Hi all! Spring break: does it cease to exist after undergrad? NO! I’m settling back in from my spring break trip to California and will be sharing with you my tips to having a successful, stress-free law-school break. Initially, I was nervous to take so much time off from school, but I am glad I did. The warm weather and beautiful beaches were just what I needed to recharge my batteries. Although I brought school books along and had some studying to do, I was able to work it into my trip schedule and take advantage of everything Cali had to offer.
If you know you enjoy traveling during spring break, begin planning early. I love traveling and knew that by March I would want to get away from the cold Chicago weather, so in November I started researching places to go. Once I decided on California, I began tentatively planning everything, so I would have a rough estimate of the price. As a student-on-a-budget, I looked for deals on activities and constantly monitored flight prices.
I waited until December/January to buy my flights, because that is when my second semester professors released their syllabi. (I knew that if I had any huge projects due during or right after spring break, I wouldn’t want to go on a trip.) Once I was sure there were no major assignments due, I bought my flights and began the count down to break!
The weekend before I left, I worked hard to get my homework done, giving priority to classes with the biggest books so I wouldn’t have to bring them along. I knew I wouldn’t get it all done before I left, so I made sure carve out a couple of hours each day in California to do school-work. I planned to wake up early and get 2 hours of work done right away. That way, the rest of the day was left for fun.
My trip was AMAZING, I was able to do so many fun activities. It was nice to have most of the day to work on recharging my batteries. The morning homework sessions worked out great! Although admittedly I slept through a couple of sessions, I was able to get some assignments taken care of. It felt good to check things off my “to-do” list and set me up well for my first week back in school. I would recommend taking this approach to spring break, because it allows you to have a completely guilt free trip: you’re not only enjoying yourself, but also getting your assignments done!
If I could do it all over, I would only change one thing. Because I was so anxious to take full advantage of my week off school, I stayed in California as long as I could. I scheduled my flight to arrive back in Chicago at 11:00pm on Sunday, leaving me very little time to recuperate (I have a 10:30 am Monday class). I found that this stressed me out. The last day I just wanted to make it to the airport and didn’t take advantage of my remaining time. I think that if I had returned Saturday and left Sunday as a “buffer” day, I would have felt much better. That being said, everything worked out, so if you’re a daredevil: Sunday night return flights are do-able.
If you enjoy traveling and have the means to do so, don’t let law school stop you. It is absolutely possible to be a responsible student while laying on a beach miles and miles away from campus. At the end of the day, it’s important to focus not only on your grades, but on your mental health as well!
Thanks for reading this week’s blog! If you have any questions about taking vacations during school, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Until next time—
Maria Black is a 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is blogging about the journey of her first year of law school. To see all posts written by her search the Maria B. category on the right hand side.
Questions for Maria? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Ask Maria” and she will make sure to answer them in a future post.