No Country for Old Law Students

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As winter break is coming to a close and as I reflect on both the short time I spent at “home” in Las Vegas over break (5 days) and the time I have been in Boston (5 months) I have thought about what “home” means.

As a person who lived in the the same 5 mile radius my entire life until coming to law school this is a very disturbing question.

But the more and more I think about it, the more it becomes clear to me that at this very moment in time, I really don’t possess a “home”.

I mean sure I am part of the “BU 1L law community” and I have a furry, sometimes annoying, all the time handsome, part time stylish (you have to see his new winter sweaters courtesy of my older sister) room mate in my dog, and yes we live in an apartment, so I guess these things could be considered ingredients for “home” but they don’t quite feel like “home”.



When I was at “home” for Christmas that didn’t quite feel like “home” either which was very disturbing to me.

Now my “home” …West Las Vegas….

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Feels like a place I visit and no longer feels likeĀ  “home” as it did before I got to Boston.

On the contrary, Boston, the place I “reside” in doesn’t feel like home either.

So as it stands currently, I am a person with out a country (city) or more to the point using “legalese” I feel like I am a person without a domicile.

And because I have never experienced that before I have no idea how I feel about it.

I guess one could say that over time, during the course of my studies and interactions with classmates and through further interaction with all of the inconvenience sites Boston has to offer I will begin to feel more “at home,” but I don’t know if that is true.

I also don’t know how I feel about the shifting sands of emotional appeal that my friendships and relationships from home are experiencing.

I do my best to not allow the process of becoming a lawyer learning to think like a lawyer change my relationships with my friends at home but it seems like it is already doing so.

After all, I spend more time with my friends and or section mates in Boston than I ever spent with my friends back home, and though I attempt to keep in as much contact as possible, i find myself not doing such a good job, because when there is no work to do, no social event to go to, no networking to accomplish, or thing to apply for, i find myself either wanting no interaction with anyone, or interaction that does not require a whole lot of emotional or intellectual energy.

However, in doing so I find myself closing myself off more than I should be which only adds to my temporary feelings of alienation which then complicates my feelings about what it means to be “home”.

I found myself uttering the words, when I get “home” when I was talking to my family about my preparation to leave Vegas and return to Boston and I was shocked at my poor word choice, yet I was astonished that I could not find a better usage of words.

They say home is where the heart is, but at present that is very hard to forecast, my past is Vegas, my present is Boston, and my future is unknown and I am unsure if my heart is cool with any of the locations at the moment.

In truth, this is probably a bigger deal for me than others because I come from a very specific community in a very specific place, and this is my first time leaving it.

That said, I wonder if I ever want to get used to a shifting idea of where “home” is.

There is much of the world that I would love to see, but in doing so I think I would still like to know or rather feel like I am actually returning “home”…once the food is tasted, and the monuments etched in photographs.

There are many books written about the law school experience but I didn’t read a section in any that dealt with this sort of intrinsic battle/growth that one must go through on this journey to learning the law learning to think like those who think they know the law.

As the semester starts I wonder if I will reflect on this as it too comes to an end in a few months…

I wonder if I will feel more “home” or if i will I be more confused as I prepare to begin my Summer job in Boston instead of returning to the bright lights that birth my desire to see and accomplish bigger things.

When my classmates leave, and my friends and family remain where they are…will i feel at “home” with my Summer job, apartment, and fuzzy companion?

I guess time will tell….


agutie posted on January 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm

if that pup needs a home…i know where he can go!

dlinhart posted on January 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm

For me, I’ve moved around a lot, so when Boston started to feel like home (I’ve been here for over 6 years which is a long stretch for me) I had to work through: am I cool with Boston as “home”? (Yes!) But whatever our process looks like, I’m glad law school is challenging us personally and emotionally, not just intellectually. Here’s to fearlessly (and continually) becoming a new person!

b greene posted on January 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Thanks for reading David, yeah I don’t know about the fearlessly part, so much has changed so fast since I got here, and I have had little or no time to actually deal with it at all, sort of just rolled with the punches as that is what time would permit, in the midst of some of the other changes that have manifested themselves I find myself feeling a little emotionally detached from things…and I don’t know how to feel about that, or if I should feel anyway about that…

@alexandria, my pup is the only thing that keeps me sane in Bosont

Beth Rossi posted on January 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I know what you mean, Brandon! I have moved around quite a bit since college. It definitely takes a while to build a community and get comfortable in a new place– it sounds like you are doing a great job, though. For me, I’m not sure Boston really started to feel like “home” until this year (year 3!). And then it’s always interesting / challenging to go back and forth between my current home and past homes. So, I guess it’s just something to be patient about. And in the meantime, we should all get out of the tower more often and take advantage of Boston’s inconveniences, er sites.

Jean D posted on February 2, 2011 at 8:57 am

I think home is not so much a place, but it is the process of the shared conversations between parent and adult child that can occur. My children are grown up and live elsewhere (and one of them is a BU blogger), but I feel in touch with them when we talk on the phone. In fact, sometimes we talk more by phone than when we were physically in the same home. Bottom line: you haven’t really lost your home in Vegas. It’s still there, on the phone.

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