Why I always buy new shoes when grades come out.

As most or all BU Law students know, grades for fall 2015 come out this Friday. For some, these will be the first set of law school grades. Others, like me, are well-seasoned vets. Checking my grades has always been difficult for me, even though I’ve been a good student. These are little marks of judgment meant to tell other people how smart I am, how hard I’ve worked, and whether or not I’m worth their investment. I’ve always been fighting for something–honor roll, college acceptance, a scholarship, law school–and grades have mattered. Even now, I’m blessed enough to have a job lined up for after I graduate, but I still care about five teeny little letters.

When I came to law school, one of the many new things to which I was introduced was the mandatory curve. My grades would reflect not just my own work product, but my work product in relation to everybody else’s. We could not all get A’s, no matter how hard we all tried. Going into that first round of finals, I was scared. I remember my first final in law school was for Civ Pro. I did not get Civ Pro. I did not understand the best way to outline. I did not know how to tackle an open response exam question. I walked away from that exam feeling confused and a little nauseated.

As I shuffled out of the law tower in a daze that day, I decided that when grades finally came out in January, no matter how I did, I was going to buy myself new shoes. Maybe they’d be celebratory shoes or maybe they’d be shoes to make me feel better. They’d definitely be sale shoes, but that’s ok. Regardless, I was strapping something unnecessary on my feet and feeling good about myself.

Law school is incredibly difficult. There is no way around that. The material is challenging and the program is competitive. Students spend too many hours studying and not nearly enough hours sleeping. We live frugally. We all work ourselves emotionally, physically, and mentally raw. And we pay to do it. Nobody comes to law school just to check it out and have some fun. We come because we’re motivated, smart, passionate–and maybe a little crazy.

So, with my first set of grades right around the corner, I realized that no matter what they said, I had worked my absolute hardest and I deserved something special to remind myself of that. It’s an amazing accomplishment to get into law school and an even greater feat to make it through the first semester (and really every one after that). So, no matter what your grades say, know you worked hard and achieved something astounding. Figure out what what means to you what shoes mean to me and treat yourself. You’ve earned it.


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