Being a Law School Outcast
Countless online forums, note sharing websites and law societies are a testament to the notion that when it comes to law school ‘We’re All In This Together’. But lurking at the edges are the students known as ‘ghosties’ (a term I just coined) who have minimal contact hours, very few friends within the faculty and for a number of reasons operate almost entirely independently. These students might study externally, have lengthy work hours, or just prefer riding solo.
I learnt the hard way that I was bound to be a ghostie. In my first two years of law I suffered from debilitating anxiety that saw me chucking up my guts before boarding the train in an attempt to attend my Contracts tute. What this meant was that while other people in my faculty were attending social events, professional networking evenings and entering competitions I was still pumping myself up to attend a simple two hour tutorial.
Where did I end up? Thankfully, much less anxious and more motivated, but left without the strong friendship groups I saw forming around me. Utterly helpless, I attempted to grow closer to many of my peers but my minimal contact hours have prevented me from forming the important law school friendships I so desired. Feeling well and truly like a law school outcast I learnt the importance of having faith in my own academic capabilities, eliminating self-doubt and clinging desperately onto online student forums.
But if you’re feeling like a law school outcast, I discovered that there’s nothing more effective than the tantalising draw of the humble study group. My suggestion of a study group on a Facebook group quickly resulted in friendships. Furthering my efforts to lose the tag of ghostie I amped myself up for uni bar romps after study, entered competitions when my confidence grew and used my university law society as a jumping point for getting to know my law school better.
It’s fantastic having a group of people to support you throughout your degree, but there’s nothing wrong with being a bit of a ghostie and slogging it out solo. Whether you study externally, suffer from mental setbacks or just refuse to attend your tutorials, just remember that you’ve got to use the tools your university has provided for you, make the most of online resources and groups, and most importantly, have confidence in yourself.
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