Last One, Best One

With school emails rolling in by the boatload and scary 1L Orientation beginning, I finally feel like I am in my last year of law school. While it’s ellard to fathom that I’ve actually lived through (and at some moments thrived) two whole years at BU Law, I realize I’ve made it as I prepare for my last day of my last year of school ever with not a worry in the world. The 180 degree change between my attitude as an incoming 1L and now as an incoming 3L is more than tangible. I’ve lived and I’ve learned, I’ve laughed and I’ve cried, I’ve studied and I’ve partied……and then I studied and cried some more. But, I am here to share my 3L wisdom in what will be my last post of Fall Advice:

1. BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID. Law school is absolutely no joke. No matter how old you are, how much experience you have, what undergrad school you went to, where you’ve previously worked, how many degrees you have, or how many episodes of law and order you’ve binged…..law school is hard for everyone. I haven’t met a single person in my two years of attendance at BU Law that said law school is a breeze. Be aware this journey is hard, and appreciate that fact. Also, make sure you really live your best life before you start law school and even in the first couple weeks where you’re not too swamped in work. Thank me later.

2. CLUBS ARE COOL. The first year of school is much like the first few years you were alive: you have no say in what you do and you just do what you’re told. Your schedule is already made for you and you can’t change it. Your classmates are already picked for you and no matter how annoying that girl is in the front row you can’t swap her out for someone who’s less of a gunner. The only thing you really have a say in, besides how much you study/how well you do, is your extracurricular activities. JOIN AS MANY CLUBS AS YOU FIND INTERESTING. Clubs will not only be a great way for you to escape the same routine week after week, but it gives you the chance to meet people in other classes and even older students. The Org Fair (Sept. 8th, 2-4pm) features tables on tables of every organization the law school has to offer and allows you to sign up to receive emails and info about all of them. I still receive emails from clubs I naively thought I’d join only to routinely read their emails these last two years and never attend a single meeting. But hey, it’s the thought that counts?

3. COLLECT OUTLINES EARLY. Piggybacking on #2, you NEED to meet new people and preferably 2Ls/3Ls not only to gain friends/a social life, but also for the invaluable outlines that will single-handedly get you through your 1L year (I spent my entire 2L year thanking the 3L whose outlines I used throughout my entire first year, #ShoutOut Misha Patel I miss you!!!!!). Us upperclassmen are not scary, (most of us) are not rude, and we surely will be happy to send along some outlines for you as long as that’s not the very first thing you ask us (how about starting the conversation out like a normal human and ask how we are that’s all we really want from you). Again, thank me later.

4. FIND WHAT WORKS AND FIND IT EARLY. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you but I will anyway: Law school is a stressful environment and it only progressively gets worse as you get closer to finals. You need to find the best, most non-destructive way to relieve stress so that you can work that into your schedule and maintain a semblance of sanity. For me, stress relief came in the form of working out and cooking. I would set a time at which I would make myself leave school, go to the gym, and then come home to cook myself a good dinner. It’s the little things that help you get through the big, scary, stressful things!

5. IT WILL END. The best piece of advice I can give you is probably to realize that the rough times do not last forever no matter how much it feels like it’s never ending. 1L is just one year of law school–basically just 8 months–that you’ll get through in no time. Looking back on it now, 1L felt like the slowest crawl of my life where I didn’t actually get anywhere and just stayed put in the same exact place no matter how badly I tried to move. Now, I don’t know where the time has gone and in 8 months I’ll be graduating and experiencing the new hardship of studying for the bar (but really, does it ever actually end????). Enjoy the ride (or try and tell yourself you will) because it goes by faster than you think.

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