October 11, 2017

8 Reasons to Get a Pet in Law School

8 reasons to get a pet in law school. how to have a pet in law school. do you have time for a dog in law school? 8 reasons to get a dog. 8 reasons to get a cat. 3 things to do if you want a pet but can't have one. free month of bark box. why you should get bark box. how to volunteer with guide dogs for the blind. how to raise a service animal. why you should foster a shelter animal. | brazenandbrunette.com

Guys I have had not one, but two of my prelaw friends ask me if they thought they could take a dog to law school! And as much as I want to say that they were overreacting, I can remember how scared I was before I came here wondering if I needed to buy paper plates because I wouldn't have time to even do dishes. You definitely are busy in law school, but I think you absolutely should have time for a pet! Still need to convince yourself? Here's 8 reasons to go for it. If this post does inspire you to go get a little pet, please remember to adopt, don't shop because you can be saving an animal's life!! Adopting off the street (how me and 2 of my other friends ended up with our pets) works just as well 😊


Reduce stress

You've probably heard about studies about this, but it is absolutely true. I can't tell you how calming it is when a little fluff ball comes and puts his head in your lap while you're studying and suddenly everything feels a little better. Even just petting my cat while calm me down because I go from thinking about everything that I have to get done to thinking about how much I love him and I'm so happy that I have him.

Sleep better

As you've probably read about in a post or two, I have had a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. But pets are great cuddle buddies and will keep you warm! Again, just petting my cat is relaxing enough that it helps me drift off to sleep. It's also a lot more pleasant to wake up to whiskers tickling your face and purring right in your ear than an alarm clock. For the days when you just can't seem to get out of bed, pets can also help make sure you stick to your routine because they won't let you forget to feed them and let them out.

Cute animals give you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy

Okay so maybe I have no clue about the middle part of this, but for sure your pets will make you happy. It's an amazing feeling to come home feeling mentally exhausted and then to see this little cutie so excited just to see your face! No roommate will ever give you a Welcome Home quite like your pet. Plus I guarantee you that there's no way that you can feel bad about yourself when you have your pet loving on you.

Built-in study breaks

My cat absolutely does not care whether or not I'm studying. So if he wants to play, he will swat away my pen and then I have a perfect excuse to put the book down for a few minutes. And if he flops on top of my keyboard, well then darnit I guess that memo will have to wait because I need to pet my kitty. And you can't be up at the law school for 12 hours a day if you have a dog that needs to be let out and walked. They get in your way less than you'd think because you're going to need these breaks before your eyes start to hurt.

Exercise

If you're having a hard time fitting a workout into your schedule, then having a pet will give you an excuse to get out of the house and walk around the block a few times. Plus they always seem to run away from you at the most inconvenient times so then you can get some sprint work done while you're chasing after them. True story, there's lots of people who have lost weight just by getting a dog and taking him on walks.

Sense of security

If you live alone, it can be a little scary at times because you're all alone. If you have a dog (or hey even a cat), then you can sleep a little better knowing that if anyone tried to break into your house you'd for sure know because they'd be going crazy barking or meowing. But if you do have a dog, you'll have the extra security feeling because they can scare away an intruder and maybe even attack them.

Fix loneliness

One unexpected struggle that most law students have is dealing with loneliness. Not only are you usually moving away from all of your college friends, but law school isn't exactly the most social place. There's no sororities or dorms or any of the other common ways that you made friends as a freshman, so sometimes it can be hard. Having a pet will at least give you one friend when you're starting out.

Meet new people 

Dog parks and puppy training classes are filled with fellow animal lovers so it makes it easier to meet people because you already have one thing in common and usually will see them on a regular basis. Boom look at you making friends in a new city! Pets also are great ice-breakers so maybe you'll even get a date out of it, too. Either way, having a pet can help get you out of the house which is a big thing if you're starting to turn into a hobbit. 

