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capitalttruth

Moving cities to attend law school

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Writing this post in order to solicit information and hopefully establish a useful heuristic for any future applicants in my position:

For those who moved for law school, I'd like to get a perspective of your experience. How far did you move? What were your thoughts of how you would fare in your move/re-settlement in your new city? Did these anticipatory thoughts match the reality of the process? How did you manage to maintain your focus succeeding in law school while worrying about integrating in your social environment where you didn't know anyone? Were there any techniques or advice you applied to help make your transition easier?

Were these variables of any concern to you at all?

Interested to know, thank ya.

PS. All advice from anyone is greatly appreciated but I am especially interested to hear from those who have had a history of mental illness, if they are comfortable sharing this. You can PM me as well. Thanks again.

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45 minutes ago, capitalttruth said:

Writing this post in order to solicit information and hopefully establish a useful heuristic for any future applicants in my position:

For those who moved for law school, I'd like to get a perspective of your experience. How far did you move? What were your thoughts of how you would fare in your move/re-settlement in your new city? Did these anticipatory thoughts match the reality of the process? How did you manage to maintain your focus succeeding in law school while worrying about integrating in your social environment where you didn't know anyone? Were there any techniques or advice you applied to help make your transition easier?

Were these variables of any concern to you at all?

Interested to know, thank ya.

PS. All advice from anyone is greatly appreciated but I am especially interested to hear from those who have had a history of mental illness, if they are comfortable sharing this. You can PM me as well. Thanks again.

How far did you move?

  • From Montreal to Edmonton. Quite the culture shock...

What were your thoughts of how you would fare in your move/re-settlement in your new city?

  • I was nervous at first. I thought I would never live in my home town ever again. But sometimes you need to seek greener pastures and explore a bit. It's not like you're changing countries - you settle down pretty quickly, especially as you jump into the legal world.

Did these anticipatory thoughts match the reality of the process?

  • There was no need to be nervous or fear that I would never be home again. The law is strange and can open up opportunities all over the world. Maybe someday Ill settle closer to home (though I can't practice in Quebec...)

How did you manage to maintain your focus succeeding in law school while worrying about integrating in your social environment where you didn't know anyone?

  • You WILL meet people in law school. It's inevitable. Almost annoying. There are SO MANY social opportunities to jump into. Integration will inevitably happen.

Were there any techniques or advice you applied to help make your transition easier?

  • Get out there. Go to law school functions, for study groups, chat with people near you. You are NOT the only transplant in law school.

This is an exciting time in your life and you should look at it through that lens :) 

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On 5/22/2019 at 6:23 PM, capitalttruth said:

Writing this post in order to solicit information and hopefully establish a useful heuristic for any future applicants in my position:

For those who moved for law school, I'd like to get a perspective of your experience. How far did you move? What were your thoughts of how you would fare in your move/re-settlement in your new city? Did these anticipatory thoughts match the reality of the process? How did you manage to maintain your focus succeeding in law school while worrying about integrating in your social environment where you didn't know anyone? Were there any techniques or advice you applied to help make your transition easier?

Were these variables of any concern to you at all?

Interested to know, thank ya.

PS. All advice from anyone is greatly appreciated but I am especially interested to hear from those who have had a history of mental illness, if they are comfortable sharing this. You can PM me as well. Thanks again.

Moved cities, six hours away. Lots of my colleagues did too since we are from southern Ontario heading northwards. 

Love the people there, love the city on some days but goddamn is it bleak and winters harsh. Other than that Canadian cities are not different worlds and you adjust to cities quite easily. 

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How far did you move?

I moved about 8 hours away from my hometown, but still within Ontario.

What were your thoughts of how you would fare in your move/re-settlement in your new city?

I was pretty nervous. I was going from U of T undergrad to Queens Law. Obviously, their reputations are quite different. I was nervous about not fitting in with the party crowd at Queens. I was also worried about feeling stuck in such a small city, compared to Toronto. 

