Building a College Fitness Routine

When you’re a student, it can feel like you’re only real exercise is running to the bus or stretching those brain muscles. I’m more focused on learning about settlements and how to become a surrogate mother than how many calories are in my food hall pizza. 

Your health is still important, though, and it’s something to give some attention. It’s not about your weight, either. You might feel sluggish, tired, and unfocused if you’re not taking care of your body. 

Still, it can be tough to squeeze in gym time between classes. So, what can you do? Here are a few tips on building a fitness routine that works with your fitness level and with your class schedule. 

Making Time for Your Routine

When you’re taking classes and even keeping a job, it can be difficult to add other obligations and finding time in your day between other obligations like chores, friends, and sleep. 

That’s why you have to make time to exercise. Finding the time can be tough, so looking for places where you have a little room in your schedule is important. 

To make my schedule, I started out with a daily schedule, where I broke down twenty-four hours into half-hour chunks. Then, I blocked off my usual sleep schedule. After that, I factored in classes and meals, then work hours. I even added time for studying with my roommates. 

I didn’t have a ton of time leftover for everything else, but I was able to make a little time after classes. That worked out great for me because it gave me a little break after working out my brain to go for a quick run, lift some weights, and give my body a good workout—not just my mind. 

Accountability Buddies

Once you set your times and dates, getting to the gym is a little easier. Still, it’s easier to go on home, eat some of your leftover pasta, and relax in front of the TV . . . that’s where your accountability buddy comes in. 

Now, that’s especially easy for me and my other five roommates, I know. We don’t always feel like working out, and getting to the gym can be tough. Even if you don’t work out together, encouraging each other on every gym day makes a difference. You don’t want to disappoint your friends, right? 

Finding an accountability partner can be as easy as asking a friend or roommate to work out with you, or to hold you accountable. Knowing that someone is expecting you to get your running shoes on can make a difference. 

Sticking to Your Fitness Routine 

Keeping up your workout regimen isn’t easy; I won’t pretend like there aren’t a lot of days where I’d like to just sit back, relax, and watch other people sweat it out on the treadmill. I also understand that those extra thirty minutes can make you feel better, fitter, and more alert than ever. 

Sticking to your routine is tough, but it can make a big difference. If you’re struggling to change your schedule and add in a little time for cardio or strength training, reach out for help from friends or roommates. Sometimes, having someone on your side makes getting to the gym a little bit easier. 

The Costs of a Legal Education

When you’re in law school, you get a lot of the same comments. Everyone always asks, “So, if I go to jail, you’ll help me out, right?” Sometimes, they might ask about the course load, the hours, or the prestige. 

A lot of times, though, the first comment is, “Wow, that must be really expensive.”

They’re not wrong, but it’s something that a lot of law students are worried about. You can read all the pamphlets you like, but that doesn’t answer people’s worries about debt and affording both an education and groceries. Fortunately, we all have different experiences at the house and different advice for handling money during you law school years. 

Scholarships and Grants

While a lot of people start law school because of the idea that lawyers get paid a lot, the idea of grad school scares a lot of people off, too. 

That’s why we all suggest that you start looking at grants and scholarships right away. Sometimes, your college might even offer programs and stipends that allow you to work on campus, and in exchange, your tuition is reduced or completely wiped away. 

Opportunities like this can make a huge difference in your student debt amount, so starting there can help. It might even mean that you don’t have to take out that loan you were worried about. 

Still, that doesn’t mean your necessities, like groceries and rent, are covered, especially if your parents can’t or won’t help. What then? 

Working Through College 

Of course, one of the first suggestions we all had was to share a house. It’s worked out great for us. Still, the idea of working to fund your education—while getting that education—can be intimidating. Whether you’re working in the office of a Sacramento DUI attorney or bagging groceries, that’s a significant part of your day that you’re not able to study or attend class. 

Luckily, your professors and your employer can help. They should both know that you’re attending school and working, which can affect your available hours. They may be able to be more flexible in your case. 

The key here, though, is communication. Talking to your manager and your teachers about your situation will make it easier to balance your work life, your academic life, and even your social life. 

Funds for the Future 

One of the most important things to remember is that your legal education will affect your future. While all six of us are sharing a house in a little college town now, we’re also working toward and paying for a better future. Fortunately, you have options for funding your education, even if you’re doing it alone. 

Before you worry about getting yourself through college financially, check out these avenues, not to mention other options,like rooming with five of your friends. It may not be for everyone, but it just might work for students like us who are just trying to make their law school dreams a reality. 

When the Families Visit

Dealing with six people in a single house is busy, to say the least. When parents come around? It can be a nightmare. Sure, most of them grab a hotel room for the night, but that doesn’t stop them from all showing up at once in the morning, when we law students are just waking up. 

Keeping up with our jobs, our families, and our classes is tough. You want time with your parents when they visit mid-semester, but what about your grades? Luckily, there are some ways to get around visiting, classes, and other obligations. 

Spending Time with Your Parents

For me, working as a lawyer was sort of a given. My family has a lot of lawyers and a lot of close friends in law. My dad is close with some of the attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Cordova, and one of my cousins works as a public defender in Phoenix. It’s sort of expected that I was going to attend law school. 

Of course, that means my parents are actually pretty invested in my education. They come to visit every opportunity they get, especially since I’m so far away while getting my degree. 

For me, keeping my parents entertained on class days is easy. All I have to do is bring them to campus and let them explore. They love the library set aside for the law students, so it’s easy to keep them busy while I’m in class. For some of the others, it’s as simple as letting them loose on the town, or just showing them how to use the remote at the house. 

