#The1Llife: Keep Your Head Up

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GUEST BLOG by Dani Gies,
1L at UCLA School of Law

KEEP YOUR HEAD UP (Shout Out to Andy Grammar)

Here at UCLA Law, 1Ls have the final graded memo due this week and Spring Break is next week. I’ve noticed that a lot of my classmates are dragging, as am I. I heard a lot about how hard law school was going to be before I came here. While I love it and am so glad I chose to come to law school, and UCLA in particular, it is definitely the most difficult venture I have ever undertaken.

One of the most difficult characteristics of law school is balancing the rest of your life with it. I’ve written several posts now about how to balance life and law school, but I’m not doing very well at it right now. In light of my great-uncle’s passing, I have become despondent and, frankly, apathetic to everything. This makes attending law school pretty difficult.

This post is for everyone who is struggling at this point in the semester.

I feel you. I am unabashed about wrestling with depression and anxiety. I dealt with them prior to coming to law school, but both are far more exacerbated now. With multiple family members being diagnosed with cancer and other illnesses, including my mother (who underwent surgery) and my great-uncle (who passed away) and other family issues, the personal issues in my life have tested me greatly this 1L year. I’m not sure how I’m going to get to Spring Break, let alone the end of the semester. But I’m leaning heavily on my friends to try to get there. One thing I’m trying to do is learning to ask for help. My professors and the administration have been tremendously supportive of me, and I am grateful for that. If you’re having difficulties outside of school that are affecting your schoolwork, I definitely suggest you speak to your Dean of Students or other administrative figure that can help by providing accommodations.

I’m terribly headstrong and prideful. I do not like asking for help. But I am finding myself in a position this semester that I must. I hope that if you are finding this semester to be more difficult than normal, that you too seek assistance from people to make it easier for you. If you want to talk, you may reach me at gies2018@lawnet.ucla.edu.

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