Did these anticipatory thoughts match the reality of the process?

Not really. Queens law has quite a distinct culture from Queens undergrad, so I didn't have to deal with the crazy party culture that I was expecting (and probably exaggerating in my head). I also really quickly grew to love the size of Kingston. The restaurants are fantastic! I also noticed my anxiety go down in Kingston, I think because there are no crowds and everything is just so peaceful. 

How did you manage to maintain your focus succeeding in law school while worrying about integrating in your social environment where you didn't know anyone?

I met people and integrated really quickly so this wasn't an issue. At Queens, our orientation is before school starts, so the two weren't really happening at the same time. 

Were there any techniques or advice you applied to help make your transition easier?

Depending on your familial circumstance, get roommates. This made meeting people so much easier. I had automatic friends to go to the first few events with, and anyone they met became my friend too. I was really considering living alone in law school but I'm so glad I didn't.

Don't be afraid to be the one to organize things! If you move to your new city and are feeling lonely or nervous, post in your law student fb group and invite some people out to a bar to grab a drink. There are so many other people looking to make new friends who will jump on the opportunity.

Something I didn't feel the need to do, but might recommend to you if you are feeling anxious about this is to try and sort out as many things as you can before you move. For instance, if you struggle with mental health, find a psychologist (or related professional) before you move. Maybe set up a phone call with them in advance of your move, if possible. By setting these things up, once you get to your new home, you feel like you already have some things figured out and it doesn't all hit you at once. 

Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you need a pep talk or have any questions along the way!


 

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I moved from Toronto to Kingston after never having lived anywhere but Toronto.

I have severe mental illnesses, and can relate very much to the struggle. I mirror the advice of setting up professional relationships prior. Have your prescriptions, files and records transferred over. Go with a full prescription so you don't have to worry. Learn what the mental health services are on campus, even if you never have to use them. Decide who your family doctor is, and make an introductory appointment with them. Go into it knowing that you are going to be covered. 

The roommates thing was huge for me - the built in friend aspect really helped me feel adjusted. I also set up routines that I needed to feel familiar. I went to the same coffee shop, found places to study who ended up knowing my name, and found a fitness place similar to what I did at home. I needed things to help me feel grounded in my new home when my mental illness often kept me from feeling grounded. 

I wish you the best of luck, I promise it will be fine. If you have Queen's specific questions (I am a 3L) or anything personal, please PM me. 

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Thankfully I was addicted to the internet, and my life was devoid of any real interaction in the corporeal world, so a change in physical address was really quite meaningless ;).

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How far did you move?

Calgary to Winnipeg.

What were your thoughts of how you would fare in your move/re-settlement in your new city?

I didn't think much of it initially. I knew Winnipeg was a bit rundown but assumed that overall it would be similar to Calgary.

Did these anticipatory thoughts match the reality of the process?

No. Winnipeg differs markedly from Calgary, in my view. 

How did you manage to maintain your focus succeeding in law school while worrying about integrating in your social environment where you didn't know anyone?

I didn't worry about "integration". I moved with my partner. I was a few years older than most of my class. I wholeheartedly pursued my interest in a career in criminal defence, which eventually led me to a group of people who shared my enthusiasm. I always had a plan to return to Calgary so I spent more time focusing on building my resume, and less time thinking about my general social milieu. I didn't worry about liking everyone in law school, or everyone in law school liking me partly because FOMO has been in my rearview for a number of years.

None of this is to say that I actively avoided my colleagues or equated being career-oriented with licence to be a prick. Try not to be the "I'm-here-to-work-not-make-friends"-person. Friends are important to have in law school because they will likely be the only people in your life who will, in all likelihood, have some idea about the stress and sense of accomplishment attendant to law school. But, (1) friendships often happen on their own time, and (2) you can establish your priorities early, and be disciplined in sticking to them. I made some strong friendships, most of which I expect to endure. Of those friends, plenty often declined to go out because they wanted to get things done.

