Looking Forward and Moving Forward Are Different; Don't Carry The Burdens Longer Than You Have To
Most lawyers will tell you that law school teaches you very little about the actual practice of law. In fact, most of what law school is designed to do is change the way you think; to make you think like a lawyer. They achieve this by breaking you as soon as practicable when you are a baby 1L and slowly molding and building you back up from there.
Right about now there are a whole batch of first year law students who have managed to survive their first round of law school finals; who have achieved the milestone of making it through a semester of school; and who are panting with exhaustion at the one mile marker of a six mile race.
And the best thing these kids can do is take a deep breath and forget the dread that plagued them during that first mile.
Because they are at a crossroads. They can shoulder the burdens of their anxieties, stress, and insecurities from their first leg of the race, and they will carry them through the next three years, adding more stress, more fears, and more burdens along the way. Or...
Or they can let it go. They can look back behind them and say "enough of that". Take the lessons they learned getting up to speed in that first leg of the race and just keep on running like every mile is the first mile. Six one-mile races are easier to finish.
Because this is the first thing law school can teach you. You have a long race to run. And looking forward to that finish line of the final semester 3L, it's a long way to carry the burdens of a baby law student. It's a long way to carry the anxiety of whether you could have done better on that first torts midterm. It's a long way to carry the dread that you will fail every interview like you failed your clinic interview.
So don't look forward to the end of the line. Move forward instead. Shake off the failures, the what-ifs, and the worries that this is all there is. Think of every semester like a clean slate; you should build on what you have learned, not what you have dreaded.
If you want to survive as a lawyer you have to accept failure.
You are not going to win every case. You are going to lose. Badly. And you are going to have to turn on a dime with that loss and forge ahead with the next client, with the same determination to win that you began with.
Law school sucks. But you don't have to carry it with you forever.