Goodbye 1L

May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

What a crazy, challenging, and eye-opening year.

I’m not gonna lie, during the last 15 minutes of our criminal law exam, the grin on my face just got wider and wider and I barely registered what I was typing. Handing in that exam felt like a huge weight lifting from my shoulders, which have gotten more and more hunched over the course of this year.

Goodbye to all those hours slogging through casebooks, goodbye to those hellish evenings before memos were due, when everything inevitably went apeshit. And goodbye to those nights before exams when I’d go over outlines and notes and still feel like I knew absolutely nothing.

But of course, there were many great things that came out of this year as well. Former law students don’t lie when they say that the intensity of law school fosters a strong sense of camaraderie within the class, and I feel that at Cornell, this is especially true because of the small size of our class. I’ve met some amazingly open, smart, and generous people this year and they made all those tiring hours in the library so much more tolerable, and dare I say, sometimes, even fun.

And I did learn. A lot. I don’t know if I could necessarily say that I “think like a lawyer” now but I definitely understand the world differently. And I don’t think that I’ll ever feel comfortable with the Socratic method, but there is something to be said about this style of teaching that, when done effectively, makes students learn much more than they ever would from a simple lecture.

As cheesy as it may seem, though, I think the most noted thing about this year has been my personal growth. Maybe it was because I was surrounded by people who were on average 4 to 5 years older than me or because there was a lot of money invested in this decision or because the workload was so demanding or because I was truly living  independently for the first time, but I do think getting through this year has made me much, much more mature than an average 21 year old and I’m quite proud of that.

True, there’s the writing competition and two more years to go. But for now, I’m just going to soak in the fact that the worst part is over. Even crappy Ithaca weather can’t ruin my mood. And I’m looking forward to a productive and relaxing summer and actually focusing on things other than contracts or civil procedure.

To the end of 1L. We did it.

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