What I Did to Prepare for Law School

Hello from Mercer Law! Today is my ~official~ first day of orientation and I am hyped to get myself orientated! I am also scared out of my mind. Seriously. I never thought I’d go to law school, let alone get a full ride. I’m a Woodruff Scholar, and that sort of freaks me out. Part of me is like “how in the heck did I get here?!” and the other part of me is saying “can I even live up to this title?” and then there’s a tiny voice inside that’s chanting “you earned this, so you can do it.” Truthfully, I will always compare myself to my peers and wonder how I ended up in the same room as some of the most brilliant, amazing people I’m sitting next to. I think that’s my twenty-year-old default setting. But preparing for law school, I gave myself a pep talk in perspective.

There’s not much you can do when prepping for law school. Sure you can get advice from everyone you know that’s even gone, but the best thing to do is to understand that to get into law school you had to be smart. Now you’re in a room full of equally qualified people, all as smart or smarter than you. You’re all going to feel not smart enough at some point your first year. Just take that fact in and let it sit with you. Knowing that all those amazing people you think are so much better than you at 1L are just as lost as you are will be comforting. You are not alone.

That’s probably the most depressing pep talk of all pep talks, but I like to know I’m not alone. Figuring that out is so much better than someone half heartedly saying “you got this!” when I have absolutely no idea what in the world I’m doing, let alone how to get to my 8am classroom. I will definitely not “have this” around 75% of the time, and then things will click at the end of the year and I’ll have an “aha!” moment. This much I’ve gathered from 2L’s and recent grads.

Another big thing is to get used to reading. Law school is almost all reading and writing. I’ve read a variety of different things, but mostly things I enjoy. There’s a study that I read that said you need to prep your eyeballs for the amount of reading you’re about to endure, so reading novels back to back through the summer before your 1L year will prep those muscles for their marathon case brief extravaganza. You can check out what I’ve been reading recently in this post, but I’ll have another one up about my summer reads ASAP!

Calm down. Just chill out. I’m so type A that me not doing anything stresses me out until I spend so much time doing nothing that I get used to it. I’m weird like that, I know, but if that’s how you can totally destress then do it. If you spend time with friends, do face masks, play with puppies, volunteer, whatever it is that you do to make yourself feel good and comfortable with life, do it! This might be your last chance until Thanksgiving break.

I set a few goals for myself. Most of them were about self care (like cooking at home at least once a week), but a few were about my studies. When I set goals, I have different tiers. The lowest tier is stuff I know I’m going to accomplish, and I set those goals because checking the “I did it!” box makes me feel good. The next level up is stuff that I want to strive for but can be flexible with, such as getting an internship for next summer that fits with that I want to do long term or being in the top 50% of my class. The top tier is what I really have to push myself for. Those are things like being at the top of my class, exercising regularly, and finishing the novel I’ve been working on forever.

I find that having five goals, with at least one in the top tier, helps me set my own tone for the semester or year (whether it’s for law school, undergrad, a job, what have you). There are things that your professors or your boss is going to expect from you, but there are also things you need to expect from yourself. Holding yourself to a high standard not only helps you reach higher goals, but also teaches you about your self worth. I find that when I get to know my self worth (i.e. how much do I value myself? How much do I respect myself?) I do better overall.

My last little tidbit is to find joy and bring it with you. I did this by saving up notes from friends, usually complements or congratulations, to hang above my desk.

Keep in mind that this is only my very first day ever of law school (and classes technically haven’t even started yet) so I’m not too sure if any of this will actually work, but it’s what I did this summer in preparation. Let me know if you guys want a “halfway” post reflecting back on this advice to see if it actually worked.

My Beach Essentials

Since I’m at Topsail Island, NC with my family this week I figured that I should go ahead and share my beach essentials. I don’t pack a whole lot for the beach, but what I do pack I can’t live without!

Beach Tote: My family has always used a Lands End tote bag to cart all our stuff out to the beach. The monogram helps us know it’s ours! Right now Lands End is having a promotion on these – You can get yours for $25!

Sun Bum Sunscreen: I’m allergic to most sunblocks (don’t ask me why, my skin just sort of did this to me after I started using prescription medication to treat my acne…it’s weird!) but this one seems to work well. I love using the stick for my face and any part of my swimsuit that rubs (hello any suit that ties around my neck). The best part – they’re free of chemicals that bleach coral reefs!

