Being a second-year law student is the definition of stress. The endless readings with no reading week. The need to start looking for summer internships that will set you apart from your competitors or to even gain some type of experience in the field. Being in the first year during the pandemic felt like the ultimate test of endurance as it was hard to differentiate between university and personal time since everything was online. Despite this, going into second year I felt more optimistic, as university would go back to its normal structure and it would be easier to have a work and life balance. In this blog post I am going to write about the tips that helped me adjust to university life.
I’ve always enjoyed going to the gym as it allows me to relax and refocus. The first thing I recommend is finding a gym - whether that’s the university gym or one in town. I find that when going to the gym in the morning (even though I am not a morning person) allows me to gain energy for the day, therefore making me feel more productive. It helps offload any stress that I have whilst keeping my mind and body healthy. Another thing that helps me to relax is journaling. My best friend recommended it to me as a way of getting out anything that is on my mind. I found that it helped to unload the pressures of the day. Sometimes university work can feel isolating and overwhelming, but writing what happened in my day helped with refocusing for the next day and clearing my head to try and get a good night's sleep.
Furthermore, it is important to stay in contact with friends and family from home. I think sometimes being at university means that people feel the need to only focus on themselves and their friendship groups at university. However, talking to someone who is removed from the university bubble is refreshing as you hear about things that are not all about your current situation and uni work. I also find that going home regularly or visiting friends helps me to relax and clear my mind before coming back to Leicester.
Just recently, at work whilst running an event, I did a painting by number. To my surprise it was relaxing. Although it was something that took a couple of days to complete, it was relaxing to do in the evenings with a show on in the background (currently watching Killing Eve). I enjoy being creative, despite picking a law degree, and I found that doing something creative like painting is a way to destress and be creative at the same time. I’m also a big foodie so I love to find new recipes as a way of destressing and getting a good meal out of it. I usually plan my meals by the week, so I know what to buy, so when trying a new recipe, it's something I'm excited to do for the week.
Being at university can be very draining but it’s so important to prioritise yourself and to make sure you find ways that will help you relax in order to perform at your best.