Imposter Syndrome: An Orientation Recap

I can’t quite believe that it’s been almost exactly a month since I started at Harvard. The time has flown, at least in part because I haven’t had a whole lot of time to catch my breath (in a good way, mostly). But I wanted to write a post about the orientation experience to give a window into what starting at HLS is like — I think it did a really good job of setting us up to create a solid environment for ourselves and for each other.

One of the first impressions I got upon coming to campus is that Harvard Law School is HUGE. I knew that conceptually, but the law school population itself is almost as big as my (large) high school — about 1800 students. In order to make it easier to get to know people and avoid getting lost in the shuffle, HLS divides the 1L (first-year) class into seven sections of about 80 people, each of which has a professor as a section leader. It sounds like a lot, but orientation is basically four days of intensive section bonding, so we all got to know each other really fast. At this point, I recognize everybody in my section and probably know about 90% of the names. Continue reading

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The Law School Diaries: Moving In

As of today, I’ve been in Boston for ten days. After all the lead up to getting here, it doesn’t seem possible that this year has finally started.

When last we left off, I was panicking a bit about late financial aid applications and immunization forms. The moral of the story is, I (unsurprisingly) was a little more panicked than was necessary. After much ado, I am indeed here and going through orientation. Everything is not finished (I will be very happy when my financial aid cash advance finally comes through, and even happier when all the extended loan paperwork is taken care of), but I have a Harvard ID card. For now, I’m happy. But let’s back up a little. Continue reading

Are Christians “Missing the Boat” on Donald Trump?

Wayne Allyn Root, a businessman and political commentator among other things, wrote a column in which he argues that Christians are “missing the boat” on Donald Trump and that they should not only vote for him, but that doing anything else is denying the messages that God is sending us. I had enough thoughts on this that I wanted to write my own point-by-point rebuttal of where I believe Root is missing the whole point.

Root begins with the famous joke about a devout man stuck on a roof during a massive flood. He refuses any and all help, claiming that he’s waiting for God. Now, the man dies and meets God, and he asks about God’s refusal to save him. God replies, “What did you want? I sent you three different people to help you.”

This man on the roof, the writer claims, is America, and Trump is our rowboat. “Maybe God,” Root says, “is trying to tell us something important — that now is not the time for a ‘nice Christian guy’ or a ‘gentleman’ or a typical Republican powder puff…. Because right about now we need a miracle, or America is finished.” Continue reading

Dealing with Difficult Relatives

Any time I see an article on this topic, the advice generally goes something like this: “We know it’s hard to disagree with relatives sometimes, but they love you and want you to be happy, so as long as you explain to them that what you’re doing makes you happy, they’ll be kind about it even if they don’t agree with you! Then everything will work out just fine!”

I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I define difficult relatives. Continue reading

Starting “The Law School Diaries”: Law School Prep

This August, I have the amazing opportunity to start studying at Harvard Law School. While I’m at it, I decided I wanted to start a blog series on my experiences for those of you who are interested in maybe going to law school one day, or even are just curious about what the experience is like. For those of you who are going through law school right now, I hope this series can be a companion in your journey — I’d love to hear about your experiences, too!

The Road So Far

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Creation over Consumption: A Challenge

Our lives are an ever-changing balance between creation and consumption. Mindful and intentional consumption is important and essential–consuming food, resources, and ideas, when done with intention, contributes meaningfully to our lives and helps us contribute meaningfully to the lives of others.

Unfortunately, though, our culture is largely one of mindless consumption. When we’re bored (or just not overstimulated), we scroll through Facebook, flip on the TV, or surf Buzzfeed. We play mobile games while we’re waiting in line. We listen to the news in the morning and the radio in the car, and spend the rest of our day with several tabs of email open and social media sending us notifications every five minutes.

On the other hand, how much time do we spend every day creating value? How much time do we spend on creative hobbies or passion projects or actively contributing to our health? If you’re anything like me, that amount is much, much lower. Some days, it might be non-existent. Continue reading

Prioritizing like Warren Buffett

In a post on Live Your Legend, Scott Dinsmore talks about one tip on prioritization that Warren Buffett gave his pilot. The system goes like this:

  1. List the top 25 goals you want to achieve, either in the next few years or in your lifetime.
  2. From that list of 25 goals, pick your top five most important. Put those on their own list of current goals.
  3. Put the other 20 goals on another list.
  4. Avoid those 20 goals at all costs until you achieve the first five.

Sounds a little terrifying, doesn’t it? Committing to five goals so much that you’re willing to sacrifice all of the others to achieve them? But, according to Warren Buffett, that’s how you become successful: focus on your highest-priority goals to the exclusion of all else. There are a lot of good articles out there about why taking advice from those in extraordinary circumstances can be less than helpful, but I think this one might be the exception to the rule. Continue reading

Four Steps to a Peaceful Evening

I can’t count the number of blogs I’ve read on the importance of beginning a morning routine. You hear so often about how everyone’s lives would be better if they just got up a little earlier and did a little more in the morning. While I’m fully in support of taking advantage of your mornings, it seems to me that finishing your days well is just as important as starting them well. If you’re ending your days feeling exhausted, stressed, and behind in your work, here are some ways to make that time a little more positive. Continue reading

Your Health: This Time, It’s Personal

If you knew absolutely nothing about health and fitness and set out armed with Google to learn how to live your healthiest life, you might not get very far. Go vegan! No, go vegetarian! No, eat lots of meat! No, eat only fish! Exercise every day for seven minutes! No, exercise twice a week for two hours! There’s no shortage of information on health out there, but much of it is completely contradictory. If you then found yourself determined to dig into the science, you’d find the same thing. Beyond a few commonly accepted truisms (don’t starve yourself or over-stuff yourself, move your body consistently, eat more vegetables), even the science seems to give different answers.

For a lot of people, this leads to decision paralysis. Well, if I can’t figure out what’s best, they think, I guess I just won’t do anything at all. Or, maybe worse, I’ll try everything but give up before I have time to make any progress. All this conflicting information causes you to self-sabotage from the very beginning. Continue reading