"There's nothing better than a good boogie": Comments on Law School and Stress from Ben Racz
“The statistics show how absurdly disproportionate mental health issues are in law school and the legal profession. So, I guess it's no surprise that a lot of law students struggle with mental health issues. Obviously that’s a widespread issue for everyone, but I think for law students particularly it’s really vital to look after mental health given that there's a lot of extra pressure and high expectations.
For me, counselling is something I wanted to do for a long time and was always in the back of mind as something that everyone should be doing. I am definitely still embarrassed and feel the stigma and don’t find it easy to talk about but I try just to do it anyway. Also as a psychology student as my Arts major, I am very conscious of the importance of mental health and being really open about it. But it’s one thing to know that, and another thing to actually embody it. So, for me, I decided to seek counselling even though I wasn’t really feeling ‘rock bottom’, but I had a lot of anxiety and thought it was about time I got some help for it. I feel we tend to conceive counselling as something that is a last resort but really it should be something that helps us along the way to deal with any sort of everyday problem, of any magnitude.
I think all law students undoubtedly face hectic schedules, work pressures, clerkship pressures and all these different avenues and expectations that are sort of imposed on us. I think it’s almost guaranteed to cause stress and anxiety so even seeking counselling for managing more baseline anxiety is incredibly important and useful. But in doing so, you might find that there's other, deeper problems that you might need to work through as well, which will ultimately help you to be the best you can be, whether that’s in your work or your personal life.
My other number one way to better my mental health is exercise. I find going for runs to be a really great physical release, which is really good for your health. Scientifically, that physical exertion is really good for getting all the positive neurotransmitters pumping and that sort of thing. I think the part of exercise I find most helpful is setting personal goals and meeting them. I find this to be really empowering and if you’re ever feeling a bit overwhelmed or feel you are not meeting targets in other areas of your life, you can set targets like run 10k in this time or lift this much weight. When you hit those targets it’s the best feeling ever. Also, music and dance are my favourite things in the world and never fail to lift my mood. There’s nothing better than a good boogie.”
Ben is a fourth year Arts/Law student, majoring in Psychology through Arts. He is community-minded and has a passion for environmental and social justice. He believes it is crucial for all people, but especially men, to be more open, vulnerable, and genuine - not only to improve our mental health, but to create space for more fulfilling relationships with the people around us.