloween movie there is. I watch it at least 5 times every Fall and it never gets old.
Image result for hocus pocus gif

3. Practical Magic
I think the GIF says it all...
Image result for practical magic gif

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone 
I watch this every Fall. I am not even sure why but it just feels like Fall to me. Maybe it is because this is the only movie in which they wear the hats.... or it is probably the floating Jack O' Lanterns.
Image result for harry potter and the sorcerer's stone gif halloween

5.When Harry Met Sally
Not only is this one of the best romantic movies of all time, but it also gives me all the Fall feels.
Image result for when harry met sally gif

6. Pocahontas 
This is another random one but this movie has lots of leaves and a song about "Colors in the Wind" and that makes it a Fall favorite for me. Just ignore the historical inaccuracies and appreciate the magic that is "Just Around the Riverbend".
Image result for pocahontas gif

7. The Blind Side
True story: my husband and I went to see this in theaters for our first day back in November 2009 which is why it makes me think of Fall. It is such a heartwarming story and reminds me that there are still good people in the world.
Image result for the blind side gif

8. You've Got Mail 
Yep, more Meg Ryan. I guess Meg Ryan means Fall for me.
Image result for you've got mail gif

9. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Charlie Brown Thanksgiving 
This is a two in one but Charlie Brown is classic and these movies bring my childhood flooding back.
Image result for charlie brown thanksgiving gif

10. October Sky 
This is obviously a Fall movie based on the name but also I think it is one of the best stories and I find it very heartwarming. I do not want to give anything away but if you have not seen it, I highly suggest it.
Image result for october sky gif

Bonus: Literally every Autumn themed movie on Hallmark Channel 
It is no secret that I am obsessed with Hallmark Channel movies. The Fall ones are extra cheesy and adorable and just ooze happiness.
Image result for hallmark channel fall

What are your Fall favorites? 

Friday Five 9/28/18

Happy Friday!!!

I hope everyone had a good week- mine was better because I am finally feeling motivated again. It was a busy week at school but the weather finally feels like Fall so no complaints from me. I am super excited for this weekend; tonight I am having a girls night with a few of my law school friends and tomorrow we are going to Cedar Point to ride all the roller coasters. Sunday will be reserved for catching up on homework and grocery shopping for my new healthy meal plan (see point 3 below).

1. Family Photos
Maybe I am crazy but I am low-key obsessed with photos. It drives my hubby nuts. I have a close friend who is a professional photographer so I make plans to do family pictures with her every Fall so that we have good pics for our Christmas card... and I just like having family photos. I just can't let the memories pass by without capturing them... these first few years of marriage while it's just my Hubs and me against the world... our precious furchildren in all their fluffy and cuddly glory... our horses... I want pictures of everything.

I think there is some truth to the gripes about people in my generation being obsessed with documenting life and not living it. I am just as guilty of being addicted to my phone and snapchatting everything as the next millennial. However, I love having the memories captured for posterity. I have over 10,000 photos on my phone and every single one makes me smile or laugh or feel some sort of emotion. So I am going to keep on living my life and snapping way too many photos of it because I want to remember everything.

Here are some highlights from our 2018 family photo session.

2. Fall Decorating 
So I have had my house decorated for Fall since September 1st.... no shame. I take Fall very seriously! However, as a law student with pretty much no money, decorating for Fall has to happen on a pretty serious budget. Thankfully, I have found some awesome ideas for cheap decorating online. I made a few trips to my local Dollar Tree, the Target Dollar Spot, and Walmart and I was able to decorate my whole house superrrr cheap.

If anyone else is looking for ideas to decorate cheap, here are the ones I found the most helpful!

3. Tone It Up 31 Day Challenge

I have been feeling very blah lately and it has been taking a toll on my work out regime (aka I have not been working out). One of my closest friends from law school and I are going to kick off the Tone It Up 31 Day Challenge and do it together (working out is always easier when you have someone to hold you accountable). I have done Tone It Up stuff in the past and I love the short workouts that are so easy to do at home in your living room. I am not really interested in losing weight because I am generally pretty happy with my body and my weight but I do want to tone up... spending hours sitting in front of a computer for law school or in class makes it hard to stay toned and that frustrates me.

