January is the Greatest Month

I might not speak for the majority when I say this, but January is one of my favorite months to be a law student.

For starters, winter hasn’t been around for long enough to lose its magic. Waking up to the glint of snow outside your window carries with it a little glimpses of what your day would look like if you didn’t have class: curled up on the couch with warm socks, a great book, and a giant cup of hot chocolate. It’s too early in the winter to be jaded by the realities of shoveling snow and waiting in a freezing line for a sweaty, inevitably late bus (we’ll save that for February).

Fireplace. Winter. Ahh.

Fireplace. Winter. Ahh.

You also get to go “class-shopping.” During the first two weeks of classes, before the add/drop period ends, you are free to “try out” almost all classes being offered for the semester, so long as you are prepared for class. Even if you’re fairly certain about the classes you’ll actually take, “class-shopping” during add-drop gives you a chance to get a small taste of areas of law you’ll never actually study (for me, things like admiralty and patent law) and experience the teaching styles of professors you may never get a chance to take. Nerdy, yes. Fun, absolutely.

The annual Harvard Square chocolate festival, where local restauranteurs serve up free samples of their best chocolate treats!

The annual Harvard Square chocolate festival, where local restauranteurs serve up free samples of their best chocolate treats!

Exams are months away, and the pressure of class hasn’t set in. You’re able to soak in the experience of learning, without feeling as though exams are peering over your shoulder. There’s still time in the evening to come home to a crockpot full of warm spices and winter roots and linger over dinner. Coffee shops seem warmer and more inviting during the winter. After setting up shop at the “common table” at any coffee shop in Boston, some other person who ducked in from the cold will want to hear about what you’re reading, asking you questions about the law that make you think about it in a slightly different way. There are countless snowy walks through the city, brewery tours to be taken, and winter festivals to attend in Harvard Square.

Great friends riding the bunny hill lift at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine to get their "ski legs" back before hitting the slopes.

Great friends riding the bunny hill lift at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine to get their “ski legs” back before hitting the slopes.

Best of all, the annual law school ski trip happens some weekend in January. Last Friday, we piled into my friend’s car after classes ended, snacks and layers in tow, and began the five-hour drive to Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley, Maine. The windows of the car chilled as we drove further north, until we were just miles from the Canadian border. While some weekends assume a dreamlike quality months, or even years after they have passed, this weekend is already there. Everything about the trip was perfect: we had a great crew, a real fireplace, and excellent tunes in our cabin; the view from the top of the mountain was a breathtaking array of blue mountains and snow-covered lakes; there were times where I felt the powder flying up behind my skis as if I was in an advertisement for a ski resort. It was excellence, pure and simple. January’s not even over yet!

A magnificent sunset marks the end of a perfect day and the start of evening festivities at Sugarloaf

A magnificent sunset marks the end of a perfect day and the start of evening festivities at Sugarloaf

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