Let's Talk Burnout

Recently, most of my time has been spent studying for the LSAT. In all honesty, it kind of consumed my life. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself, especially when it comes to school work, and going to law school is no exception (so glad I'm a perfectionist!). I think the biggest reason that I put so much pressure on myself in regards to law school and the LSAT is the availability of scholarships based on LSAT scores and where I would be able to go to school. I know that the LSAT isn't the only determining factor in admitting students, but I couldn't get that worry out of my head.

I devoted a TON of time to studying; right after I moved back home and before I started my job, studying was my main way to pass the time. I made myself a schedule and stuck to it as closely as possible. I took at least 20 practice tests and spent hours using the free Khan Academy LSAT prep offered through LSAC.

Related: My LSAT Study Schedule

I had people tell me that it was great that I was so into my studying, and, at first, it was. I felt more and more confident in my ability to get a good score on the actual test. Naturally, that made me think that the more I studied, the better I would do. This was an okay thought in the moment, but it led to burnout in the long-run.

"Burnout" is defined as physical or mental collapse caused by being overworked or stress. It's become pretty common among students, and it's not just that normal "ugh I don't want to do this assignment" feeling that sometimes crops up. It's an absolute, an "I literally can't force myself to do this because I am so exhausted" feeling that refuses to go away.

After studying like a crazy woman for weeks on end, the stress and work caught up to me. I would sit at my desk and found it physically exhausting to just click the correct answers on my practice sets. I'd lay around in bed for longer than I usually would because I didn't have the energy to start studying again.

At first, I thought it had something to do with my mental health. One of the lovely things about depression, at least in my case, is that I tend to slip into little depressive slumps on occasion, but this didn't turn out to be the case (thank goodness).

I worked myself so hard that I got hit by a very crazy cold and pretty much couldn't do anything for about a week. As much as it sucked at the time, it was actually a miracle in disguise. I was forced to relax and not spend time studying. After my cold went away, I found myself renewed and ready to start studying again.

But I took a new approach. I gave myself more breaks. I spent less time staring at my computer and at my preptest books. I allowed myself to have a bit more of a social life. And this all helped more than I could have imagined.

Dealing with burnout is tough, but my experience with it taught me a valuable lesson. If you came to this blog post for advice, here's what I have to say: give yourself breaks. Allow yourself to make mistakes and not be perfect.

How do you deal with burnout?




Popular posts from this blog

How Law School Helped My Anxiety

Perfect Movies for Law Students

TV Shows for Law Students