I realized yesterday that lawschool is so much like being a mom. Unless you are in lawschool you just don't get what it's like. Unless you are a mom, you have NO IDEA what a mom goes through (the good and the bad). And they both substantially change your life.
Yesterday I met up with two people from one of my classes to study for our final. I usually stay away from study groups. Usually, because I study better on my own but also because study groups remind me of highschool cliques. I remember 1L year people in my class meeting up in secret because they didn't want to let certain people "in" either because they didn't think certain people were smart enough, they didn't think certain people were dumb enough (if you were too smart you might ruin the curve) or they though people just weren't "cool" enough.
While my two friends and I were studying we started chatting about significant others. The general consensus was that significant others have NO CLUE what we go through during finals week (or anytime during the semester for that matter). This is like the one truth about law school- your non-lawschool friends and spouses just cannot fathom how hard it is. It's not just the academics that are hard either. It's the general pressure to focus only on lawschool and let the rest of your life pass you by. It's the stress you feel everday in class thinking you might be next in the "hot seat," answer incorrectly and forever be branded with a scarlet "F" for failure (or "T" for tool).
I hate to complain, but it is true that my husband has no clue. He goes to work in the morning and comes home in the evening. He doesn't see that I've been studying for eight hours straight while trying to arrange childcare for Jacob. When he comes home, I'm working on feedign Jacob and putting him to bed. When Jacob's asleep, I spend another 3 hours racking my brain. Basically, since class got out last week, I have been studying every spare second. I know I have too much to learn in the short time I have. It's just a sad fact. So I'm way stressed out and I feel relieved when my schedule changes to just give me an extra 30 minutes of time to study.
I tried to explain to my husband how hard these two weeks of finals were for me. He said, "I know. I've taken finals before." But that just proves how little he does know. Law exams are NOT like undergrad finals. Each final has the potential to impact your bottom line- your class ranking. And most of my classes this semester are curved. How is that for pressure? While my class ranking is around the middle, and I have peacefully learned to accept that, each final brings me this little bulb of hope that maybe, JUST MAYBE, I can bring that ranking up a tad.
You know what? I think I could. If I didn't have a baby. Or a husband. Or a life. I wish I could show my husband how, in order to really be a law school success, you have to put your entire life on hold. You have to eat, breathe, and sleep law. The past week and a half I've felt so anxious and trapped. Because I know what I need to do. I need to escape for 12 hours at a time to prep for exams. But with a baby, I simply can't. By the time I get him fed, dressed, changed, and out the door, half of my day is gone. I haven't slept over 5 hours in weeks so by the time I do get alone time with my books, I can barely keep my eyes open.
My husband is really awesome, but he doesn't realize that if he would step up to do the little things, my life would be so much easier right now. I just need finals to be over so things can return to normal.