By Glenne Fucci, Regular ContributorJuly 31, 2015
It’s that time of year again - summer is coming to a close and we’re about to embark on a new school year, new job, new promotion, new something. Whether we’re starting our first year of college, entering the “adult” world with our first job, or just transitioning from a very small cubicle to a slightly larger small cubicle, the end of summer marks a new journey into the unknown, and that can be pretty scary.
As an upper level student, I volunteer as a mentor to incoming first year students. Students always ask for advice on exams and outlines and getting cold-called in class. They want to know if they can have a social life in law school and how hard it is to get a first summer internship. Basically, they want me tell them exactly how to get the A, get the firm job, and still be able to hit the NYC club scene, all in a couple of sentences. They act as if I am the keeper to some secret formula that will guarantee their success and happiness. Whenever they start asking me about how many exact hours to study per week or how many nights per month they can see friends, I stop them right there though.
I tell them all the same simple thing...DO YOU.
image via tumblr.com
So, what does DO YOU mean? Well, it means exactly what it says; do what works for you in order to be successful. My first semester of undergrad I thought I needed to stay up late to study because that’s what my friends were doing. The night before my first college midterm I stayed up until 3am studying for a PoliSci exam. Needless to say, I did terrible on the test and I spent the night before every future college exam heading to bed at 9pm. Some of my friends thought I was crazy for not cramming until the last minute, but I realized I got better grades with a good night’s sleep. Doing you is all about figuring out how to be successful on your own terms.
Now, not everything you do will work for you every single time, but that’s what growing is all about.
That being said, it’s not always easy to do your own thing. Particularly in college and grad school when it can seem like everyone is out to obtain the highest-paying, most prestigious job, you can too easily fall into an ultra-competitive mindset or find yourself beating yourself up for trading study time for friend time. But maybe, in order for you to do and be well, you need to see your friends on the weekends or exercise every morning or have a Beyonce dance party in the middle of finals. School, tests, extracurricular activities, work can all be unbelievably stressful, so why make it any more by trying to conform to what your peers are doing?
I also tell incoming students that if they get so wrapped up in what everyone else is doing, they will begin to lose sight of their goals and purpose. Despite always wanting to go into the public sector of law, I found myself, halfway through my first year of law school, trying to work my way into the corporate world. One day someone asked me why my sudden interest in financial restructuring and, if I had been honest, I would have said, “well, because everyone else seems to be interested in that.” Turns out though that’s a pretty stupid reason to choose a particular career, so I abruptly shifted back to my ideological “change the world” career goals and am so much happier pursuing something that I am passionate about.
Although I give my DO YOU advice to the incoming law students, it translates to just about every new step in life. As long as you’re true to yourself, act in a way that makes you proud, and examine what contributes to your personal happiness, you’ll succeed on any path you choose. Only you know what is best for you and what you need to succeed on whatever journey you set out on. So, as you embark on a new school year, new job, new city, DO YOU, BE YOU and embrace the happiness that comes along from being yourself.
How do you "do you" in our job or at school? How do you prevent yourself from conforming? Tell us below!
Glenne is a third year law student hailing from NYC, University of Michigan ‘13 grad and Beyonce enthusiast. Currently residing in Korea, her interests include duathlons/triathlons, traveling near and far, documentary films, consuming sugary cereal, watching mid-2000s teen dramas and singing her heart out at Betty Who concerts. You can watch her attempt to navigate Asia and beyond on Instagram @glennefucci.
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