There are some really hard things about being in law school.
The level of stress I’ve felt exceeds any I’ve felt in my life. Lots of you are aware of my blood pressure issues. A few are aware of the dry heaving. I’ve had a change appetite and lost weight. My sleep patterns aren’t really a pattern at all. It’s competitive. It’s a lot of reading. It’s terrifying to be cold-called in class.
Honestly, the first semester of law school is a wad of stress that is indescribable to the uninitiated.
However, the most important thing that happened to me this semester has nothing to do with classes or rankings.
Law school has been a beautiful mechanism for reminding me who I am.
And the spirit of Mufasa fills the screen:
I have been blessed to maintain most of the relationships in my life for years if not decades. It is a true joy to have such a shared history with people and to love them as I love family. I was reminded of these enduring relationships when I went to apply for a legal fellowship for the summer, and I listed my references and how long they’ve known me. Personal reference: 17 years. Spiritual reference (it’s a Christian fellowship): 12 years. These relationships are an enormous part of who I am, and it’s lovely to be reminded.
I’m also overwhelmed with how supportive the people in my life have been. Like all of my life decisions, attending law school was abrupt and without much explanation. I was hit with a divine whisper and that was the end of the conversation. I consulted exactly two people before signing up to take the LSAT, and had they told me not to do it, I probably would have done it anyway.
And yet, they’ve been there for me. I did not once consider the amount of support and understanding I would need from the people in my life to get through law school. I have that luxury, because they are there for me even when I don’t ask them to be. No one in my life has guilted me when I’ve canceled plans because I needed to study, and I’ve canceled a lot of plans. They’ve listened to me obsess about my blood pressure. They’ve counseled me. They’ve put up with my constant and inept legal analysis of everyday life. They’ve encouraged and been patient in ways I’m not sure I have ever or will ever reciprocate.
I don’t deserve any of you.
Alongside that, I’ve met so many amazing people in school, and they’ve reminded me of certain things about myself that I’ve forgotten or that I’ve refused to believe.
People at school seem to like me. They tell me that I’m nice, open-minded, stylish (who knew?), and that I’m a good student. They laugh at my jokes and don’t make me feel like an idiot when I do stupid things. They send me encouraging text messages when my crazy is about to overtake me, and they help me celebrate my birthday.
My conception of myself so often fills in the blanks with the worst things people have ever said about me: stubborn, conceited, too busy with tasks to spend time with others, judgmental… it’s so easy to believe.
Thank you to all of my classmates who remind me that I’m okay. I pray that as my weird quirks become more visible to you, you’ll continue to like me anyways.
And let’s all lift a glass to surviving 1L Semester 2! 🙂