The Challenges of Grad School

9 Jan

It’s true what they say: graduate school is nothing like college.

I was absolutely terrified as the last days of August approached and I prepared to move to a new city to start law school.  I’m not sure what scared me so much.  I’ve always enjoyed being a student and I knew law school was the right choice for me.  I think the unknown was the scariest part.  What would classes be like?  What would my professors be like?  Would I get thrown out of class on day 1 like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde?

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Now that I’ve survived an entire semester of law school, I don’t think it’s scary.

I think it’s challenging:

1) You have hundreds of pages of reading to do in one week.  And you actually HAVE to do the reading before class.  If you blow off the reading, it will definitely come back to bite you.  I read so much this semester that my eyesight got worse and I had to get reading glasses.

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2) You miss your friends from college.  A lot.  I was extremely lucky to have a wonderful group of close friends in college.  I’ve met great people in law school, but it has been really hard to get used to life without my friends living right next door.

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3) You wake up at 5am and you’re ready for bed by 8pm.  Everyone adopts different schedules, of course, but my weekly wake up time during school is about 5-5:30am.  I work out, make breakfast, get ready for the day, drive to school, get to the library by 7:30 or so, then go to my classes.  Naturally, I’m exhausted by the end of the day.  Gone are the days of staying up until 2am and sleeping until noon (sigh).

Life post-college is challenging.  Whether you have a new job, are looking for work, or are continuing with your education, your lifestyle changes entirely.

When I get stressed about schoolwork or homesick for my family I try to remember one thing: to be grateful.  I survived college and now I have an amazing opportunity to further my education.  Even on the worst days, I am so very thankful for that.

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  • Have you transitioned into the “real world” yet?  What was hard for you?
  • How do you deal with stress?

P.S. I get to see my friends from college this weekend!  I can’t wait.

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Take Two?

8 Jan

So last summer I thought it would be really fun to start a blog.  I read tons of blogs and I love to write.  It was really great for a few months!

Then I got to law school and my life became so. ridiculously. busy.  First semester was challenging but rewarding, and I am happy to report that I survived and am on to semester two.

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I would have loved to continue blogging during my first semester, but at the end of each school day I had zero motivation to read or write a single thing.  Even though I enjoyed blogging, I quickly let it fall to the wayside.

Anyway, now that I have my feet more firmly planted in the world that is law school, I’m hoping to continue to blog during second semester.  I’m not entirely positive how much time I’ll have to devote to it, but I’m hoping that you’ll hear from me again before my finals end in May 😉

Shufflin’ off to Buffalo

19 Aug

I have been 100% MIA this week, because this weekend is my big move to Buffalo!

I’ve been up to my apartment the past two days to clean, move some things in and scope it all out, and today is the final moving day with all of my furniture and boxes.  I can’t wait to finally be all set up and make my new place feel like home.

Everything is crazy right now, but I hope to catch up in a few days!  Until then…

The BEST part about my new room… a HUGE closet!

Bella pouting because the attention has been on me lately, not her.

A new team I’m required to support? Go Buffalo!

Law school starts in 4 days…

Great movie, but secretly praying my day 1 goes nothing like Elle’s did.

Have a great Sunday!

Back to School Essentials

10 Aug

I haven’t blogged in awhile because I have been busy getting ready to go back to school!  It’s weird because I’m not really going “back” to school at all.  Going back to school would mean back to the U of R, back to all of my friends and back to sitting on the academic quad and enjoying the fall weather.

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However, it’s off to Buffalo soon and jumping into a brand new type of school.

I’ve always loved back to school shopping.  New things make me feel ready for a fresh school year.

Some essentials:

  1. New clothes. Especially jeans and sweaters for when the weather cools down.
  2. A new planner.  I just got this jumbo agenda from Lilly Pulitzer and I am OBSESSED.
  3. Toiletries.  Shampoo, conditioner, face wash, lotion, anything you use on a daily basis.  I stock up on a few extras so I don’t run out quickly when I am too busy at school to run to the store.
  4. Food!  Especially healthy on-the-go snacks and pantry basics that won’t spoil.  My staples are oatmeal, peanut butter, almonds and granola bars.
  5. Bedding.  Comfy pillows and blankets make your home away from home a little cozier.  I have a fleece blanket from Pottery Barn that is never left behind.
  6. Wall decorations.  I print recent photos and use bulletin boards and frames.  This year I also got crafty with a canvas and paint.

