One Month into 2L

What a year a difference makes! It’s so hard to believe that exactly a year ago I was only a month into 1L – a year that was equal parts challenging, frustrating, invigorating, and exhausting. The one common thread and the main word that I use when I either reflect upon 1L to myself or talk about it to others is this: transformative. I learned more in eight month period of time than I ever have before. I was constantly challenged and my stamina and threshold for stress increased tenfold. When they say it’s a marathon, they mean it.

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted my first post back to be about, but I think comparing 1L to 2L is an important thing to do (especially for any prospective law students who are daunted by the idea of law school in general). I’m only a month into 2L but here is what I’ve noticed so far in terms of difference:

The stress does lessen, and (at least so far) I have much more time to be balanced. This means sleeping more, exercising more, going out with friends more, and exploring Boston more. There is still a lot of school work to be done and the workload is still demanding, and depending on where you are at in the job-search process, time does need to be set aside for networking and applications. Overall, though, I’m finding that there is a little bit more breathing room – which I am so grateful for.

Another beautiful part of this year is the simple fact of already knowing people, being settled in my apartment and in the city in general, and having a years worth of classes under my belt. So much of the anxiety of any new experience is the not knowing, and the not-yet-being-comfortable-and-rooted. The most disorienting parts of any transition are usually the beginning; and now as a new 2L, the most true piece of advice I can give to a prospective 1L is this: the stressful whirlwind will end, and you will be stronger and more complex, confident, and interesting at the end of it – and it will all be worth it.

So much of last year felt like learning how to ride a bike for the first time. It was shaky and uncomfortable and I stumbled and fell down and got back up again and rode a little more steadily, and the same thing happened over and over again as I slowly gained confidence. This year I feel like I have finally found my equilibrium – I am riding steadily, finally reaping the benefits from the time it took (feeling very uncomfortable!) as I learned all of these new skills. 2L, you are a welcome change from 1L, and I can’t wait to see where you take me next on this journey.

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