• Tara Pratarelli

An Undergraduate Girl in a Postgraduate World


I’ve never been a particularly introverted person. I’m loud (typical lawyer material) and have a permanent case of foot-in-mouth disease. This made it hard to fit into the boxes that are high school cliques. By the time I finished high school I was fed up and felt suffocated.

But I was luckier on my first day of law school. I clicked with a feisty redhead who introduced me to some other vague strangers. On the advice of our first lecturer, we decided to form a study group but eventually we all became inseparable. Friday afternoons constituted the weekly pilgrimage to the bar near uni. Discussions on immigration to the quirks of our lecturers were passionate and interesting. I had finally met my people.

Plot twist: they’re all postgraduate students and I’m an undergrad.

It has never really bothered me that all my uni friends were older than me. Being the baby in our circle is a nice change for someone born in February. However, being quite a bit younger can be intimidating, plus my friends and I share only the few first year classes. They’re tackling things like torts (*shudder*) and contracts while I persevere with science units from my double degree. They also have more life experience which can sometimes clash with my want to experience. The inevitable switch from clubs to bars that comes in the twenties is a perfect example. (Although, if I am honest, I never liked the whole clubbing thing anyway.

As the semester went on, I realised that I didn’t really have many law school friends my own age. So, I made sure that I really got to know some of the law undergrads in our shared classes. But at the end of the day, I’m still that undergraduate girl in the postgrad world. I listen and nod along to my friends talk about units I haven’t studied and I don’t care. What’s important is that I’ve found a place where I belong and I didn’t have to sacrifice myself to get there.

Law school attracts an eclectic group of people and one of the great things about being a law student is having the opportunity to get to know them. Law school friends rock. Whether it’s the postgrad folks talking serious business or the undergrad kids fresh from the shackles of high school, it doesn’t matter. There is a ‘study group’ for everyone. Mine just happens to be a tad older than me. Hey, at least they can share their torts wisdom!

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