In any event, I felt I had the freedom to be selective in which events I chose to attend. No one will expect you to attend every single event, and, frankly, few events in first year are likely to be dispositive to your future.

Were there any techniques or advice you applied to help make your transition easier?

1) I looked for my "places". I had my favourite cafes, my favourite restaurants, my favourite bars, my favourite places to run, etc. This gave me a sense of continuity. It also doubled-up as an opportunity to get to the know the city. I felt less like a tourist when I could own my experience in the community. I went out to festivals and made my own traditions with my partner--you can easily do that with friends too.

2) I just did a lot of the same things I did before. Regular exercise. Attention to sleep and diet. Time with my partner. Law school might be a new chapter but it isn't necessarily a new book. I think there is, in first year, a lot of social pressure to magically and abruptly become a brand new human being. There is less pressure to reinvent yourself than some people may feel. Sometimes you can succeed by doing the things that have worked for you in the past.

3) I wish I had been able to take possession of my apartment sooner. I got to Winnipeg less than a week before orientation. I needed more time to unpack everything, get my apartment in order, get a new driver's licence and car insurance, healthcare card, hydro, and all those other small things you take for granted in day-to-day life. In retrospect, had it been feasible, I would have moved a month before orientation to get my bearings.

4) I mapped out a set of general goals and followed them unapologetically. To be clear, by goals, I meant pursuing particular opportunities and experiences and immersing myself as fully as possible. Having even a rough exit plan was helpful. This made my transition easier because I woke up every morning feeling like I had a purpose. It made tolerating the tedium of, say, torts (which I hated) much easier knowing that that class was just part of a bigger picture I was constructing. As well, it made it easier for me to know when I wanted to say "Yes" or "No" to opportunities--academic, social or otherwise--as they arose.

To be clear, a lot of law students (and some lawyers I know) don't have a clear picture of where they want to go with it all. Some students ostensibly "know" what they want to do and then change their minds. That's fine too. For many, law school is a process of elimination wherein you determine what it is you are not interested in. 

5) I afforded myself the luxury of time in terms of feeling oriented and coming to grips with everything around me. I have lived in enough new places now to know it takes me 12-18 months to feel truly "transitioned".

6) Also, if you can afford it, and public transit is wanting in your area, having a car is really helpful. That independence did a lot for me, and I don't mind paying for it.
Were these variables of any concern to you at all?

No, although I found it harder adjusting to Winnipeg than I did to law school.

Edited by rziegler
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On 5/22/2019 at 6:23 PM, capitalttruth said:

Writing this post in order to solicit information and hopefully establish a useful heuristic for any future applicants in my position:

For those who moved for law school, I'd like to get a perspective of your experience. How far did you move? What were your thoughts of how you would fare in your move/re-settlement in your new city? Did these anticipatory thoughts match the reality of the process? How did you manage to maintain your focus succeeding in law school while worrying about integrating in your social environment where you didn't know anyone? Were there any techniques or advice you applied to help make your transition easier?

Were these variables of any concern to you at all?

Interested to know, thank ya.

PS. All advice from anyone is greatly appreciated but I am especially interested to hear from those who have had a history of mental illness, if they are comfortable sharing this. You can PM me as well. Thanks again.

1. Northern Ontario to Kamloops

2. Wasnt too concerned Ive worked all over the place and traveled enough and generally found it easy to meet people.

3.  The transition was pretty smooth to be honest and it worked out really well.

4. I wasnt too worried about integrating socially, usually most schools have a lot of introductory events before class starts where you integrate - So it shouldnt take away from your focus.  Realistically there is enough time to do both otherwise.

5. Get involved in something outside of law school whether it be sports, video games, music etc...  It is a grind that is time consuming and you need an outlet.  Also eating and sleeping well will help with anything.  That means no 1am library nights and waking up for class and avoiding bad take out because youre in a rush.

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