Your well-being matters. At UF Law, we are committed to the success, health and welfare of all of our students. Use this site to find resources and opportunities at UF and in Gainesville that can help you stay healthy or find assistance when you need it.
If you or a friend needs help now, call 911 immediately.
For those currently in distress, contact UF’s Wellness Center at:
The UF Law Student Affairs Office has a resource counselor, Leif Stringer, on staff to help students with any issues students are facing. All services are confidential and do not have to be reported to the Florida Bar as treatment.
Law school can be a stressful affair. The rigors of exams, social networking and professional obligations can combine with personal matters to weigh you down every day. In order to thrive in school, students need to make time to care for themselves. Eating right, exercising and maintaining proper rest are only a few ways to combat stress and provide a healthy atmosphere that permits students to perform to the best of their abilities. The University of Florida’s Counseling and Wellness Center is available for students. In addition, UF Law has its own resource counselor, Leif Stringer. As part of our effort to promote wellness, we remind you that UF is a tobacco-free campus. Smoking and tobacco use are prohibited in all facilities and areas of the University of Florida campus. Click here to read the full policy.
A healthy diet can counter stress in a number of ways. Consuming the right amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and dairy can increase the amount of calming chemicals in the brain, while reducing the production of stress-inducing ones.
UF’s distinguished place among the top social universities is well deserved, but it’s important to partake in nightlife festivities in moderation. Alcohol consumption contributes to feelings of depression and makes stress harder to cope with in the long run.
Physical movement releases endorphins, which reduce the perception of pain and trigger positive feelings throughout the body. Numerous studies have shown that exercising reduces the likelihood of depression and elevates mood. Movement also can help learning. Every hour during study sessions, stand up from your desk, leave the room and walk outside for 10 minutes. This will significantly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your brain’s capacity to focus and retain data.
It’s difficult to balance academics, fitness and social activities while maintaining a proper sleep schedule. Students often forgo a solid night of sleep in order to accomplish the rest of their goals and responsibilities. Lack of sleep can lead to increased stress, which then makes it more difficult to fall asleep — a vicious cycle that many students fail to properly address.
You know what they say about all work and no play. To maintain balance in your life during law school, cultivate friendships unrelated to the classroom or legal arguments. Maintain your relationships with friends and family from back home and your days as an undergraduate. Step away from the books and spend time doing the things you love. All of this will reduce stress levels and cultivate a well-rounded personality that permits you to talk about more than just legal endeavors during interviews.
“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness is quickly becoming a recognizable course offering of many state bar associations and law schools. The judiciary, too, has begun to embrace the value of this contemplative practice, which has received a great deal of attention from neuroscience research for its contribution to medical health.
Mindfulness practices are associated with improved immune functioning and the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression. Neuroscience findings associate mindfulness practices with thicker brain regions and greater interconnectivity among brain regions. Anecdotes suggest the association of mindfulness with greater efficacy by lawyers and judges, enhanced civility, and improved relations with family and friends. Mindfulness is becoming more accessible to lawyers, judges, law students and law professors.
The University of Florida is committed to providing mindfulness resources to all of its students. Find out more here on the UF Mindfulness website.
Mental health is a critical part of your overall health and a key component of your wellness. UF Law employs a resource counselor, Leif Stringer, to assist our students in navigating the available resources. All services are confidential and do not have to be reported to the Florida Bar as treatment. You can reach Leif at:
Phone: (352) 273-0620
The University of Florida also operates a Counseling and Wellness Center that provides services and information regarding mental health. Visit their website for more information.
The University of Florida’s Disability Resource Center’s website can connect you with resources if you need special accommodations or services.
Sometimes law school can be overwhelming. Asking for help is beneficial. Healthy lawyers are successful lawyers. The college of law strongly encourages you to access necessary resources.
Academic stress is a major problem. Sacrificing sleep and other unhealthy habits can cause stress to compound, sometimes to the breaking point. Studies have shown that almost 40 percent of law students experience symptoms of anxiety or depression by the end of their third year.
These symptoms impact our bodies, can affect our ability to control our emotions and overall make it difficult to be at your best.
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds in the United States and the second-leading cause of death for college-age students, according to the UF Counseling & Wellness Center website. Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know is a danger to himself or herself.
UF Law’s robust student community features groups that bring colleagues together with common interests and ambitions. Joining with others can be good for your career and your social life. Sharing trials and tribulations with people of like mind and interests can help defuse both tension and stress. For information about joining a student group, you can contact the Office of Student Affairs.
Here is a partial list of our student-run organizations:
The University of Florida provides much more than a top education for students. Countless opportunities exist for students to get out and exercise by taking part in fitness groups, clubs or just pick-up sports. Participating in team athletics fosters friendships and brings individuals together working towards a common goal. Participating in team sports also leads to a stronger academic performance.
“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.” – Albert Schweitzer
A friend’s well-being is more important than his or her grades, or his or her job status. If you think you have a friend in distress, please take action.
Ways to call for help:
Abuse of alcohol and drugs can be a life-threatening problem. Due to the high levels of academic stress at law school, law students can be especially vulnerable to such addiction.
If you need help, you can use the U Matter We Care website to connect with a professional.
Here are some additional resources collected from the American Bar Association and U Matter We Care:
Interpersonal violence can profoundly impact the wellness and health of a survivor. Dating/intimate partner violence, domestic violence, sexual violence/assault and stalking are types of interpersonal violence that can leave survivors feeling scared, alone, confused and unsure where to find help. Interpersonal violence can be physical, emotional and/or psychological. It exists among every socioeconomic, cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender group. All services are confidential:
UF Law is a welcoming place, and personal threats are rare. But it is wise to be alert to possible dangers anywhere, especially at night. Electronic key swipes allow UF Law students, staff and faculty to enter campus buildings outside of normal work hours. The University of Florida also features blue – and sometimes yellow – emergency telephones that put you immediately in touch with police. A nightly escort service known as SNAP is also regularly available during times of the year when classes are in session. To reach SNAP, call 352-392-7627.
Safety tips recommended by the University of Florida Police Department include:
More information is available at UFPD
The following apps may be useful in helping you alleviate stress, stay safe, or otherwise remain well.