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Author Topic: a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)  (Read 11408 times)

Jolie Was Here

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a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)
« on: June 01, 2006, 01:34:03 PM »
All of a sudden I'm experiencing uber-anxiety over all of this law school stuff.  Considering that I usually operate on an "it'll all work out somehow, hippie" basis, this is terribly out of character.
 
The thing is, I've spent years researching, planning, soul-searching... I'm certain that this is the path I want to follow.  I'm comfortable in the knowledge that I'll be working a few slavish Biglaw years to catch up financially.  I don't think my nerves are about law school itself.
 
I think some of this is being stirred up by the options that have suddenly opened up.  I feel really fortunate to have some choices, but I also have to accept now that I'm CHOOSING to go to Michigan and incur a metric assload of debt (on top of what I also owe) instead of going to Cardozo for free.  I already borrowed to go back to grad school once, and while that was the best decision ever in terms of personal and professional development, let's just say it didn't work out so well in the money department.  Anyway, I seriously feel as though I'm going to have a stroke at the thought of signing on the dotted line. 

Soooo...I dunno.  I'm not really looking for advice or answers here.  I feel pretty strongly that our individual circumstances are all so different that it's nigh impossible to advise one another in any meaningful way.  I suppose I'm wondering if anyone else is experiencing similar feelings.  Anyone else in the grip of a "what the #*$& am I doing?" episode?   ???  Speak up!
I was referring to your intellectual penis. Which is quite robust.

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dococ23

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Re: a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2006, 02:12:39 PM »
All of a sudden I'm experiencing uber-anxiety over all of this law school stuff.  Considering that I usually operate on an "it'll all work out somehow, hippie" basis, this is terribly out of character.
 

I'm like this 90% of the time ... earlier this week however, I had serious doubts about LS, and I don't even have half of the certainty that you do. I eventually realized that I had no reason to doubt the innate feeling that law school was the right place to go - second-guessing myself almost never works out, so I believe that I'm doing the right thing.

But I still think I should have a better reason for going and incurring @$$loads of debt.

As for advice, I can always say "It's too late to back out now, deal with it!!!"  :P

Law-Man

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Re: a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2006, 02:15:07 PM »
Mine is starting to build up, as I realize that even with the loans and my SO working, we will have to forget any fun (movies, shows, dinner out, etc.) to make ends meet. The whole LS thing would have been easier in the days of no mortgage, or car payments, or any other commitments I have, but I chose to do this knowing the realities and consequences surronding my decission. I am confortable knowing that this is what I want to do, and that somehow even with all the negative comments I will be fine  :) (I hope  ;)).
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. - Mark Twain

Jolie Was Here

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Re: a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2006, 04:17:36 PM »
Thank you all!  This is exactly what I need - the chance to commiserate with others who understand. 

Without harping on the non-trad thing again, I suspect that this stage is a little more frightening for us.  Many of you have spouses and children who are directly impacted by these decisions.  Others (like me) know that we're on our own to sink or swim.  All of us have already faced the realities of repaying loans, juggling mortgages or Big City rents, thinking ahead to the future, worrying about family responsibilities...not to say that there are no 22 year olds thinking this way, but I know that I wouldn't have felt the gravitas of all of this if I'd gone straight out of college.

And Archival, thanks for the much-needed vote of confidence!   
I was referring to your intellectual penis. Which is quite robust.

Jolie is creeping up on me. 

Alamo

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Re: a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2006, 04:51:53 PM »
Not that we need to stress ourselves out constantly, but a bit of gravitas can be a major advantage.  Those of us who've been in the workforce for a while and taken responsibility for our personal finances and living arrangements have learned a lot of lessons that the 22-year old hasn't.  How relevant are they to our success in LS?  It's debatable, but I feel much more prepared in terms of time management and multi-tasking, I'm light years ahead of where I was in undergrad. 

I stress from time to time, but anxiety is a side-effect of ambition - if I weren't going to law school, I'd be concerning myself with whatever else it was that I'd planned to do, or stressing even more over a lack of planning/direction. 
I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .

sck

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Re: a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2006, 04:56:52 PM »
I get this occasionally, and I am just gearing up to apply in the fall.

I'm getting married in March, and my fiance is a teacher. I'll be quitting my job to go. So I'm trying to wedding plan, deal with those exoenses, deal with upcoming moving, deal with the fact that if I (somehow) get into my top choice we'll have to move cities...

