Half-Full or Half-Empty:
Time to change your perspective

GUEST BLOG Courtney Boykin, 2L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

               If you take the time to think about it, then you’ll realize that we’re in such a powerful position.

I don’t think there’s too much controversy in saying that law students, as a whole, tend to be very negative.

Think about it.

We’re upset when we have a 30 page reading (which is practically every class). We’re annoyed when the professor randomly calls on us (which is practically every class). We’re angry when the reading assignment takes longer than the amount of time we initially planned to spend on the assignment (which is practically every class assignment). We’re very cynical with people. We even have two whole hashtags (#LawSchoolProbs and #LawSchoolProblems).

While some instances can reasonably garner negative emotional responses, I think we could all use a shift in our perspectives about law school.

If you take the time to think about it, then you’ll realize that we’re in such a powerful position. Our educational journeys have brought us to a place where we’ve survived the competitive process of getting into a law school and, as 2Ls, have even furthered our accomplishments by completing our 1L year. We’re experiencing an opportunity that not many people can say they have experienced or will ever experience. Further, we have the opportunity to take our education and literally change the lives of individuals facing major problems. Is it really fair to have a pessimistic outlook on EVERYthing?

Although some may say that being antagonistic isn’t necessarily terrible for lawyers, I would argue that being pessimistic about everything can’t be healthy. This week, I encourage you to take the time to see the truly amazing aspects of your law school journey. Don’t be so negative. Don’t be so antagonistic.

Yes, the reading assignment will be long. Yes, it will take you longer to read than you initially thought. Yes, the professor will randomly call on you and ask you questions (in front of the entire class) about the ONE case that you didn’t quite understand. Yes, these things will happen. Nonetheless, choose to focus on the fact that you are at this point because of a) the admissions staff thought you were pretty good, b) you turned out to be pretty good, and c) you’re on this journey for a reason much bigger than yourself.

Focus on the positives and see the glass as being half-full instead of half-empty.