Starting the Semester off Right!

January 8, 2024

The rigorous coursework in addition to the many other demands of law school can take a toll on students’ mental health. Stress, anxiety, and burnout are common experiences among law students due to heavy workloads, competitive environments, and high expectations. Neglecting wellness can lead to decreased productivity, diminished academic performance, and long-term health issues. It’s important to balance your academic workload with a healthy dose of wellness and self-care. Remember wellness and self-care involves the whole body and a wide range of strategies including: embracing school-life balance, focusing on mental health, and taking opportunities for physical well-being activities too—whatever that looks like for you!

When we talk about wellness it’s usually at the end of the semester when exams are right around the corner. While it’s good to be reminded whenever we can be, the advice often comes too late to be effective when we need it the most. Wellness is an ongoing activity and something that should be practiced throughout the semester so that by the time exams come around you’re prepared mentally, physically, and academically. Forming healthy habits now will pay off ten fold during exams in the spring. This post is all about starting the semester off right and setting yourself up for success.

This post isn’t a how-to guide for wellness, after all we’re librarians, not mental health or well-being professionals. But we can do what we do best—providing resources! Wellness is a personal journey that looks different for everyone. You may already know what works best for you and if not then now is a perfect time to find out. Hopefully these resources are a useful starting point for your own exploration of wellness and self-care or if you’re already a self-care pro then there might still be a few new things here for you to discover.


UNC Law and Campus Resources

UNC Law’s Embedded Counselor
Tora Taylor-Glover is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) from CAPS, UNC’s Counseling and Psychological Services unit. Because she’s here at UNC Law she’s much more familiar with the unique culture of the program and can tailor services to meet the specific needs of our students. Taylor- Glover provides one-on-one counseling for law students and works on wellness initiatives. You can reach out to her at She has tons of great resources and information on her page that I won’t repeat here so you should check it out!

Wellness Room

A wellness room is in located on the fifth floor of the Law School in room 5084. It provides a peaceful and relaxing place in-between classes for students who may need a place to de-stress without leaving campus. To get there proceed down the hall across from classroom 5048, pass both single-stall restrooms and turn right at the end of the hall. Continue to follow the hall, turn left at the corner, and the wellness room will be the third door on the right side.

Law Bar

I’m sure everyone knows where the law bar is but don’t forget it’s important to take a break and eat every once in a while. The brain burns the most calories and skipping lunch is no way to be successful. Stepping away for a minute and having a snack will result in coming back refreshed and more focused. Keeping your blood sugar levels up and your body nourished is wellness and self-care priority number one! Sometimes a quick snack can turn our day around by providing focus, energy, and bringing us back down to earth. The law bar is open weekdays from 7:45-3:30pm and offers a variety of snacks, drinks, and lunch items from local vendors. Remember there is no pride in studying through lunch, eating and resting are fundamental for long-term academic success.

Student Recreation Center

Did you know law students can use the Student Recreation Center and all other UNC Rec Facilities? We may be on the edge of campus over here, but all of UNC’s wellness resources are available to you and just a short walk or bike ride away. They’re all covered with your student fees so take advantage of them! There are indoor tracks, climbing walls, aquatic facilities, and more! Physical wellness keeps us centered in our bodies and can relieve stress and anxiety.

Triangle Area Outdoor Activities

Al Buehler Trail (Durham)

Bolin Creek Trail (Chapel Hill)

Blackwood Farm (Hillsborough)

Brumley Forest Nature Preserve (Durham)

Carolina North Forest (Chapel Hill)

Eno River State Park (Durham)

Saxapahaw Island Park (Saxapahaw)

Jordan Lake State Park (Chatam)

Southern Community Disc Golf Course (Chapel Hill)

Sarah P. Duke Gardens (Duke)

UNC Online Resources and Links

UNC Heel Care Network

UNC Student Wellness

Health Heels Blog

Campus Health

Campus Health (Health Topics)

Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) Mental Health and Wellness Resources

UNC Student Wellness Self-care 101 Webinar

Eight Dimensions of Wellness