As a teacher, his job is portable, but it's still so much change, and it's harder to interview from afar.

I'm trying to pay off all my credit cards before I have to contemplate adding more debt to my load. I've been fortunate in that I haven't had the load of student loan debt in the past, so the idea of taking on 90K is scary. And my fiance has about 30K still to pay off on his....

Honestly, my big panic is often with the idea that we want to have kids, but... when? We're in our 30s, and if I go, I want to go NOW, so I have time to enjoy the career. If we have kids first, I'd never go.

I'm generally an 'it'll all work out' type, too, especially since I've already dug myself out of debt holes once. But the sheer enormity of it is scary.
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Miss P

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Re: a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2006, 05:33:22 PM »
Anyone else in the grip of a "what the #*$& am I doing?" episode?   ???  Speak up!

Yes!  Last week.  I called my husband on the way to work, almost in tears. 

Bah, second-guessing gets us nowhere.  I choose to look at it as a healthy aknowledgment of the magnitude of the decision, as opposed to insight about the rightness or wrongness of the decision.  Does that make sense?

(Jolie, based on your posts I personally really, really feel like this is a great decision for you.  Michigan is lucky to get you.  As the kids say, just sayin'.)

Yes, yes, yes, and yes, especially on the last bit -- the note to Jolie. Yay, Michigan!
The same goes for UT and you, Archival!

I face extreme gaps in confidence almost daily -- about money, my academic ability, my career prospects, the potential that I'll make friends, how to get into that clinic...  I made my final decision on a school today and immediately thought of everything I was missing at the other. 

I think this really is just an acknowledgement, like archival says, that we've been through enough in life to know how important these things are.  In any case, I'm choosing to believe that this experience is also giving us the wisdom to make the right decisions.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

greengrl

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Re: a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2006, 11:52:18 PM »
oh, add me to the list! the debt makes me sick to my stomach but the thought of living the rest of my life with regret at putting off something i really want seems to be worse. however, ask me once repayment starts :)

another thing we non-trads realize is that many of us, have in one way or another struggled to make things work. we've taken risks, both professionally and financially that might not have turned out the way we expected and we would be silly to think that we are entering law school with the same blissful naivete with which we might have approached undergrad. work experience and life experience create options--law school is one of many paths that we could have followed. human nature loves the "what if?". but i digress....

Jolie you're heading to a fantastic school that will open a million doors for you. your commitment to education and the risks you have taken to pursue your academic development is, i'm guessing, a huge part of who you are. this decision is simply an extension of what you are and where you want to go--embrace it!  it's not a haphazard decision you made while knocking back a beer with your friends. sometimes i think that the thrill of a goal and its pursuit are SO much more exciting than actually getting it. but i'm a dreamer by nature, so :)

you'll be fine. really, you will. what's worse--living with debt or living with regret?

good luck darlin'

aerynn

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Re: a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2006, 11:18:32 AM »
Law school is something I am really confident in and comfortable about, especially since I took the money instead of the debt. 

But what is giving me some anxiety is life after school.  The drive to try for the misery of firm life vs. doing something like being a prosecuter and not making any money vs. becoming a civil tort lawyer and trying to be a rainmaker in a small firm.  I am just not sure what is the best path.

And being older, I am keenly aware that I can't do it all.  I know even 70 hour work weeks for any length of time will kick my butt.  And I will hate hate hate it.  I am past caring enough about money and status enough for that to be a motivator.  Right?

Kids are also rapidly becoming a "cost" of law school, or at least the career I plan to have after.  I don't want to be one of those women who goes to law school, does great, gets a great job, then leaves to be a mommy after a year.  But I also don't want to be one of those moms who doesn't know the name of her kid's best friend.  So, it is looking more like no kids at all and I am not sure how I feel about that yet.  Relief?

Oh, and what if we can't sell our house before school starts?  How am I going to move in time for school?  :( :( :(

Thanks for letting me rant. :)
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Quintana

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Re: a momentary lapse of zen (aka Panicking!)
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2006, 02:07:09 PM »
  I feel ya.  The highs of feeling like I'm finally on the right path are more common, but the "Oh boy, what are you getting yourself into?" thoughts can be heavy.  I think the doubt can be a good thing if it leads to realistic consideration- blind faith ain't my thing. It seems like you have a thought-out, focused direction and a good plan already in place to follow it... I'd say you're off to a great start!


  I wonder if the anxiety is generally worse for those of us who've been out of school for a while?
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