Beach Towel: I’ve collected an interesting menagerie of towels over the years. As long as I can easily spot it from the ocean I don’t care where it’s from or what brand it is. Sometimes the beach grocery stores have the best ones!

Books: I never go to the beach without a good book. This week I’ve packed more than I can handle (what can I say, I have high hopes). The Nightingale, Emergency Contact, Fates and Furies, Prozac Nation, Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea

Water Bottle: I carry a metal insulated water bottle with me almost everywhere now. While I love my Nalgene, Hydro Flasks and their assorted knockoffs are perfect for summer because they keep everything super cold. There’s nothing worse than being thirty on a hot beach and only having lukewarm water!

That’s all from me. What essentials do you pack for a beach trip?

This Summer’s Perfect Wrap Dress

Living in the American South can have its perks, but I wouldn’t consider summer one of them. It’s SO hot! Right now, in May, Georgia is experiencing temps well into the 80’s. On my graduation day it got up to 90 degrees! And I don’t know about you, but I prefer loose fitting clothing during this time of year.

Blooming Jelly, a company that sells on Amazon, invited me to try one of their dresses for summer. I’ve never owned a wrap dress before…I’m always worried that they’ll come untied! Yikes!

This dress has two sets of ties, one for the first wrap layer and another that ties in the back, so you never have to worried about losing your dress to the wind! Plus the bigger tie allows you to have a cute bow in the back.

The wrap also lets you control how much cleavage you show. I’m fairly conservative, so I tied the dress pretty tight at the waste. I found the v-neck cut very flattering.

I absolutely love the pattern of jungle leaves (I got mine in the green!). The ruffles give the dress more movement and add an element of fun. I was worried about the dress being too short, but the hem came to just above my knees. I’m on the shorter side (barely 5’4″), so that might be why the dress is a bit longer on me than in the images on Amazon.

 I wore this dress to Mother’s Day brunch at an upscale country club. I got compliments from many people, some older, more conservative women and other women about my age (22). I’m 5’4″ and 115 pounds and wearing a small. The dress runs a tad bit big, but since it’s a wrap dress you can tie it tighter or looser depending on your preference. The material is very soft and the dress is well sewn. Definitely worth the price!

Check out my Amazon review by clicking here!

This v-neck wrap dress is the one I’ll be reaching for all summer long, for barbecues to graduations to family events!

The Big Three: How to Stay on Your A-Game During Summer Break

If you’re anything like me, your summer is probably a whirlwind of different tasks. I’ve managed to juggle two jobs, errand running, school work, hanging out with friends and family, as well as finding time to do my own thing. While I wouldn’t call myself an organization and time management expert, I’d say I’m as close as a college kid can get. Here are all my (not so) top secret tips at managing a hectic college kid life during the summer.

  1. Your Planner is Your Best Friend

Whether you use your phone, a bullet journal, or a regular old planner, keeping everything all together keeps you from either forgetting a shift or from getting a massive headache trying remember what your week looks like. I have three different “planners” when I’m on summer break, mainly because I have a tendency to forget where I’m going or what I’m doing mid-task or mid-work day.

The Big Three: How to Stay on Your A-Game During Summer BreakI use my phone (Google calendar is my favorite for this) for “places and people” things. So, for example, I work 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at John Doe’s pool on Monday June 2, but I also meet my friend Sarah from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm at Mr. Joe’s Taco Shop the same day. I put those “people and place” events into my phone, with the date, time, and address. I can set my calendar to send me an email reminder (or an alert to my phone if I’m using the app) thirty minutes beforehand. It’ll even give you a traffic update so you know how long it’ll take to get there! On the Google calendar app you can invite friends to your calendar events, so if I’m still meeting my friend Sarah at Mr. Joe’s Taco Shop on Monday I can invite her to the event via her gmail address and Google calendar will send her a reminder email too.

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For my “big day events” I put a sticky note on my dresser with the date on the left and the event to the right. I create this sticky note every Sunday, or as soon as I receive my updated work schedules for the week. An example of a “big day event” is a shift at work, a birthday, a holiday, doctor’s appointment, or an important due date (I can’t be the only one that forgets to return my library books, right?). This lets me know if I have any immediate things that need to get done for the week, or if I need to go buy presents or make reservations for special meals.

