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"The Fear"

3L, Florida International University College of Law

“The Fear.” My friends and I have given ourselves the liberty of using this term to describe a myriad of things. The Fear: the gut-wrenching neurosis you experience first semester of law school convincing yourself you will fall on the “wrong side” of the curve. The Fear: the internal Jiminy Cricket that moves you to forgo happy hour for study group in anticipation of Monday’s cold-calling session. The Fear: the overwhelming urge to color coordinate your agenda to create the perfect summer job search schedule….in September. Often times, we talk about the fear as something spooky, a spell that haunts law students from orientation to graduation. But sometimes I wonder if it really is the monster we make it out to be. Yes, sometimes we do experience actual anxiety. But it is our job to know when to take a break, hit a movie, go bowling, or do something that clears our head. Fear should never paralyze you. It should give you that boost you need to get your head out of Netflix and into Torts. Fear can be a motivator.

So how do I trick myself into some serious studying? Here are two tips that have helped me achieve success.  First, embrace breaking large tasks into small pieces. “Outline Property Law” is a daunting phrase in your agenda. Try setting aside a few hours a week to outline a chapter. Second, celebrate your small victories with some treats. Whether it’s a quick run for frozen yogurt after a few hours binge studying or a full Sunday off, it’s important for you to get a break. But at the end of the day, don’t fear “The Fear.”

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