7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Law School
So you got in to Law School. Super. Gird your loins, bitches.
1. People lie.
Law school is competitive. People lie about how much they study. People lie about internships. People lie about what their parents do or how much they earn. They’ll even lie by giving you the wrong answers to your questions. I’m not saying to not trust anyone, but before you start feeling bad about yourself because someone got an HD on an assignment that they claim took 3 hours to write, keep in mind that they could be lying.
2. You will not be able to do everything.
Gym, hair, makeup, parties, work, cleaning, sleeping, seeing friends and family, showering, eating properly, co-ordinated outfits, weekends away, rescuing little kittens. If you try to do everything, life gets very, very hard. You’ve got to be realistic, which can be really hard for law students as we’ve spent all our lives being praised for being able to do everything. Find hacks, make do, prioritise. Is being buff/sleeping 8 hours a night/having winged eyeliner that could cut someone more or less important than doing well at uni?
3. You’ll meet people who just get it.
Of course you had smart friends. And of course you had friends (or so we hope). But there will be waaaay more “kismet” moments. Those moments where you’re internally losing it because you find *that other person who gets it*. Magic!
4. You will NOT be able to get through all the readings.
Just accept it. It’s not possible. Move on and learn to prioritise.
5. Everyone is feeling exactly what you’re feeling.
I guarantee you, everyone is going to be nervous AF for the first week or so. If they say they aren’t, refer back to point number one. Knowing this makes making friends so much easier. Just smiling at someone and saying “Hey, how’s it going? I’m [insert name].” may get you a friend for life. Well, at least the first few weeks of the semester.
6. Be open to new things.
At uni you’ve got sooooo many new opportunities. Hopefully you’re actually studying a degree that you’re interested in. You’ll have a bounty of electives you can take to break up the compulsory boring law crap. You’ll also likely find yourself hanging out with people you normally would never approach – but that is one of the wonderful things about uni. Not only do you broaden your intellectual horizons, but your social horizons.
7. You’re in for a reality check.
When I started Law School I was used to getting high grades and generally winning the “who’s done the coolest shit” in most conversations. Whether you’re coming from high school, a previous degree or from the workforce you will very quickly become aware of your shortcomings and enter a world of pain. And before you start singing that old “It won’t happen to me” song, I can tell you right now, it will happen to you.
Law school isn’t about proving how smart you are – that’s what acceptance letters are for. Law school is about learning – improving the skills you have and learning new ones. It’s about learning to become a better you than you already are. So be kind to yourself.
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