Since your pet does so much to make your life better, it's always a good idea to return the love and spoil them! An easy way to spoil them is through BarkBox because then every month (or however frequently you choose) they get new treats and new toys. Plus, BarkBox gives 10% of their proceeds to animal shelters and their BarkGood program helps over 3,000 shelters and rescue groups in the US and Canada ❤️ But PS BarkBox people it'd be nice if y'all made a kitty version!


If you can't get a pet right now

But I am realistic and I know that not everyone would make a good pet parent, some apartments aren't pet friendly (c'mon we all know the carpet is old and the "wood" floors are really laminate), and sometimes you aren't in a place in your life where you can get a pet. So here's a few ways to get your pet fix without the commitment. 

Volunteer at an animal shelter! Sure they can always use help picking up poop, but then afterwards you can walk the dogs for them or play/socialize with the animals. This will still put you in a feel-good mood, plus now you're racking up tons of volunteer hours to throw in on your resumé and show that you're a good person. It's great for the animals too because they have some human interaction and get to have fun while they wait for their new home.

Foster a pet! If you know you might be moving soon or something like that, a short-term way to have a pet is to foster one. What you do is take an animal home from a shelter and it will live with you for a little bit until a permanent home is found or it can be re-introduced to a shelter. When the pet is with you, it's learning how to interact with humans, when and where to potty, and maybe a few tricks. This all helps the animal be more adoptable because it'll be more outgoing and well behaved. And if a shelter is full, by you taking care of the animal until a home is found may save it from being euthanized! You can also foster a service animal in between his placements.

Train a service animal! I'm a Delta Gamma alumna and our philanthropy is Service for Sight so the program that I'm most familiar with is Guide Dogs for the Blind. What you do is commit to about a year of raising and training a puppy that will soon be someone's seeing eye dog. Since you're training it to be a guide dog, you basically can take your puppy with you everywhere where a service animal goes and usually apartments are a lot better about allowing service animals. Besides house-training, you'll be training the puppy how to handle sitting through class, movies, car rides, plane rides, dates, whatever so that the dog will know exactly how to behave when he's working.

October 6, 2017

What To Do if You Hate Law School


October is always a difficult month in law school because it's right when your readings start picking up the pace and also when you realize that a month has already flown by and finals feel right around the corner. This is the time when I was starting to struggle as a 1L so if you're in that boat then know that you're absolutely not alone. 


In fact, even the person who seems to be like they'll be in the top 10% of your class is probably internally struggling just like you. Everyone in law school struggles because it's made to challenge you and better you. As much as I love law school and always tell people that it's not too bad, it does have some pitfalls.But don't be too discouraged! 

I mean, how many of y'all were like me and pulling an all-nighter in college and day-dreaming (4 am is still the daytime right?) about meeting a really rich guy and getting your Mrs. degree so that you can stop with all these group projects. But yet here I am with a Bachelor's degree. Point is, there's nothing in life that will always be easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.

Analyze your situation

First things first, you need to think hard about whether you fundamentally hate law school or if you're just overwhelmed. Law school is a big adjustment because usually you're in a new city at a new school and your daily effort requirement just tripled. That plus you have no clue how you're doing in your classes so you start to stress that you're not doing enough. 

The rest of this post is more for those who feel overwhelmed, but if any of y'all truly absolutely hate law school I have some good news. When I was on my phone interview about my externship, one of the interviewers mentioned that I had included my blog on my resume. I told her how much I love law school and how I blog to try to help out other law students or potential law students. She praised me for loving law school and confessed that she hated it but then said that being a lawyer is nothing like being in law school! She told how glad she was that she stuck it out because even though she was not a fan of being a law student, she absolutely loves being a lawyer. 

Tackle your problems

Looking back on my 1L year, most of my problems would have resolved themselves if I had done one thing— go talk to my professors as soon as I was having a problem. Literally sooo much weight was lifted off my shoulders when I confessed to my LRW professor that I had missed an assignment. If I would've talked to him as soon as I realized that I had fucked up instead of agonizing for weeks over my mistake, then I would've known right then how to solve my problem instead of going off the edge. And if I would've made an appointment with my property professor to go over a few of my midterm answers that I couldn't understand why they were wrong, I could've had a mini-tutoring time and learned where I was messing up so that I could still have confidence in that class.

