My name's Bailey, and I'm a Juris Doctor candidate at Mercer Law. Follow my journey through adulthood as I figure out what I want to do with my life, make mistakes, find friends, and just generally take things one step (to success) at a time.
Today marks the first day of my second year of law school. I’m more nervous to start this year than last, for a few reasons:
One, the only GPA I have is from my very first semester at law school, and while it’s “good” it’s not “great” (and I’m a perfectionist with a very competitive mindset so I hate to see myself doing worse than my best). This means that I need to do very well this semester to boost my GPA up to the top third of the class, which is generally the academic marker the government looks for when selecting interns for the summer.
Two, a lot of my friends transferred schools, so I’m probably going to develop an entirely new friend group this year. That’s a little scary for me as an introvert.
Lastly, Corona. Everything is changing. I can’t hang out with my friends the same way. Classes are different. I worry for my health, and the health of those around me. Schedules for school continue to change. There is no consistency. As someone that thrives off of schedules and plans and to do lists, this semester is going to be tough. Everyone is flying by the seat of their pants in academia. I hate doing that. But, as my dad says, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. This semester (if not the entire school year) is going to be an elephant, and I’m going to have to take it one step at a time.
Going back to in-person classes this fall means I’m going to have to take a critical look at my health and daily habits. As we all know, COVID-19 is no joke, and I’m about to be sharing a building with about 250 people each day. While I’m typically pretty healthy, I know there’s more I can do.
I’m starting with taking elderberry supplements. My mom started using elderberry syrup a few years ago. It helps your body fight off cold and flu symptoms (hello Corona virus symptoms) and supports general immune health. Elderberry is packed with vitamin C! It’s also anti-inflammatory and is a good source of antioxidants. I think it tastes great on it’s own (plus adults are only supposed to take about thirty drops a day) and I couldn’t taste it at all when I mixed it into a cup of water. It’s a super easy way to boost your immune system, so if you’re looking for something that’s approximately zero work, this would be it.
Stress can also weaken your immune system, so trying to be as stress free as possible will do your body good (and not just with immune health and COVID – limiting stress is good for heart health and cholesterol levels!).
One thing that people are predicting about COVID during the school year is that people are going to be more stressed than usual – even children. Parenting blogs, and even the CDC, are teaching parents the warning signs of stress and anxiety in kids, and trying to provide ways to combat it. Exercise, nutritious foods, and limiting screen time outside of classes helps. Last semester, when my school went full on remote learning, I tended to do my work outside on the porch because I found that I felt better in the sunlight. I also gave myself time to stand up and stretch in between classes. A short walk is better than no walk at all!
Stress lowers your body’s ability to fight infections like COVID-19. Limiting caffeine intake helps reduce stress (but honestly I’m being a bit of a hypocrite because I drink multiple cups of coffee a day during the school year because I’m constantly exhausted). Getting eight hours of sleep, on average, a night also helps your immune system regulate itself. This is also me being hypocritical because I am too often awake at 1am trying to finish a reading that’s due in less than eight hours. But the point is to try and get eight hours of sleep. Here it’s not the thought that counts, but if you’re pushing yourself to develop better sleeping habits then you’re doing the right thing for your body, even if you only manage to get a half hour more sleep than you usually would.
I’m also trying to eat healthier this go around to give my body a fighting chance against contracting any viruses. I was not very healthy my first year of law school, and I definitely ate out more than I should have. Whole foods and lots of fruits and vegetables are what I’m focusing on this school year!
What ways are you trying to protect yourself from COVID this school year?
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I moved home for the summer. I’m in Asheville. Home is supposed to be safe space, full of love and warmth.
Last week, the Asheville police department destroyed a medic station in downtown during a protest. Masks and medical supplies were burned. Water bottles punctured. EMTs, doctors, and nurses pushed aside, some even to the ground, by police in riot gear. The city has since released a statement about what happened and why. Feel free to read it here: Asheville Police Chief Apologizes After Officers Destroy Medical Tent.
I do not condone violence; I do not condone riots; I do not condone looting in the very same way I do not condone racism or slavery. But to not condone is not enough.
We have grown up in a United States that has not known slavery in the classical sense, but as a future lawyers I understand that systematic oppression and disenfranchisement still place invisible shackles on our peers. While the world has changed much since the Civil Rights Act and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., racism and hatred still flourish. Some of our parents stood in solidarity with desegregation; the current generations must do much more than that. It is not enough to not condone police brutality, racism, and the growing list of hashtags that tell the story of oppression. We must fight against it. The time for standing is over. The time for action is now.
The longer quarantine has gone on, the more I find myself turning to Youtube for distraction. Under normal circumstances, whenever I’m stressed, I find myself watching British Vogue’s In the Bag. Emma Watson’s interview is my most watched clip on Youtube. Now that it’s reached week seven of me being in the house (and I’m in the house bored) I have rewatched all of Vogue’s In the Bag and can nearly quote Emma’s clip entirely by heart. (I may, or may not, be losing it.)
On my way home from the grocery store I decided to make my own What’s in the Bag post, including everything I’ve kept in my purse since quarantine began.
This is my beloved tote bag, which I use for everything. I love it because not only is it machine washable, it has two sets of handles! One long handle, for all those times you need to sling things over your shoulder, and two short handles for when it’s a grab and go sort of day. I got the tote from Reanimator Coffee last year. They’ve sadly discontinued this print, but the new art is spunky and green!
And now for the contents…there’s a lot. I’m a packrat, I’ll admit.
I always have either a journal or a book with me. This journal is a plain Moleskin that I stuck a sticker of Manet’s The Fifer onto. Moleskins are usually super expensive, but I got a set of five for $16 the last time I went to T.J. MAXX. Oh how I miss the days when shopping was simple, in person, and pandemic free. For now, Amazon will have to do.
I’m also the friend that carries around a thousand writing utensils. Always. Need a pen? Here’s five. Want one in a specific color? Hold up, I think I got it in the bottom of my bag. Pencil? Check. Highlighter? Got that too. Coloring materials? Mhm that’s probably in here somewhere. I had so many writing utensils floating around in my bag that I finally got this pencil pouch to hold them all.
Essentials I never leave home without (Corona virus or no Corona virus):
This quarantine feels like a never ending road trip, only we’re not going anywhere cool, I’ve seen the same stretch of highway with the same trees a million times, and we ran out of snacks forever ago. It’s got me asking are we there yet?!
No. No we are not there yet. While states are slowly starting to reopen, we know there will be another wave of this come fall. And what do we do to prepare for long road trips? Snacks. Art. Stories. Music.
You’d think with all this “free time” during quarantine I’d find the time to write a few blog posts here and there, but no. I’ve been studying for finals, taking finals, and preparing myself for my summer internship. I’ve done a lot in the past few weeks.
Finals are finished – I’m officially a 2L! Everything got moved online, and classes went pass fail. Most universities did the same. And it’s not like there’s a protocol or a how-to book on running a place of higher education. I think everyone is doing their best, only what “their best” looks like during this time is drastically different from what it was in 2019.
I’m excited to begin my internship sometime this month (or next, depending on how quarantine goes). Once I actually start, and receive permission to tell the internet what my position is and with whom, I’ll make a post about it.
Remember back when I did weekly playlists? It’s been a while. Frankly, I stopped doing playlist posts because I felt that I had nothing to add to the conversation. My taste in music is pretty main stream, and I’m not the person to look to when trying to find new artists. Here’s my list of things to listen to anyways! Maybe you’ll find something new. Maybe you’ll rediscover something old. To each their own.