by Patty Martins
After the excitement of purchasing school supplies wore off (a new backpack was out; coloring books and crayons were in), a smidgen of worry crept into my soul. I love learning. I was excited about going to school to learn even more. Unfortunately, reality set in: What if my future class was composed of a plethora of geniuses who would laugh me off campus upon the realization that I truly had no clue what was going on?
(The future will tell if my class will be similar to this photo.)
SEPTEMBER: Show up to classes ridiculously early to snag a good seat. Since I don’t know anybody or know with whom I want to sit or where good seats are, this is rather ridiculous – do it anyway. Proceed to realize that I do not, under any circumstances, “think like a lawyer”. Scramble to finish reading all of my homework and ponder the possibility of an alternative reality – the only theory I can come up with to explain why 20 pages of legal reading takes as long as reading 100 normal pages. Attempt to befriend every living organism on campus. This may include squirrels. Realize that my classmates are amazing. Become introduced to an item named “Blue Book”, who, I am told, will be my friend.
OCTOBER: Realize that the Blue Book is more foe than friend, but I just can't quit it! Attend as many club meetings as possible, while still scrambling to do my reading. Dubiously eye all of the memos I have to write and stumble through West Law and Lexis Nexis in an attempt to learn how to research the law – there will be a lot of stumbling. Attend the Fall Ball and have a blast. To counteract the stresses that are piling on, spend a lot of time outside, playing Frisbee, or basking in the glorious fall. Also, I allocate a specific time to watch Disney movies with friends. Disney knows where it’s at – for years, Shang was trying to tell me to get down to business. Sure, it was to defeat the Huns, but if I could defeat Huns, I should be able to survive finals.
NOVEMBER: Hike a trail with some friends to enjoy the fall foliage. See a bear on said trail, promptly begin to panic. Continue to feel like Atlas with the weight of the world on my shoulders, only—instead of the world—it’s just legal work. (This is a good thing considering I get tired from carrying around my backpack; forget carrying around the world.) Around Thanksgiving, have an epiphany: I need to begin making my outlines. WHY didn’t I start doing this before? Oh, right. No time. Discover that I’m seeing Torts wherever I go.
DECEMBER: Contract the plague. The plague will be a lovely, mutated from of (probably) every virus known to man during December. Once contracted, my attempts to get healthy during finals are as futile as trying to stop Gollum from hunting his “Precious”.
Sadly, Gollum Plague always finds me again. Always. Every time finals rolls around, he’s there, creepily murmuring, “My Precious”, to my immune system. Needless to say, my immune system crashes in fright.
Despite the plague, I keep studying. Study so much, I’m enshrined in a circle of sadness by my dog who drops all of her toys at my feet, staring at me adoringly to get some attention. After a few minutes, cave and play with the dog. Then resume studying. Take a final, return home and study. Throw in some crash course study sessions with friends and late night, “WAIT, WHAT DOES THE ERIE DOCTRINE MEAN AGAIN???” texts to friends and rinse and repeat.
Finish your last final and return home in GLORY! (or, at least happiness that you’re temporarily done).
JANUARY: Just kidding. I’m back at school in Moot Court. Once done with Moot Court, public speaking should be a breeze. Kill off a section of the rain forest by printing all my moot court briefs, give my final argument (after frantically purchasing a suit), pump my fist in triumph and FINISH yet another law school hurdle. Begin the rest of your classes by getting to class ridiculously early yet again. Get, roughly, a mountain of snow.
FEBRUARY: Those snow piles that are taller than me? Still there. Set up a new time to watch movies. Wake up late at night with the thought: I should probably be starting that internship search right about now. Purchase one ticket for the internship hunt train, and jump on board.
APRIL: I have an internship! Everything is right in the world. Float along, making outlines, while basking in the glory of an internship! Ignore the thunderous clouds gathering in the distance – those are just my finals rumbling around the corner. Attend Spring Fling, dance the night away, then practically paddle my way home through the downpour.
MAY: Gollum finds me again. Studying commences in full force. Desperately attempt to smash as much information as possible into my head. Finish my finals and…COMPLETE MY 1L EXPERIENCE!