For this challenge, I am getting the meal plan also because my eating habits have been less than healthy lately. I am so excited to try out the recipes and implement some healthy eating habits into my everyday life and hopefully feel better as a result (and I would love to tone up a bit). The 31 Day Challenge meal plan is only $31 so this is the time to try it!

If you are interested, it is completely free to sign up!

4. Last 90 Days 

So I finally jumped on the Girl, Wash Your Face train last week and started reading Rachel Hollis' book. I am really enjoying the book (it's hilarious) and it kickstarted me into checking out all of Rachel's stuff.... holy shi*t that girl is a freaking boss. #ladygoals

Anywho, Rachel and her husband are kicking off #last90days on Monday and I am going to try to do it. Basically, instead of saving all of your resolutions and good habits for the first 30 days of the year, Rachel challenges you to make positive habits and changes over the last 90 days of the year. For more info, check out her website and sign up for the free program.

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Crimes of Grindelwald 
Guys. It's almost here! If you have been reading my blog for a while, you probably caught on to the fact that I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them premiered in 2016, I was elated and obsessed and in the theatre for the midnight premiere. It surpassed all my expectations and left me very impatiently waiting for the next movie.

Thankfully the wait is almost over. The next movie comes out on November 16 and they just released the final trailer yesterday. Holy crapballs does it look amazing. I simply can't wait! 

(did you catch Nagini???)

Have a great weekend!!!

How I Pull Myself Out of a No-Motivation Rut

Happy Tuesday!

If anyone has been following my Instagram stories lately, you might have noticed that I have been in a little bit of a "rut". It's the 5th week of classes, I've been fighting a little bit of a head cold, I have a million things going on, work is getting busy, we are trying to get projects done around the house before the weather turns and I have just been feeling blah. I come home and just want to do nothing but sit on the couch and watch TV and avoid my responsibilities.... hence, I am in a no-motivation rut.

I feel like I hit a rut like this every semester at some point. Once the excitement of starting a new semester wears off and the hype of exams hasn't set in yet, I get super burnt out and unmotivated for a time. However, I really don't have time to give in to this. I am a busy law student and lazy time is not built into the schedule. As this has happened to me several times, I have established a little routine for pulling myself out of the rut. It might not work for everyone, but this does work for me!

1. Give in
Whenever I get feeling like this, I try to give in a least one evening or one Saturday and be at my utmost laziest. I let myself be chill and binge Netflix and pretty much be a useless human being for a little bit. I feel like giving into my lack of motivation gets it out of my system. After a time of being "lazy", I get bored and restless and have to find something to do (it's the curse of being a busybody; I do not sit still well). The restlessness motivates me to go back to being productive and getting my crap done. Taking a bit to give in and be lazy also allows me a brief respite to let my brain relax and revive and that is never a bad thing. 

2. Make a list
One of my best tricks for getting motivated is to make a to-do list. Not only does it help me to figure out exactly what I need to get done, but it also helps me to avoid spinning my wheels. Have you ever sat down at your desk knowing you have a million things to do but without an idea of where to start? Enter, the to-do list. I just grab a pad of paper and start listing all the things that are stressing me out and need to get done. Then, I start at the top and get down to business so I can start crossing things off. There is something about seeing a list that motivates me to get things done. I also love getting things done so that I can make that satisfying slash through it and know that I am accomplishing something.

I usually keep a running to-do list sticky note on my computer, a list on the fridge of things to get done around the house and a list on my desk of all the things I need to do homework wise for the week (I don't joke around about to-do lists). It may seem excessive but it really helps me to stay organized and know what I need to get done.

3. Start small
When I am feeling especially unmotivated, I start with small, simple tasks that I can get done quickly and aren't super challenging. For example, if I have 2 classes to read for, a paper to start, the vacuum needs run and the dishes need to be done, I will start with the dishes or vacuuming. Either thing is a short and simple task but it is still something I can cross off my list. By doing this, I ease into productivity with simple things and I can accomplish a lot in a short period of time. That makes me feel productive which feeds into me getting more done because I am in a productive mood. Not to mention, getting even small things done is still getting things done!

4. Reward yourself
Treat Yo' Self isn't just for Parks and Rec people. When you are struggling to stay motivated, make little rewards for yourself. Finish the reading for Business Associations? You get a cookie. Clean the whole house? Enjoy an episode of New Girl. Get your outline caught up? You deserve a Starbucks coffee. Cross everything off your to-do list for the day? Pop the cork on a bottle of wine!

