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Being the Middle Child at Law School

Malcolm in the middle

That awkward moment when you step back into a classroom then realise that the students around you are barely out of high school. That really awkward moment when you realise the student you study with doesn’t know what Facebook is. Welcome to life as the ‘middle child’ of law school!

I had high hopes for my law school experience (even the stress, I’m a massive stress junkie). I put it off for five years before I decided to dive in… and quickly realised I was a middle child.

What do you mean I don’t have to request permission for a bathroom break? Why is the mature age student talking so much? I don’t understand why students need their phones so much!

Being a 20-something student leaves you stuck between the realm of the school leaver and the broken bridge over the generational gap.

And when you think you have a chance of escaping the middle, the occasional grandpa style student terrifies you with a back-in-my-day-students-were-smarter glare throughout your whole seminar.

I’ve worked full time in a ‘proper’ job. I don’t live at home and have a long-term partner. Zing! You’re way too old and so not cool for undergraduates now!

But I am young! Or am I? Once you’ve done the university experience once, you start to nitpick. This learning experience could be improved with this! Oh, kids, please stop talking in class. I am paying to learn here! You think that answer demonstrates critical thinking?! OH MY GOD, I am old.

But I’m not really 'old' either. Oh, but, you don’t have kids yet? Heart sinks. Friendship blossoming has been suspended until pregnancy. Or at least until some sort of cute animal adoption has occurred.

Right now, the only icebreaker I have left is my impressive knowledge on making a mean vegan omelette. But even that doesn’t gain you attention as a middle child. Come on, you have to be curious how an omelette can be vegan friendly!

Middle children of law school, please share your tips and tricks! I’m not sure how I will cope!

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