One thing I was absolutely NOT prepared for in law school is the amount of time between completing finals and grade reporting. In undergrad grades are reported within a week of completion, in law school try 3-4 weeks.
I finished contract law final on December 11th and have still yet to receive a grade as of January 4th. For a planner like myself, this eternal waiting game is torture.
Just ask my boyfriend! There have been multiple sleepless nights already just waiting for the grades to come out.
By no means am I trying to convey that grades are the most important part of your law school education, but I also refuse to sugar coat reality. Your grades will matter. Especially in your 1L summer internship search. And this fact alone can make waiting for grades a time of turmoil.
So with all of this considered here some strategies I’ve used to
fight the grade wait depression.
Explain the Situation
You HAVE to explain to your family members that you have no earthly idea how you did in law school this semester, because you won’t receive grades until the end of time, at the START of your winter break. Literally, tell everyone you know is bound to ask so that you only have to explain your state of turmoil once(well hopefully). This will help shield you from an eggnog-induced break down about the grading curve when grandma asks how your first semester of law school went.
Disconnect From Law School
Until the few days before spring semester starts just STOP with law school. Your mind has just endured an academic trauma and needs time to heal. Littering your winter break with law school videos is just going to provoke flashbacks and leave you wondering if all of your blood, sweat, and tears even amounted to anything above a C in the end. So please just unplug for a while and have some dang fun!
Peaceful things tend to leave my mind with all the space and freedom it needs to formulate ever worst-case-scenario about my law school grades. So, when attempting to distract my mind I lean towards being active. Going for hikes, runs, or just lifting at the gym, always give me at least an hour or two away from law school worries.
Read a Book
This may seem counterintuitive at first since you’ve just spent 16 weeks endlessly reading casebook, but getting lost in a new novel or a classic book that you love is a great way to take your mind to far away places. Getting wrapped up in the drama and lives of others is a wonderful way to keep your mind from creating additional and useless turmoil about your law school finals.
One of my absolute favorite books to read and re-read is Wild by Cheryl Strayed!
NEVER did I expect to be telling anyone to play video games, but after my boyfriend introduced me to the new Laura Croft Tomb Raider, I think there is a gamer within me. Even while being terrible at the game, the drama of the story and the quality of the graphics had me enveloped in Larua Croft’s world. Just like a good novel, getting lost in Tomb Raider took my mind completely away from my law school worries.
Learn Something New
Take this lull to relax and learn something new like how to frost cupcakes or make a beautiful macrame or even take up kickboxing! Pick any of the weird or new things you’ve been wondering about and dive in! I spent two days learning the intricate differences in pour-over, french press, and drip coffee… which was sparked by a simple amazon purchase of a french press so my roommates can steal my coffee. ( More to come on dealing with less than awesome roommates)
There are so many other things you can utilize to distract yourself from law school grades so find what works for you and do it!
And please remember that no matter how your grades turn out,
YOU ARE NOT YOUR GRADES.
You can still dazzle with your smarts and that winning personality and you have something to offer no matter your law school grades.
Don’t let the grade wait ruin your break!!