I CAN DO THIS: My experience in the 3 + 3-year student at Iowa State and Drake University Law School by Jackie

22 Feb 2018 12:27 PM

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CyDog? BullClone? Sound confusing? Yeah it did to me too. I am a 3 + 3-year student at Iowa State and Drake University Law School. Essentially, I am finishing my undergrad while starting my first year of law school. So while I am no longer on ISU’s campus, and am full-time at Drake, I will be crossing the ISU stage this May (wooohoo!!!).  

So how's law school?!

This is the first question everyone asked me when they would see me for the first time after I started my new adventure at Drake. To which I always responded “Hm ya know, it’s school…” Being completely honest, though, that was my response because I didn’t know how it was going. I felt like I had just been thrown into a pool for the first time and everyone around me expected me to swim laps even though they could see me drowning. Now here we are, five months later, with the first semester under my belt and these are the things I learned:

  • It is challenging
  • Self-care is important
  • You get what you give

Members of the Drake Law women organization.


Jackie bitmoji feeling the struggle of a late night study sess on campus during finals.

Going into my first semester, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. Everyone said law school was extremely challenging, time consuming, and exhausting. They said I would not have a life outside of school. I felt prepared to take on whatever would be thrown at me. Then I actually got there. I spent unbelievable amounts of time at the library, any free time I had outside of class, I was doing readings, research assignments, writing assignments, readings, readings, and more readings. On the weekends, I would try to spend time with friends but I would feel guilty because I knew there were readings I could be doing. Week after week went by when I finally realized that my mental health had quickly deteriorated. I reached out to a second-year student and in talking to her I realized my experience wasn’t unique. She said she was the same way, until she realized that there is no use in worrying about what you could be doing for school during your only time off from school. So that’s what I focused on after finals.

Fast-Forward to Now ~ My Second Semester

While my time is still highly prioritized on school, I have incorporated other things to into my schedule. I (try to) workout throughout the week for at least 45 minutes, and believe it or not, getting up and moving with nothing related to school makes me feel so much better while I am doing school work. I have met some great people during my time at Drake. Classmates, friends, professors, other staff. But most of all I learned that I CAN DO THIS. With the support of some great people (including amazing individuals from my ISU family) I finished my first semester stronger than I ever expected. I made the dean’s list my first semester of law school and ranked in the top 30% of my class. Although it was a rough start, I am excited for what is to come.

If you are interested in learning more about the 3 + 3 year program or law school in general, reach out to Bruce Allen – Pre-Law Advisor.

Adventure     Graduate School, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Latinx