Aside from purchasing back to school goodies, the most important thing to do before going to school is to spend time with the people you are going to miss.  Go on a date with your significant other or a group of girlfriends.  Cook dinner for your parents.  Visit family you won’t see for awhile.

Last night was date night with Dan.

Flight Wine Bar

And next week I have lunch plans with my grandparents.

I can’t believe I move in 8 days!  It’s exciting, scary and overwhelming all at the same time.

  • What are your essentials for back to school?
  • What do you do to spend time with people before you leave?

Volunteering & Resistance Bands

3 Aug

Is anyone else in shock that it’s already the beginning of August!?

This week was my last week volunteering at the senior home I have been at all summer.  It was a wonderful experience and I’m glad that I could use some of my free time to help others.  My work mostly concentrated in their marketing/PR department, so I assisted with various computer tasks, took photos of residents and improved the organization’s Facebook page.

I know it can be hard to find the time to volunteer as most of us are busy with work, family and other commitments.  It can also be a challenge to devote time to something that won’t result in a paycheck.

What I’ve learned over the past few months is that any amount of volunteering makes a difference.  I volunteered 12 hours a week, but I met some people who gave just one hour a week.  It all adds up.

Find something that inspires you.  Evaluate your schedule and consider whether volunteering is something you could do.  You might meet great people along the way, make someone’s life a little easier or find a new passion within you that you didn’t know existed.

In other news, I have discovered a love for a new-to-me fitness toy…

Resistance bands!

My boyfriend Dan bought resistance bands in the beginning of the summer to do P90X.  I had never used resistance bands until this week when we did a work out together.  We did a circuit that looked like this:

  • Biceps
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • 30 sec. plank

For each set we did as many reps as possible.  We did this circuit a total of five times through, mixing up the exercises each time to target the muscles differently.  It was an effective workout that went by quickly and it was all done right in his living room.

After loving this workout, I knew resistance bands needed to be purchased to come to school with me.  I got the ones pictured above at Target for $19.99.

The set came with three bands – light, medium and heavy.  They all attach to the same handles for minimal equipment and an easy way to vary the resistance.  I’m really excited to use these for at-home strength training and for quick workouts while I’m at school.

Questions for the Afternoon:

  • Have you ever volunteered before?  If not, where would you like to volunteer?
  • Do you ever use resistance bands for strength training?

Back into it & Jump Rope Circuit Workout

31 Jul

Good afternoon!

How has your day been so far?  Mine has been productive and it feels great to be back in the swing of things.  After sleeping 10 (!) hours last night, I made myself breakfast and then got to work on my backed up to do list.  I sent a bunch of emails, ordered my books for law school (eek) and got myself organized for these last few weeks of summer.  I cannot believe how fast the time has gone!

Next, I had a long overdue sweat session planned at the gym.  After over a week of not working out, I was really excited to get back into it.

I started my workout with 20 minutes on the treadmill.  I ran two miles in around 18 minutes, then walked the rest of the time.  After that, I moved into the studio room at the gym for a circuit workout!  I knew I wanted a heart pounding cardio sesh after so many days off, and I wanted a mix that would keep me interested and target a little bit of everything.  I alternated various exercises with 30 seconds of jumping rope:

The circuit took me around 20 minutes to complete and I was a sweaty mess by the end.  You could also do it another time through for a 40 minute workout.  Enjoy!

Back Home & London [Day 8]

31 Jul

Good morning!

I’m back in America!  I had a great trip in London, but it feels good to be home.  Special shout out to Katie and her family for taking care of me 🙂 they were wonderful hosts and Katie made sure I saw everything there was to see.

On my last day in London, we finally saw rain.  Every other day was beautiful with hot temperatures and sunny skies.  In the early afternoon, we went to the Tower of London.  The Tower of London is a huge castle that was used as a royal residence and also as a prison.  We even got to see the Crown Jewels!  It holds a great deal of history and it was really cool to explore.  Next up, we stopped at a pub for lunch and a drink.  Later in the evening, Katie and I went out with her family for my last meal in London.

Some pics from the day: