I love a good monochrome outfit, especially in all black. It is so chic, and it can feel refreshing if you don’t wear it very often. I think you’ll see monochromatic dressing quite a bit this season, especially with light creams and tans or soft grays. I’ve got tons of ideas for holiday dressing and wintry outfits that I hope to share in the coming weeks. In the mean time, I’ve had a lot on my mind as my first semester in law school has come to a close, so I wanted to write a bit about what my experience has been like.
Law School So Far
I’ve been hanging on to ideas for this post for what seems like months now. It has been forever since I’ve posted anything, but law school kind of takes over your life in that way. I’ll start by saying that I had a lot of anxiety in the months leading up to the beginning of the semester. Real anxiety. It was probably mostly all in my head, but I’d heard many horror stories about how difficult law school is, how stressful it can be, and how the grades at the end of your first semester determine the fate of the rest of your existence. No big deal, right?
The Ugly Side: Law school is hard
One of the deans at our school kept sending reminders throughout the summer time (as if I needed anything to increase amount of fear already piled up inside me) that we’re not in Kansas anymore! Law school isn’t like high school or undergrad! You can’t simply coast and expect to get A’s!
Well that has never been my experience. I have always been a “gunner.” I have always put forth 110% to earn the grades that I got. In high school I would often go to sleep at about 10 pm or so and wake myself up in the middle of the night to keep working on projects by my night light so my parents wouldn’t know I was awake (yeah I was a little intense, but I wear the title of Nerd proudly). The point is, I was prepared to give it my all in law school. The only thing I don’t think I was prepared for was feeling that even if I gave it my all, it would be almost impossible to reach perfection. It seems almost impossible for my expectations of where I want to be to become reality, and that is a hard pill to swallow. I’ve never been good at giving my best and then accepting that my best may not be THE best. I desperately want those two things to be synonymous. And I am not saying I am not doing well in law school. I just feel like I could do better, especially after taking my finals, where it seems like every morning I wake up thinking about something else I should have included in my answers.
The Pretty Side:
It was hard to keep this in mind during finals and our reading period (namely because I think that was the most intensely stressful point of my entire existence), but I LOVE law school. I enjoy the material. I like reading cases, trying to parse out the rules of law, and understanding how they apply to new situations. It is challenging, and I LOVE a challenge.
I am so grateful to my friends and family, and especially my parents for holding my feet to the fire, encouraging me to go to law school. When I was in high school, it was always my plan to go to law school after undergrad, but when push came to shove and I graduated with my Bachelor’s, I was burned out. I could not be persuaded to keep going to school. So, I got a job working for a political consulting firm for a couple of years. I desperately needed that time to sort out what I really wanted to do. Did I want to continue working for that company, or did I want to go back to school? If I did go back to school, what would I go to school for? If I didn’t go to law school, what would I do? There were so many nights where I cried myself to sleep wondering what I really wanted to do with my life. I finally settled on a concurrent MPA/JD program at UALR. It seemed like it fit my interests the best. In addition to law school, I’ve always been interested in public service. I started with the Masters degree, and I still wasn’t completely sure that I would go through with the whole program. Then, while working on my Masters, I had a graduate assistantship working at the City of Bryant. It was the best experience, and one of my mentors there, the City Attorney, advised me to go ahead and go to law school.
So, I took a summer off to study for the LSAT, got a scholarship to Bowen, and now I’m one semester in.
I am so glad that I finally decided to go. After all that hemming and hawing about law school, I feel like this is what I was meant to do. Not only is the material interesting and challenging, but I feel like law school fits my interests and my skill set better than anything I’ve ever done. It took a long time to get here, but I am here now, and I am happy (even if law school finals are basically a real life version of the Hunger Games. . .)
The other thing I love about law school, which I never thought I would be saying, is my study group. At Bowen, we have mandatory Structured Study Groups (“SSGs”). If you know me, you know I despise group work. I really hate it. That’s not to say I’m not a team player, I just don’t like it when I end up pulling everyone’s weight in my group to make sure my grade is not affected by someone else who doesn’t contribute. Suffice it to say I wasn’t looking forward to SSGs. Well, I hit the study group jackpot. I am so lucky, because I ended up with the best people in my group. People that I know I will be best friends with for the rest of my life. If it were not for them, my first semester in law school would have been 1000 times more hellacious. If my group members are reading this, know that I love you guys like brothers and sisters.
I have a few other friends who have given me major support along the way, including some lunch dates, vent sessions, and late night study help, to whom I am extremely grateful.
One More Thing:
I have to give a huge thanks to my husband. He has literally kept me alive throughout the semester, and he is still with me despite the moodiness and stress of school. I love you and I owe you big time.
Law school is hard; in fact, I would say that it’s exactly as difficult as everybody says that it is. And it is incredibly stressful. At the same time, it can be rewarding, especially if this is what you know you want to do. My advice for anyone considering going to law school is to (1) prepare yourself mentally for the workload and the stress and (2) make sure you have a support group in place to help you make it through the really tough times.