I know that most of you won't have missed an assignment or failed a midterm yet, but you get the point. It's really, really easy to avoid your problems and it's really, really scary to face them, but I promise you that it's so much better to just get it over with already! If you're struggling in a class, take the time to schedule tutoring with your professor or an upper-classman. Just narrow it down to a few parts that you really don't understand because they can't exactly re-explain a month's worth of class to you.

Don't hide your problems

Sure we all snap how much reading we have to do and whine about it, but it's time to be honest about your struggles. I know it can be embarrassing to admit that you're not doing as well as you wanted to, but holding this in will just put more pressure on yourself to seem perfect and the secret will get harder to keep. If someone is nosy or ever doubted you wouldn't make it through law school (ugh aren't extended family and old classmates the best!) then yeah they deserve to just get "fine" when they ask you how you're doing. But your parents, siblings, and close friends are your allies! Just tell them that you need to rant and let it all out, tears included if needed. 

Undumping on your classmates can be tricky. In one way, you don't know them that well and technically you are their competition so they might not always be the most supportive in this situation. But it's such a relief when you tell your classmate that you honestly don't understand the difference between to similar concepts and she either is like omg me too I thought I was the only one and just dumb! or completely understands it and will take the time to break it down and explain to you how she understands. 

Prioritize your to-do list

If you're feeling overwhelmed, I'm sure a big part of it is because in your head all you can think about is how much reading, briefing, reviewing, and outlining that you have to get done. I know it can seem like a lot so instead of having one never-ending to-do list, break it down and get in a routine. If you review your notes and outline little by little, then you only have to dedicate a few hours a week. This will help clear out your head because you know that you've already got some done and know that you've set aside time to get it done so now that's one less thing you have to worry about.

Break down your to-do lists for what needs to get done today, this week, this month, and next month. Then keep coming back to this list and check off what's done and re-organize. It really helps me go from "oh I need to get this memo done before the end of the semester" to "okay researching cases this week, organizing my arguments next week, working on argument #1 the next week" because then I feel like I'm more in control of my life.

Related: How to make a study plan

Enjoy yourself

One reason why a lot of people end up hating law school is because they hate who they become in law school. Of course you don't have the time to skip class and Netflix all day when you're just not in the mood, but you will have time to something other than just class and read. Think about what you used to love doing in college and try to do a modified version of that. For example, I used to have so much fun bouncing around frat houses going to the different themed parties. I can't do that now, but I can still meet up with some of my close friends to have some drinks and enjoy ourselves. And I used to read all the time and now even though I only have time for about 10-20 pages a night, I still am able to work my way through a book that doesn't have cases in it.

This is also why I've become a fan of studying really hard from 9-4 and then taking time off. Most likely if you're feeling overwhelmed it's because you're also starting to feel burned out. I know it's scary because your to-do list feels overwhelming, but if you don't take some me-time then you are going to lose it. That's not a threat, that's a promise. Shut your brain off from the law every now and then and you'll be amazed at how much more you learn when you come back to it.

Remember why you started

This is probably the most important tip I have! When you're feeling discouraged, think back on the stars that were in your eyes when you were explaining your future plans to your college professors when you asked for a rec letter, how excited you felt when you got your first acceptance letter and thought omfg I'm going to law school! I'm going to be a lawyer!, and how proud you were when you told your parents and besties and all of Facebook! 

Don't forget how hard you worked to get here. How grateful you were to be accepted. How long this has been your dream. Don't forget how much you truly want this! Zoom out and don't think about the little hard topics and view it big picture— you are currently living out your dream that you worked really hard for! Don't disappoint little 19 year old you that put in the extra effort studying for finals because you knew you needed good grades to get into law school or little 20 year old you who skipped pool parties all summer because you knew you needed to get that LSAT score. You've worked so incredibly hard to get here for so many years so don't disappoint yourself. My favorite (albeit slightly cliché) quote for y'all: When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. So go be tough and conquer the mid-semester slump!  

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