I use my bullet journal for everything else. And when I say everything, I mean everything. I have a monthly calendar layout at the beginning of each year, followed by more detailed weekly layouts. I write “big day events” in the monthly section whenever I get them, and then transfer them into the weekly layout when they come up. If there are any little tasks that need to get done that week (i.e. wash the dogs, go to the bank, pick up more coffee for breakfast, etc.) I write them in under the date I have the most time to complete them. This helps me visualize how busy my week is going to be and to manage my time during my off days effectively. I’m also able to do lots of little things in between shifts at two different jobs because I know exactly what needs to get done and can plan out approximately how much time I need to complete those tasks. Having my bullet journal with me wherever I go also helps to decrease my absentmindedness.

The Big Three: How to Stay on Your A-Game During Summer Break
Look familiar? You’ve seen my bullet journal before in this post!

It seems insane, but if you’re a space cadet like I am when crazy stressed, then it totally works!

2. Map Out Your Week in Advance

I’ve been bullet journaling since my freshman year of college and I love it. Not only does it give me a creative outlet, I’m forced to figure out my week at least a day in advance. During the summer I have too much going on to spend time each night to figure out what tomorrow looks like, so I figure out what my week looks like in detail and go from there.

The best way to maximize your time is to figure out how much time each task will take. So if I have to work for four hours in the morning, sweep the downstairs part of my house, walk my dogs, and go to the grocery store, I’m looking at about six total hours of task completing. But wait! I forgot to budget for commute in between tasks, if there is any. So really, I’m probably looking at seven total hours of task completing. Once I’m able to budget around that, and stick to my schedule, I can plan in free time or time to study or catch up on Homecoming work.

There are plenty of hourly printables out there. This one’s the one I like! Emmastudies is a great studyblr blog and she has tons of really helpful printables for just about everything.

The Big Three: How to Stay on Your A-Game During Summer Break

3. Communicate With Your Boss(es)

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If you’re working, getting your schedule can be a pain because sometimes you’re over scheduled on busy weeks and under scheduled on slow weeks. Working two jobs, I’ve had to learn to be open with my bosses about how much I can realistically work each week. I don’t like confronting adults with issues, especially if they’re able to fire me or reduce my hourly pay. Honestly, I’ve been pretty scared about talking to people higher up because I was afraid they’d see me as a lazy worker, or as someone that isn’t able to be held to the standard of work asked of me. After talking with one of my bosses about getting two days off a week and only working mornings, I realized that she had no idea how overworked I was (I’m talking pulling three thirteen hour days in a row each week after working every day before that). Most bosses are scary, I’ll agree, but they usually take pride in their business and want their employees to be able to on top of their game for each and every shift. Not all will be as flexible as my boss was, but being polite about being overworked is always worth a shot.

What are your tips for juggling a busy summer?

xo Bailey

Blind Date With a Book – Title Reveal

Back at the end of July I went shopping with my friend DeAnna in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina. We visited one of my favorite bookstores named Malaprops. They have an entire wall dedicated to “Blind Date” books. Each novel is wrapped in brown packaging paper and instead of having a title or author written on the front, each book is characterized by adjectives. I picked out a book with the words magical, original, timeless, tender, and the phrase “love letter to childhood” written on the front.

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I made a post about my bookstore adventures in August (which you can view right here), asking you all what the title of the book could be. No one guessed the correct title, but a friend of mine did get the author right!

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The book is none other than…

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury!

There’s a certain quality about this book that makes me wish I’d read it before heading off to college for my freshman year. Douglas Spaulding, the main character, is a twelve year old boy living in Illinois. And as all twelve year old boys do, he wants the summer to last forever. More importantly, he wants to remember this particular summer for forever. He decides to catalog all the events that occur to him and his brother Tom. He makes a long list of “rituals” and “reflections.”

Everything is starting to change for Douglas. The one electric car the town has is put away in the garage for the last time. The trolley he loves to ride will soon be replaced by buses. His best friend moves away. Summer was supposed to be a time for living and running through tall grass and being happy, but Douglas runs headfirst into a wall of change and doesn’t want to accept it.

This was me my freshman year of college. I loved life because everything was bright and shiny and new, but I was terrified for the exact same reasons.

Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine is a masterpiece of intricately woven, stunningly beautiful phrases. While the story line kept me engaged and interested, the real charm to this work is in the words themselves.

 

A Playlist for the Week: AWOLNATION Concert

This week’s playlist is going to be a little different…and not a playlist. Sorry not sorry, folks! A local Donwtown Asheville music venue named the Orange Peel hosted AWOLNATION last Saturday night and my friend Deanna and I were lucky enough to get tickets! Being 5’4″, I didn’t have the best vantage point for watching the show, but the music from both openers and AWOLNATION themselves was great!

