When I started law school there were three things I looked forward to more than anything; 1) landing a summer job, 2) the Thursday afternoon keg and 3) my 3L year. By the time I received my 1L summer job offer and realized that I was far too busy as a 1L to attend the Thursday keg, the only thing that kept me going was my dreams about 3L year. I fantasized about being a 3L who had it all together; a permanent job offer in place, a light class schedule and an exciting social life complete with being in attendance at all the kegs my heart could desire. Fast forward two years later to the start of my 3L year – reality struck. No, I did not have a permanent job offer, my class schedule was busier than ever and, although I had a social life, it was not as free flowing as I would have hoped for. My initial thoughts were that 3LOL is clearly a myth. A phrase coined specifically for 1Ls and 2Ls to dull their angst during stressful periods. However, once I got into the swing of things, I realized that 3LOL isn’t a myth but more of a relative term. Some students may experience the joy of being a free, lighthearted 3L throughout their entire final year. Some, like myself, will only experience the joy of 3LOL during their last semester. Whereas some students may not experience the joy of 3LOL at all.
However, I truly believe that students face more stress in their 3L year because their experience is compounded by an expectation of sheer enjoyment that they were fed throughout law school. Once you can come to terms with the fact that your 3L experience will be relative to your schedule, I think this can help with handling the unexpected stresses of this year. Here are three ways to handle a stressful 3L year:
1. Block Out the Buzz
2. Apply Old Study Habits
3. Stay on Top of Your Schedule