I love to entice myself to get things accomplished with little rewards. Sometimes it is simple; sometimes it is a little bigger but having a light at the end of a tunnel really helps me to put my nose to the grindstone and get sh*t done!

How to Survive Commuting to Law School

Hello friends!

This is a highly requested post that has taken me a little while to compile information for because it is not something I have personal experience with. I do not commute a large distance to law school- I have about a 15 minutes drive. I know that many people have to commute to law school (or grad school of any kind) and I can imagine it would be difficult on top of an already busy and exhausting schedule. Though I do not have personal experience, I polled a few of my super successful classmates who commute to law school for the information found in this post. Though this is not my own thoughts or opinions, I trust the people who I talked to implicitly and I think their advice is very valuable as they have all managed to commute through law school while still doing amazing in school. Sometimes I quote them directly and sometimes I summarized but overall, I hope this is helpful to those who are currently commuting to law school or those considering it in the future.

1. Utilize Your Commute
I got this advice from two different people but in slightly different ways.
Opinion 1:

  • "Commuting an hour to and from school is a big loss of valuable time to study and prepare. Because of this, I searched for ways to make my commute valuable and to utilize that time in a positive way. I downloaded lectures on topics of law we were learning in class and checked out legal books on CD from the law library. This way, my two hours of driving each day were spent learning and enhancing my education. Something that was extra helpful around finals time is to use the NaturalReader app to read my outlines aloud from my iPhone. This way I am listening to the law while driving which is a way to study and make my driving time more useful." - a 3L student 
Opinion 2: 

  •  "I use my driving time to and from school to relax. I spend my time at school hustling to get as much done as possible and when I get home I have reading, outlining and regular life stuff like dinner to fill my time with. This leaves very little time for relaxing and doing fun things. My relaxation while driving varies by day but here are a few of my favorite options. 
    • Audiobooks: I have the free Libby app and I use it to download free audiobooks to listen to on my drive. After a long day of law school, I love listening to a fun romance novel or a thrilling mystery. It gives my brain a break and makes the drive go so much faster. When I do arrive home, I am more relaxed and ready to take on more work because I have had a little time to relax. 
    • Phone Calls: Law school is so busy and sometimes I run out of time to keep up with friends and family. I like to make "phone dates" with people during my commute time. This way, my driving time is spent catching up with a dear friend or filling my mom in on my life. It is important to have people support you during law school and this is one of my favorite ways to maintain those relationships and make my drive fly by. 
    • Jam Session: Honestly, what is better than a good, old-fashioned jam out in your car? Especially after the long days. I love to cue up all my old favorites and just sing along at the top of my lungs all the way home." - a 2L student 

2. Maximize Your Time at School 
Everyone I talked to agreed on this point. If you commute, you have to maximize your time at school. You already have so much dead time in your day driving to and from school so you have to be extra productive while you are there. Meet with professors, meet with career services, spend time with your classmates, etc. When you live far away and commute, it can be harder to get involved or just run over for something real quick so you have to be extra organized to make the most of your time at school and make sure you do the things you need to do. Planners and To-Do lists were suggested by multiple people to help with this.

3. Make a Friend who Lives Close to School 
Not to try to tell you who to make friends with but this was a piece of advice from several people. Specifically, one of my classmates commutes and his law school best friend lives less than a mile from the school. On nights before mornings exams, my friend who commutes crashes on his friends couch so that he doesn't have to make an hour drive the morning of an 8am exam. There have also been instances with bad weather where I have personally offered my guest room to a few of my friends who commute so they don't have to make the drive in a snowstorm. Law school is better with good friends!

4. Take Care of Your Car
Commuters have to rely heavily on their cars. I don't think anyone can argue about that. If your car breaks down and you live 15 minutes from school, you can ask a friend to pick you up or grab an Uber. If you live far away and commute and your car breaks down, you may have a much more difficult time getting to school. The ABA sets rules for law schools that you can only miss a few classes every semester so getting to school is very important. My friends who commute stressed over and over again how important it is to care for your car and keep it in good running order so that you can continue making your commute. Change your oil, make sure your tires are in good condition and get it checked out when your "check engine light" comes on.