The Openers

Irontom, the first opening band, was alternative rock, but with a little bit of a twist. The lead singer has some killer disco-esque dance moves! His high energy and stage rocking enthusiasm helped set the mood for the concert. Charlie Sheen even cameo-ed in their music video for The Minista

The second opening band was Finish Ticket, out of California. While the first few songs felt like I was being serenaded by screaming headbangers, the show instantly took off with a  cover of When You Were Young by The Killers. Total game changer! The energy in the room picked back up after that hit and kept rising until the final song in the set – Finish Ticket’s hit song Colors.

The Main Act

After a half hour of technical difficulties, AWOLNATION took the stage. With a crazy light show and a few Top 40 hits in their pockets, the crowd went wild the entire time. Even when the mic started undulating in the second song of their first set, the band kept their cool and rocked the crazy pitch changes. They even took a break in between sets to have a laugh about it, saying they’ve “never taken [themselves] too seriously” so mistakes like that aren’t a big deal. When a band is having a blast performing, the crowd has even more fun.

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Have you been to any concerts recently? Let me know in the comment section below!

xo Bailey

Make Mine a Double

Today I popped into one of my favorite coffee shops in Asheville, Double D’s Coffee & Desserts! If you’re ever wandering through the streets of Downtown you can’t miss this, mainly because it’s a bright red double-decker bus parked in a patio.

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Besides its iconic English face, I love the bus’s whimsical inside decor and the upstairs windows that are perfect for people watching. Another cool perk? The coffee beans and syrups are local. My favorite is the dirty chai!

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Double D’s is such a neat place to hang out, sip on a drink, and watch the world go bye. Next time I go I’ll remember to charge my phone beforehand so it doesn’t die mid photo shoot, haha!

xo Bailey

 

This Summer’s Hottest Reads

Summer 2016 has plenty of popular books ready for you to stow away in your suitcase or sling in your backpack for time spent at any vacation spot. Here’s what’s hot now so you can read it before everyone else spoils the ending.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes220px-me_before_you

What better way to start off summer than with a romance novel. Another perk? The book is about to become a movie, so read it before hitting up the big screen! If you’re looking for a tale of romance and adventure, look no further.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Reading the reviews of this book (because I’ve yet to read the novel, sadly) I’m sincerely reminded of the movie Up. Ove is a cranky old grandpa, somewhat like Carl from the Disney flick. One afternoon a young, energetic family moves in next door and crushes his mailbox. And thus, the plot line is born. I’m looking forward to picking up this book as soon as I can; it’s bound to be a charming read!

milk and honey by Rupi Kapur

milk 31-odaa7erl-_sx322_bo1204203200_and honey is a book of poetry and prose about survival and the loss of femininity. Broken up into four chapters, each part deals with a different type of pain and heartache but instead of focusing on the bad author Rupi Kapur manages to find points of joy and resolution.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Will the world ever get it’s fill of Harry Potter? And for that matter, his children? I don’t think so. Or at least I never will. Follow Albus Potter on a new, magical adventure in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

I just started reading this book and I’m already bawling; happy tears, sad tears, the whole 41jfvzl72yl-_sx336_bo1204203200_shebang. When Breath Becomes Air is a touching memoir about both death and life. Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at the age of 36, during the height of his career as a neurosurgeon and the beginning of his life as a father. His memoir grapples with living life day to day because the future isn’t a given, what makes life worth living, and other hard questions that presented themselves during the last stages of Kalanithi’s life.

What are you reading this summer?

xo, Bailey

Life Update: Summer Break

Hey everyone! I hope summer’s been treating you as well as it’s been treating me.

I’ve been away from my blog for a little while. Between prepping for finals, taking my finals, moving myself out of  my dorm, and a beach vacation, my life has been up and happening!

Here are the highlights from my beach vacation:

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The weather wasn’t perfect (thanks, wind, for messing up Paige’s hair and making my dress the most awkward outfit situation ever) but at least it wasn’t as hot as a Georgia summer!

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My crew and I stayed at Topsail Island, North Carolina. We all highly recommend spending some time in Fort Fisher (especially the Civil War museum) if you’re ever on that side of NC.

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My favorite restaurant on the east coast of my home state? Poe’s Tavern! Not only do they have great food, the entire place is decked out in Edgar Allan Poe things like a giant mosaic golden bug and collected works wallpaper!

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Thanks for reading! Keep checking in for more interesting things going on in my crazy, adventurous life!

xo, Bailey