Boundaries for Visiting Parents

However close we are to our parents, though, a visit can be a strain. You want to make your parents’ visit worthwhile, but you also can’t put your own life on pause. That’s why it’s important to talk to your parents before a visit. 

While it’s tempting to throw all your studying out the window, breaks are necessary. That’s why I also make sure to sit down with my visiting family and go over my obligations. It might seem a little harsh, but when you’re studying for a career in law, your time to study and prepare for your field is important, too.

That’s why scheduling time with your parents is vital. Knowing when they can spend time with you and when you’re handling obligations can help you both, giving you the space you need for your daily life while also making time for your loved ones. 

A Fine Balance

As a law student, adding a little social time in your life is a delicate balance on the best of days. On the worst, you’re either locked in the library or partying the day away. When you have people who took a plane across the country just to see you, it’s tough to keep the fine balance of the good days. 

Fortunately, you do have options. Family and education is important, and you don’t always have to choose. Instead, find the timing that works for you, so you can see your parents and keep up that GPA. 

Dealing with Homesick Law Students: Henry’s Perspective

It doesn’t seem to matter how independent and strong-willed you are. Nope, everyone gets homesick at some point. That also includes us law students, even if we’ve already been in school for a long time. Some of us only left our home states in search of the best education we could get.

It’s great to know that we’re getting the best education we can, but sometimes, you just miss mom’s home-cooked meatloaf, you know?

Since we started this blog, I’ve been thinking about some of the common problems we run into, especially living together, and homesickness seems to keep popping up. So, how do we older law students deal on the days when you’re sick or alone or just missing out on holiday fun?

Far from Home

It seems like I’m the farthest away from home, and for the shortest time. I grew up in Illinois, and even when I was little, I always dreamed of being a personal injury lawyer in Chicago. I loved when we took trips into the city, so it was always an important place for me.

Now, though, I’m missing it even harder. I finished my undergrad at the University of Chicago, so I spent four years really falling in love with the city. While I’m planning to go back as soon as I’ve got my degree, I do still miss the city, my family, and my old friends.

How I Cope

For a lot of us, it’s easy to get caught up in the nostalgia and homesickness. You come down with a cold, but there’s no one to make you chicken noodle soup and bring you tissues. Still, there are a few ways I deal with homesickness.

One of the most important parts of my week is giving my parents a call. Skype doesn’t exactly make up for an in-person hug, but it can help until the holidays come around. Then, of course, I always put reminders on my calendar about the holidays. I include flight times, when to buy my tickets, and when my holiday breaks begin and end.

Adding time to my year to visit home and see people is important to me, so I always make a point to visit. When I get to go back and make new happy memories, it’s easier to wait again for the next visit.

Surviving Law School and Making Connections

My last tip for those studying out-of-state or away from home doesn’t have to do with visiting parents at all, though. Instead, I suggest making friends and building connections together.

For Nate, Mallory, Candace, Clark, Daniela, and I, that’s not too hard. We share this big house together, so of course we’re together and doing things as a group all the time. However, that’s not always so easy for others.

If you’re missing home and it’s making studying had, try going out with your friends or even meeting someone new. Sometimes, it can make your homesickness a little easier.

Studying with Law Student Roommates

Living on your own comes with a lot of responsibility. You’re expected to keep up with all your laundry, do your own dishes, and keep the place clean. At least the lawn and repairs are handled by the landlord, but sometimes, it’s hard to adjust. Some of us never even had to take care of those things before we moved off to college.

Studying comes with that, too. Plenty of smart kids know how easy it can be to coast by on a good memory when you’re in high school. Law school, though, isn’t so simple. You’re dealing with a bigger workload in general, and that’s tough to balance.

That balance is something we found out the hard way.

Learning to Study

It started with our first semester, during the first few weeks when grades are just coming in. Mallory was the first to get her papers back, and she was upset. She wasn’t a C-grade student, but there it was in red on the top of her paper.

In fact, Mallory is one of the hardest workers in the house. She’s from the rural South and got here on scholarships and grants. In fact, she even wants to return to be a car accident attorney in Alabama. Sadly, now she was worried about that dream coming true. If she’d struggled so much with a test on personal injury law, what other hurdles would the future throw at her?

When the rest of us began receiving average or even bad grades, we knew we had to do something. Sure, taking time to clean and have fun was important, but our grades were on the line!

Flashcards and Notes and Practice Tests, Oh My!

While we’re all studying different fields of law, certain things do carry over. Most importantly,we needed to learn accountability. Separately, it was easy to never ask what the other housemates were doing and whether they were taking time to study. Now, that wasn’t an option.

Unless a big event was happening, we started to meet every night at the kitchen table. It’s a big one, so there’s enough room to set up our laptops, spread out our notes, and get to work. We set a one-hour timer, too. Some of us only need that long for most nights, while others might be up for half the night on an exam week.

If we share classes, that gives us a chance to study the material together, too. Now, it’s no longer an option to sit alone in our rooms, working away at cases we don’t understand. This way, we can ask questions, get answers, and understand the work a little better.

Studying Now for Better Results Later

After all that studying, it didn’t take long to see great results. Mallory was the first, again, to get her test results back. This time, it was a perfect score, and she jumped for joy. The rest of us teased her about taking a break, but we know her too well. That night, she was right there with us, humming as she wrote out some practice summaries.

Now, though, we’re all seeing the results of our hard work. Of course, we all learned a lesson, too. When you’re in good company, even studying doesn’t have to be so bad.