• Marie Iskander

It's not all about winning

Girl reading book

As law students we can often think that we’re infallible. We have tendencies to suit up for no apparent reason and use legal jargon at social functions. When an employer asks us what our biggest flaws are, our answers are often something to the effect of: “I work too hard”, “I’m a perfectionist”, or “I care too much”. We sometimes exaggerate our workloads and our marks, or try to prove that we are superior to a fellow student. You know what I’m talking about.

Unfortunately, I am not innocent of this crime. I found my own lowest point came when I was Peer Tutoring and ended up in a fervent argument with a first year law student about who had more work (and less sleep) to complete that day. At the end of the fiery debate with this first year student (who had only been studying law for five weeks), I realised something. This competitive tendency would inevitably lead to alienating those around me. So it was time for a humility check!

I thought about the many skills that I haven’t mastered, but that many of my law and non-law peers complete with finesse. For example, I can’t drive. Although I keenly acquired my learner’s permit on the day of my 16th birthday, I managed to complete about six hours worth of driving before it expired three years later. I also can’t ride a bike; and I haven’t done so since my dad took off my training wheels when I was five years old. Taking photographs is another weakness of mine. For some reason I have really bad luck with digital cameras – almost all of my photographs turn out blurred or hazy.

Clearly, although I excel in some areas (law being an obvious example), I fail in others. Nobody is perfect. I think that from time to time we can all benefit from a humility check. It’s shocking but true: even law students are only human.

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