Happy World Mental Health Day!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jaysen, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    Hi everyone,

    Just a quick note from me:

    Spending hours and hours on applications, interviews and vacation schemes, only to receive a rejection, is mentally very tough. If you're struggling, feeling demotivated, wondering if you'll every make it through this process, that's nothing to be ashamed of.

    You are talented and someone WILL see your value. Just give it time. Equally, you are not defined by the offers and rejections you receive. If others around you are receiving offers, that doesn't mean you're an inferior person - it just wasn't your time.

    You don't have to be happy all the time. You don't need to pretend like everything is OK when it isn't. When you're surrounded by perfect lives on Instagram and LinkedIn, it can feel like you're alone. We promise you that you are not.

    If you have any private/sensitive questions that can’t be answered on the graduate recruiter thread, feel free to drop me or @Jessica Booker a private message. @Alice G is also a great person to go to for motivational advice.

    Happy World Mental Health Day!
     
    #1 Jaysen, Oct 10, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  2. Helena

    Helena Legendary Member
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    Thank you @Jaysen. Really need your positive boost today.
     
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  3. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    The other point to make about rejections is the vast majority of people will receive them.
    However, you typically hear much more about people’s successes which is why it can seem like you are the odd one out.

    Even those are secure VS or TCs are most likely to have had unsuccessful applications along the way and even in the exceptionally rare circumstances that they haven’t, I bet they have had difficulties elsewhere. The resilience and perspective people can build from not getting it right first time around is a vital skill as a lawyer.

    As Jaysen mentions, I am more than happy to discuss matters in PMs to any one who may need support.
     
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  4. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I absolutely love this post and this is something I feel so strongly about! I first started interacting on here because I felt quite lost and lonely - all of my friends had grad schemes or were pursuing other professions and my nearest and dearest didn't really understand corporate law or how tough this can all be. I really found solace in this fantastic community and I just want to remind you all that we are truly in this together, through the highs and the lows. I am always here to chat for anyone who might need it or just fancies a catch up!

    just a few quick tips for things that have helped me to take better care of my mental wellbeing of late:
    1. Getting into a night-time routine. I avoid my phone due to the light past 9pm most nights and also because late night messages can preoccupy the mind. I also don't drink caffeine past mid-afternoon and switch to herbal teas instead (Pukka nighttime blend is one I can highly recommend!).
    2. I am back into a gym routine too which gets me up early and has a positive impact on my mood for the rest of the day. It has also helped me to sleep better too!
    3. I re-discovered my love for reading. Getting out of the application headspace and being absorbed into something entirely different has really helped me and, again, has helped me to sleep!

    Indeed, sleep is a recurrent feature and I listened to a podcast just this morning which stated how poor sleep quality is now medically ackowledged as a driver, as opposed to a symptom, of poor mental wellbeing. I know uni and work is stressful enough without applications to worry about, but ensure you are taking good care of yourselves because your health and wellbeing is more important than any application!

    Hope you are all having a great day and Happy World Mental Health Day!! :)
     
    #4 Alice G, Oct 10, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  5. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    PS: This book is fantastic re: the science behind sleep - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y649387/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1. Sounds dry but it's actually really interesting.
     
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  6. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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  7. Dominika_95

    Dominika_95 Active Member
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    Alice, I absolutely second everything you've just said here :)

    I have been struggling with massive self-confidence problems for the past few years too. Last year I gave up with some applications half-way through because I could not see a point - in my mind, if I was going to get rejected, why even bother trying? This round, however, I hope I will not make the same mistake again.

    I would also like to add a few points to your list which might help others with their wellbeing if you are still searching for your training contract:

    4. STOP obsessively going through LinkedIn.
    Don't get me wrong - I love LinkedIn and it helped me immensely with job hunting and connecting with other professionals. At the same time I, like many others, became guilty of comparing myself to those of my peers, who have already stepped onto the elusive TC ladder. As a graduate, in the past it would actually reduce me to tears to see 2nd year students getting offers from places that I applied to. It took me many months to accept that (as it was once wisely said): "Career in law is a marathon, not a sprint". Breathe in, breathe out and close LinkedIn app (the rhyme game is strong today!).

    5. If you are going through the rejection, it is absolutely fine to let your emotions out.
    Do not try to keep them inside or else you might end up crying in the meeting room in front of your supervisor after your TC rejection arrived (I am still slightly embarrassed by it, although admittedly I work with the best counsel in the world as he was truly sympathetic).
    So, cry and scream if you need.
    As a person who cannot get by without a daily one-hour long session on Spotify, I would also like to add that creating your Overcoming Rejection playlist is a great thing. Some suggestions: "You haven't seen the last of me" by Cher, "I don't care" by Apocalyptica, "Doubt" by Mary J Blige, "Blood in my eyes" by Sum41 and "You oughta know" by Alanis Morissette (the "you" in this scenario is the law firm - enjoy! :) ).
    Hopefully, one day I will be able to share with you my "I GOT A TRAINING CONTRACT" playlist too!

    6. You might not have a TC yet but that does not mean that your life is pointless and meaningless.
    On the contrary - do not let the lack of TC to define you and your life. As trivial as it sounds, there are plenty of great things in your life that can make it wholesome. For me, it was a realisation that I already have things that are much higher in the hierarchy of my needs, namely: my wonderful family, loving partner, fluffy and adorable yet also absolutely mad ball of fur (i.e. my cat), close group of friends. From this perspective, it really does not matter that much that I do not have a TC yet. It'd be great to get one soon, but it's not going to be the end of the world if it does not happen.

    Happy World Mental Health Day, everyone :)
    Feel free to PM me if you want to chat, always open to new songs propositions to my ever-growing playlist.
     
