How to Spend the Summer Before Law School

When I decided to go to law school 4 months into my gap year I figured I would be able to work until school started in August and save a bunch of money. lol JOKES. The first lesson I learned as a true adult is that saving money is about the hardest thing you can ever do. Anddd once you do decide to be a good human and save the world will fall apart so you have to spend your whole savings fixing it.

Clearly the savings thing didn't pan out for me like I thought it would. I still tried though and I got to save a little bit of money that I think will keep me going through my 1L year. *fingers crossed*

Unfortunately, I also did not get to work all summer either. My instate tuition is contingent on me not living out of the state for more than a year so in May I packed up and moved home because 3 months of steady paychecks, while nice, do not make up the difference in out of state tuition for 3 years. 

Since I have been working in a professional office environment since my freshman year of college I have become kind of a job snob. Oops. I had no interest spending this summer working minimum wage while my biggest accomplishment (BSEE) hung on my wall looking pretty. 

So, here I am, jobless and about to go back to school, but no longer 18 anymore, so sitting on the couch binge watching the last four years of TV I have ignored on Netflix all summer can't be the only thing I accomplish. Here are my excuses to get out of the house this summer! Or at least off the couch. (Netflix not included, but obviously there will still be a lot of binge watching)

Spend Time with Extended Family

My family is HUGE. Someone counted recently and I think there are 42 of us now. We are also the kind of family that is huge and super close. We get together a lot, not just on Holidays where we have to see each other. We especially like to go on vacation together, which is hilarious when we have taken up almost a whole floor of a condo or half the beach. (We probably annoy a lot of people) I love this about my family. It is actually one of the reasons I decided to go to law school closer to home. 

My mom's oldest sister is 17 years older than her, so she basically grew up with her nieces and nephews instead of her siblings.  It's a very interesting pattern that seems to run in our family unfortunately...I am also 12 years older than my youngest brother. The youngest of our bunch is turning 4 this summer and we have at least one kid at every age between 4 and 24. So, there is always A LOT going on. When I'm home I always make a point to go to as many baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball (you get it) games as I possibly can. It's a great way to get outside and off the couch. Plus, my little cousins really appreciate it when you take the time to come to there games and are there to give them a high five afterward. 

I love my big huge family and how close we are and it takes a lot of effort for a family this big to stay as close as we are. Now that I'm an adult some of that effort falls on me and it is a "burden" I am more than happy to have.

Read a (few) Book(s)

Confession time: I am totally that kid that got grounded from reading too much in middle and high school. My mom used to have to text my friends and ask them to come over so she could get my nose out of my books. Back in those days, I was that person who finished an assignment as fast as I could in class so that I could read for he rest of the period. My friends thought I was insane, but clearly they've just never met the right book.

I've always loved being a bookworm, but in college I had to make the incredibly hard decision to stop reading. It was one of the most difficult habits to break, but I knew if I didn't my grades would suffer. I had no control, homework due at midnight? I'll just read until 11:30. Test next Tuesday? Me every night: Ill start studying tomorrow, I'm on a great chapter. It was BAD. Luckily, I recognized it and stopped before my grades suffered though.

Unfortunately for me though I had to quit cold turkey. The word moderation does not exist with reading and me. 

This summer though I am picking up where I left off! I started reading an AMAZING series called Outlander by Diana Gabaldon my senior year of high school. (Starz actually started a TV series my freshman year of college and it's really good too) I am about half way through the series and I can't wait to pick it back up. 

Also, I'm doing to proactive learning this summer too! Check out the prep book I'm reading for 1L year and me review.

Take Some Small Vacations

So one of the cool things about me having a gap year is that now my friends from college are all real established adults. I am planning some trips to visit them this summer and it's great because they fit in my low budget. I just have to pay to get there and for my food while I'm there. I actually just got back from a nice two week vacation visiting one friend in Texas. I am planning on going to Chicago in June and maybe a quick trip to Minneapolis in August before orientation. 

This isn't really a vacation per-say, but I am going to a bachlorette party in Nashville (one of the most fun cities I've ever been out in). Nashville is super fun and I can't wait to celebrate my friend's engagement and her future marriage. (Also, very excited for her wedding in's my first time as a bridesmaid which makes me feel so old but so happy)

I also am getting to go on a not so small vacation with my family to Disney for a week and then a few days at the beach. I planned this trip before I knew I would have to quit my job and move home early, so I technically already saved for it, but my mom decided to take pity on my poor student budget and is giving me one last vacation on her dime. (I had to promise the next 30 years would be on me)

Pinterest and Plan

The summer before my undergrad started I discovered the truly insane planner inside. I had this pink 3 inch binder I spent the summer filling with all things college. I took every brochure my university had sent me, ACTUALLY READ THEM, and put tabs on article and pages I thought might be helpful once I started. When I got my room assignment, I someone found the dimensions of my room and every piece of furniture in it online (like i think I someone figure out the manufacturer of our beds and looked up the size on their website). I drew it all out on graph paper and added in my own stuff to make sure it would all fit. I also bought colored pencils and color in my bedspread and decorations to make sure I like the color combinations. 

I was pretty intense. I'm definitely not being that detailed this summer, but you better believe the graph paper is still coming out to make sure all my furniture fits! I love planning and getting ideas for my future self. I am reading a lot of blogs and spending time documenting my own thoughts here. I think this will be great to look back on in a few years from now.

If you are also about to start your first year of law school congrats! I hope you have a summer of fun and freedom before the real craziness begins!