Sanity Maintenance: A Guide to Surviving October

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” This Lenin quote has never felt more appropriate than in our past week of October. If you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, burnt An image of fall in Door County, Wisconsinout, ready to pack your bag and get outta Dodge—you’re not alone. As a 3L who frequently questions “why was I born during this time period?” I have begun compiling a list of things that make me feel better on those days that everything seems, well, just too 2020.

  1. Look back to cura personalis. Care for the whole person. More than ever, now, we need our motto. We can cling to this truth when there’s nothing else to hold onto. Take care of yourself in whatever way you can.
  1. Go for a walk outside on campus to look at the fall leaves. Walk to the MU Starbucks if you need an easy, quick destination. I am happy to walk with anyone who would like to go. I can also provide a list of drink recommendations, as I have challenged myself to try something new every day for the past few months and a sizable amount of the new things have involved food or drink.

  1. Escape into another world. Here is a list of 49 fall movies: https://www.thecut.com/article/best-halloween-movies.html These are available on many streaming services. Peacock is currently streaming the Harry Potter movies for free.
  1. Not having access to all the water fountains (bubblers) in Eckstein might be an issue for you, if, like me, you forget to drink as much water as you need. Consider getting a water bottle or just drinking water whenever possible at home. Set alerts and reminders on your phone to drink water. Being hydrated often helps every area of your life.
  1. If possible, safely meet with friends and fellow law students outside of a Zoom call. We cannot have large gatherings and we have to stay safe. But hearing someone’s voice and seeing them in real time can make a huge, huge difference. Try going to a safe outdoor restaurant or coffee shop. Go for a distanced walk on the oak leaf trail with people from class. Above all, wear your masks and stay safe.
  1. Write a note to a professor or mentor who has helped you recently. It can be a two-sentence email. Expressing gratitude is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and for others. You will never feel worse having sent a thank-you note.
  1. Go to an event hosted by an MULS student org that you have not previously attended. They are mostly on zoom- no one will know if you have joined in your pajamas on your couch. You may discover a new interest, a new friend, or just have a new thing to look forward to. It is so low stakes that you might as well try it.
  1. Find a new way to be creative. I have started watercolor painting and I am at the skill level of a first grader despite trying for several weeks now- but it’s been so fun to try something new that’s tech free. Other examples might be painting pottery, trying your hand at poetry, journaling, following a dance video on YouTube or just dancing to your favorite song every day- possibilities are endless here.
  1. Dive into making a fall playlist of songs that make the drive or walk to class easier. Or find one that someone else made and blast it regularly. This always improves my mood.

Overall, remind yourself how AMAZING it is that you are becoming a lawyer despite it all; that you are still here, still putting in all the work it takes to get this degree, and you are making it. It might not feel like it all the time, but we’re undertaking an incredible effort. And it’s okay to not feel great about this situation. It’s okay to feel angry and sad and upset that this year we don’t get to have things like Malpractice Ball or Bar Review, that we don’t get to see everyone’s faces in person, that we can’t hang out in groups like we used to. But we can get through it. We’re MARQUETTE LAWYERS, after all. If we can get through a cold call, we can get through anything.

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