    #7 Dominika_95, Oct 10, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019 at 9:28 AM
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  8. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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    Absolutely love this post - had me smiling from ear to ear. Amazing playlist (and you will have a TC one to add to your collection before too long) and could not agree more about valuing everything we do have in life. It's all about doing little things that make you happy too :) Thank you so much for sharing this and I am so glad you have come back this year, stronger than ever, and ready to get your TC!!
     
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  9. Abstruser

    Abstruser Legendary Member
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    So nice to read these posts - absolutely want to reiterate the point that you aren't defined by your rejections. Equally, you aren't defined by your successes - I feel its so important to cultivate an innate sense of self-worth and confidence, if you don't have that you will be chasing success for the wrong reasons and will never be happy no matter how 'successful' you are. Around time last year I was so despondent and ready to pack my TC dreams in, and I remember feeling like I had to succeed to prove my own self-worth, which was such a desperately negative mindset to be in. Needless to say, when I got out of that mindset it really turned my fortunes around.

    Making applications while balancing work/study commitments is super stressful, and although it can feel like there aren't enough hours in the day, its so important to set some boundaries and carve out a bit of time everyday just for you. To take a walk, go to the gym, cook a nice meal, watch a TV show - anything. Some days will be worse than others and that's okay. Its being consistent that will pay off in the long run.

    Happy World Mental Health Day all.
     
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  10. jamescw1994

    jamescw1994 Standard Member

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    I think at the end of the round of applications just gone I said to my girlfriend that I don't know what I'll do if I don't get a TC this time around. I was probably lower than ever and I think the mere thought of the interviews started to make me tear up.

    Turns out, I just started them again!

    She is definitely the person most instrumental in getting my mental health back in shape, especially as my most recent time in Geneva coincided with the interview rejections. I was seeing LinkedIn posts from friends who interviewed at the same firm get a TC, I was seeing friends start their TCs and my anxiety just kept going up and up and up.

    What she told me was undoubtedly something I had managed to either ignore previously or never heard: you are not everyone else.

    As many others above have said, there is no-one we should ever compare ourselves to; we rarely see what has happened in their lives that spurs them on, we never see the moments where their lives get put on hold for one reason or another. As I was reminded at the Legal Cheek event last night, nobody's story is ever the same as the story before or after it, and that is absolutely fine.

    It's especially helpful, as Alice mentioned, that this is a genuinely welcoming and supportive community. At no point have I ever seen anyone boastful about their success and I have never seen anyone be nasty because someone hasn't quite perfected their application form technique. It's a safe space to come to because we're all in the same boat but each with a different story and different motivators. We all have our different criteria on what makes an ideal firm and it's genuinely so incredible to see such a diverse range of options being explored.

    These are just some of the ways that, on reflection, have helped me come out of the other side of an incredibly tough few months:

    1. Like Alice, I rediscovered my love of reading. Given the fact that I seem to forget to charge my phone every time I fly to Geneva, having a good book is always important so this is more or less an enforced change for the better! I have a stack of unread books in my room that I am slowly but surely getting to but rediscovering this love of reading has been immeasurably beneficial. Rather than sitting in front of my laptop for hours on end, I'll take a book wherever I can. In Geneva, this means a spot next to the lake; at home, this means sitting with my brother or the dogs or my mum. (Picking up Heroes by Stephen Fry hasn't helped my Assassin's Creed Odyssey obsession though...)

    2. Finding new things to try out. At university, I loved doing this. I was a salsa dancing, photo taking, board gaming playing law society president. When I worked, I couldn't keep these up due to the demands of the sector and my own circumstances. What did I end up doing? I accidentally fell down a hole of discovering a love of Dungeons and Dragons via my favourite video game voice actors. They play every week and their backstories, performances and hilariousness make listening to the podcasts so much fun when I'm out and about. Luckily, my brother knows some people who play and I'll hopefully get to try it (if anything to imagine how amazing being a voice actor would be). Thanks to my girlfriend's love of discovering new things, I've rediscovered and old hobby: salsa! Having these new/old-new things to look forward to has kept my mind busy and kept me from focussing on the hectic nature of applications.

    3. Realising that there's more to life than an application. This one is rather self-explanatory and something that, somehow, I lost sight of. Despite my numerous misfortunes with health, I still took each rejection as some door slamming shut. In fact, not only have I discovered the sort of firm I want to apply to, but I've also come back to realise that life is honestly not long enough to worry yourself sick over applications. They're important to our future careers, but the most important thing in the present is one's health.

    4. Getting back into the swing of things. As I simply never had the time at work, I could never attend events at the firms that I want to meet and I do feel like that to me, my commercial awareness and understanding of these firms deteriorated. Attending the Legal Cheek event with Clyde & Co last night really made me feel like I was back at university and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Learning about a new firm initiative or networking is something I actually missed, so getting back into the swing go things really helped.

    5. "The greatest wealth is health". I've stolen this from a gym I used to go to but it honestly is the absolute truth. This is the same as 3 but without a shadow of a doubt, never put your health on the back burner. If you feel like you need some quality me-time, then take it. If you're at capacity at work, mention it to your supervisor. Never feel like you have to work at 300% capacity as nobody can; burnout is a real issue.

    This community is filled to the brim with incredible, hard working and determined people and everyone deserves the absolute best out of life. If anyone has been through the struggles of health issues or other personal circumstances that have affected your health, or just need someone to talk to, or even just someone who can send you adorable pictures of puppies*, please feel free to message me when you want.

    One day in several years time, we'll all be sat in our dream firms - it's a matter of when, not if. <3

    *I have an overwhelming surplus of pictures that I fear I have more pictures of my dogs than anything else.
     
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  11. Lumree

    Lumree Esteemed Member

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