Within a few days of returning to the brand new Redstone building, the transition occurs quickly. Everyone is excited to see one another again and trade summer stories that range from work experiences to new adventures. For those of us who were the last to see the tower before its renovation, we eagerly examined and scrutinized the new building. Are two elevators enough? Are the elevators fast enough? How congested are the stairways? Where are the printers? What are the new classrooms like? Did I get a fancy new locker?
These questions quickly faded away as 2Ls bustled around the building experiencing new classes and juggling both class workload and extracurricular commitments. 3Ls are harder to find but if you squint really hard, you may see one happily trotting towards an externship or a seminar. The 1Ls are much harder to spot as I’m unsure where their classes are and whether they have been corralled into one area like we were (fifth and sixth floors were our domain last year). I met a few of the 1Ls at orientation and offered whatever little words of wisdom I possessed and an ear whenever they may have questions or concerns.
The first week of school was not even over yet when 1Ls approached me with questions. Their questions were much like my own when I was floating between classes and feeling confused, befuddled, discombobulated, and a little frustrated, but goodness, they are feeling it much sooner than I did. There’s so much advice to be given, sought, and absorbed, so I will provide the one thing I learned the hard way: you are starting a new path. You will feel confused and sometimes immensely overwhelmed, but it’s early. It will take time to adjust. Part of this process is not simply mastering the reading, but it is also figuring out your strengths and weaknesses. You may need to overcome shyness to seek help in office hours. Supplements such as Examples & Explanations or hornbooks may be an invaluable tool for you. You may thrive in a study group or you succeed studying alone. Whichever the method, whatever the means, and however you do it, it must fit who you are right now and throughout this process. As you change, so will your tactics. Do not be afraid to take a deep breath, allow the process to occur, seek help if you’re unsure, and most importantly, allow yourself to make mistakes, be wrong, and change.