Spending holidays away from your family is difficult. Law school makes this a necessity. Our Thanksgiving “break” was the dead week before finals started. Our spring “break” was drafting and redrafting the appellate brief. And our Easter “break” was Friday. If you learn anything in law school, the most important will be how to maximize your time. Although I realize its importance, I am still working on it. I’m still learning to “just keep swimming.” Finding Nemo, Pixar Animation (2003).
Law school’s watermark has started seeping into every aspect of my life—I’m still determining if this is a good thing. I structure my arguments with my boyfriend using the Rule of Three. I consider creating contracts anytime a friend agrees to do something. My friends and I use “consideration,” “slippery slope,” and “equitable relief” in every day conversation. It consumes you. You eat and breathe law school. Every moment of “down time” you allow yourself is followed by fifteen minutes of anxiety about how much time you’ve just wasted.
I find relief, though, in conversations with 2L and 3Ls. I am promised that it gets easier and that everything seems more manageable with each passing semester. I find solace in this advice. I do not even care if it is unfounded. The mere idea that there is a light at the end of the tunnel keeps me moving.
It is the second week in April. In four weeks I will be done with finals. In five weeks I will be starting the write-on competition. In five weeks, I will be home.
I am already starting to prepare myself for the questions:
“How did you do?”
“Did you get your grades yet?”
“Why don’t you have your grades yet?”
I know that I will not receive my grades until I start the fall semester, maybe an exaggeration but probably accurate. I know that I will start next year with a refreshed mind. I will hopefully spend my summer falling in love with ACTUAL law practice, again. I will spend my summer enjoying time with my boyfriend and his family. And, I will most likely visit my family every other weekend—they’ve only been granted visitation rights.
Nonetheless, I still have four weeks. My stress over selecting courses for next year has started. The “bidding” process starts at 11 AM and lasts for a week. I have a basic idea of what classes I want to take, but I do not want to get my heart set on anything since I do not have high bidding power as a first semester 2L. Yet, I have faith that I will end up with courses that will be challenging and engaging. I have not been told to avoid any particular professors (this is the first time in my educational career—it’s a great sign for SUCOL).
There are a lot of stressful weeks in my future. All I know is that somehow, someway everything always gets done. The days will pass neither faster or slower than any other day. I will make it to the other side and wonder, “Wow, how did that happen?”
Good luck to those of you preparing for the final countdown. We will get through this just as we did last semester. All you have to do is…
Just keep swimming.