Let’s be real. Uni can be a never-ending emotional rollercoaster. You enter as a bright-eyed first-year student and leave feeling like you’ve been dragged through the mud. We get it. Heaps of students leave Uni with a plethora of mental health struggles -the most common being Depression and Anxiety. This sense of isolation can end up being carried into the Legal Profession where the stakes are higher and the workload is heavier.
So let’s talk. Here you’ll find honest conversations and real stories about other students sharing the same struggles and doubts, and how they’re overcoming it step by step. We hope you know that you are not alone in your feelings and there is always hope and redemption.
“As law students, over-achieving is inherent in our nature. We start of the semester with a foolproof plan to boost up our WAM, rake in money from our part-time jobs, while also maintaining a decent social life. But as the semester trudges on and our workload starts to build, we can all find ourselves drowning the workload and struggling to juggle all our responsibilities …”
“Fear would taunt me into believing that the very thing I’ve spent my life working towards was the wrong path, or that others would think I wasn’t smart enough to hack it. I dreaded the idea that I’d racked up thousands of dollars in student loans for no reason and would have no job to pay it off …”
“Whether we are aware of it or not, we are conditioned to believe that success is everything … At school we are praised for winning races at sports day or for successfully learning a new song on the piano. We desire to be elected onto the Prefect team and to receive a high enough ATAR to do our dream course at university because this means we have succeeded …”
“Here’s the thing: everyone is going through some secret struggle. Everyone is nursing a wound or fighting a battle you know nothing about. I don’t want to be someone who just assumes my friends are doing just fine because all they’re posting are highlights of their life. It might not be our job to be a caretaker to all of our friends. But it is our job as supporters and lovers of those we care about to remind them that they do have a place in this world and they do belong …”
“And I’ll be frank. I hate sympathy … Sympathy is not a bad word or sentiment, and it comes from a good place, but just imagine empathy as an extended version of the sympathy; a deeper and more meaningful version. It’s taking it one giant step further and saying, I feel your pain. You don’t need to understand it, but you feel it …”
“In hindsight, I should have known that I never really wanted to be a commercial lawyer. I was sucked in by what my mates were all wanting to do, thinking it was what was also required of me if ever I wanted to succeed as a legal professional. But, ultimately I just wasn’t interested in the same way that others were, which meant of course that I was never going to be any good at it …”
“If you’re not feeling incredibly overwhelmed by the amount of content you have to get through in such a short week, then you’re a much better student than I am. But for the rest of us who may need some ideas on how to deal with all the low-key panicking, we asked a bunch of law students how they cope during the exam period.”
“I had good grades and a nicely ornamented resumé I was proud of. Then the rejection emails came. Relentlessly. One after the other. It got to the point where I only had to read the opening line, ‘Due to the high calibre of applicants this year…’ where my heart would drop and I knew what would follow. After a tiring couple of months, I wounded up empty handed and broken hearted …”
“I want to talk about the danger of people who choose to over-simplify and cheapen the issue of mental health. The particular example I have in mind is the rise of ‘shortcuts to mental health’. The content is usually banal and self-explanatory, with advice such as ‘get enough sleep’, ‘meditate every morning’ and ‘learn to be happy.’ There is nothing inherently wrong with this sort of advice, but the problem is that they imply a simplicity to your mental health that just isn’t true. They enforce the illusion that your mental health is some kind of sickness that you fix by treating the symptoms …”