When someone says “spring break” around a law student, the initial reaction is often a sigh—composed of equal parts nostalgia, relief, impatience, and frustration. When someone says “spring break” around college students, it conjures the stereotypical image of thousands of twenty-somethings sardined on the sand, marinating in Burnett’s and Keystone Light. It’s reckless, irresponsible, occasionally illegal, and if you’re a law student, just about guaranteed to be a thing of your past.
And frankly, that’s probably for the best. If you’ve been to law school, you’ve probably been law-drunk. It’s the kind of intoxication that can only be associated with a group of “adults” who have the maturity of middle schoolers trying to drown the memories of being cold-called about the intricacies of cross claims and joinder. Being law-drunk is more reckless, more irresponsible, more often illegal, and more ridiculous. A beach full of that could drink those places dry in hours.
Our Puerto Rico-Panama-Miami-Mexico days are pretty much behind us, and now we daydream of actually getting a break, complete with enough sleep, receiving no new homework, and not having to attend ethics lectures.
It’s almost as if law schools have spring break solely to let students (and professors) catch up on everything not done that should be done. Some students are blunt and candidly admit they won’t use the time “wisely.” The not-so-honest have the best of intentions to do their work, catch up, maybe even get ahead while on break. You know what they say about good intentions.
“If I pack my books to go home, I’ll use them on break. Otherwise, lugging them around everywhere will have been useless.”
“If I take my books home, I’ll feel guilty every time I see them sitting there, so I’ll use them so I can put them away.”
“Without class/work/extracurriculars this week, I’ll have time to not only do my homework, but also do it well.”
These “motivators” fail faster than new-semester-do-better intentions. If you’ve procrastinated this long, what’s another week? Books remain in bags, unpacked and untouched. Everyone scrambles the Sunday before classes recommence to get everything done, and the remainder of the semester starts like any other week: feeling under-rested and overworked.
And all of this happens because, if at all possible, we spend our breaks doing more or less anything to forget we’re in law school, and the first step is acting like we aren’t. Go home, sleep half the day, stay up all night, get to bed with the sunrise, and give your liver the most intense work out it’s had since you celebrated the end of last semester’s finals. In fact, it may sound a lot like finals, but the beauty of all of those activities is that, this time, none of them will have been law school induced. Your outlines, journal articles, research papers, and everything else law school related can wait. It’s not like they’re going anywhere without you.
So catch up with your family, your pre-law school friends, avoid that one family friend, and bask in the joy of being well fed and well rested. It’s certainly not something you should get used to.
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