Thursday, January 28, 2021

Angry Law Student's "Letter to the World"

You never know what you'll find on Reddit. Sometimes you'll spend many hours finding pretty much nothing of interest, and other times you will find a gem like this.

Now, I don't want to be disrespectful, but the writing on this bad boy can be hard to read at times. But, even if you can work through the words, you can see what law school is like during COVID. When I went to law school, we sat in classrooms, so this is a whole different animal for me.

Let's take a long look at this "rant" and see what we can gleam out of this.
1L at a T20, doing fine, above median, but I don't think I can hang in any longer. First semester was a bear but I managed to keep it together, but now I'm 2 days in and I'm already done. I don't think I can and I don't think I want to.

The worst part is that the actual work part is fine. I like reading, like writing, like learning in general. It's all these extra all-consuming bits that make life miserable. It's the constant threat of being cold-called even though I'm not actually fully attuned to class because how could anyone be when we're all sitting in a living room beside our roommates; it's the reading long articles about pedantic, unusable bologna even though I'll never use it in life and I know none of it will be on the test; it's the people, who seem to love this, who keep telling the professors to use more breakout rooms, who, when we have a teacher who says he'll mostly lecture, actually request he cold-call us to keep us involved (what is wrong with you people), people who, when I ask how they like our weird-arse, insanely intense professor, get a gleam in their eye and say they love his energy; it's the unending frenzy about journals and summer jobs and joining pointless clubs. This whole thing just feels like an elaborate game of make-believe and everybody loves it and I just want to go outside and walk in the snow.

This isn't my life. I don't care. But there's a constant pull back into the insane cult of whatever the heck this is. I miss jobs where I cleaned toilets. I just want to be back in the real world. There's no point to making this except to shout into the void that this sucks and make my formal goodbye.
As you can see, there was some serious angst here. I get it. Law school classes can be a pain in the rear. I can't imagine doing it. Some of my professors were boring enough in the class where I had no choice but to pay attention/daydream. In those classes, I would probably minimize the tabs and do something else, or endlessly scroll through my Instagram.

However, somewhere along the way, the author has a change of heart:
Quick edit as I sit in class: First and foremost, this post was definitely too dramatic. That I regret. But it was sincere and if some people don't understand, that's okay, I can't get into trying to explain it any further. Honestly, I didn't expect anyone to understand, that's kind of the point of my frustration.

That most people do seem to relate, however, has been more encouraging than I can say. I do feel overwhelmed, I do feel at the end of some sort of rope, but as of now I feel far less isolated. I'll stop panicking and give myself the week to decide. I'll take all advice, I'll work on my perspective, and either I'll figure out how to make it work or I won't. Whichever way it ends up going, I want to say thanks everyone, sincerely, you've done a good job refuting my implication that law students are monsters.
During my second year of law school, I seriously wanted to drop out. I liked the first year well enough, but year two changed things. I had just transferred to a new school and law school wasn't quite as fun in my mind. The challenge of being the absolute best to transfer was gone and now it was an endurance race. Did I really want to practice law? Was it as boring as listening to my Commercial Paper professor talking about owning half a horse? If so, I didn't want any part of it.

I mentioned dropping out and got a barrage of advice from family that basically said I was crazy if I did. I thought about it, applied to some investment banks in New York, got a few interviews, but decided to stick it out through law school. It was hard at times. Few people will say that they loved every moment of it.

How do you deal with law school stress?

Law school is a super stressful time, and I think that this chap needs to squeeze a stress ball while in class. It may help. Nobody likes to get called on by their professor. For me, it was a terrifying ordeal. But, what does it matter in the end? Sure, it's super embarrassing. As a code-1 introvert mixed with a type-a perfectionist, the idea of looking bad or not getting everything just right was terrifying. I prayed that I would not get called on every single day, but I knew that day was coming as the other students were all getting it out of the way.

I remember walking into the classroom with a sweat and shaking, almost dropping my Criminal Law books on the ground. I just knew that I would get called on.

And you know what? I did get called on and everything was fine. The teacher could tell I was a hot mess, but I was always respectful and she had no want to rip me in shreds in front of the class. I never acted like a know-it-all and it helped.

Second, take a spa day. I am not sure what the COVID rules are like where you live, but you need to relax a bit. If you can, turn off your webcam and take a bath during class. Just don't splash if you are called on. Turn on some soft music and enjoy the water while the rest of your class stays dry. Honestly, it will help you.

Also, have something to look forward to after class. Is there some nature where you live? Go out and enjoy a nice quiet walk through the woods. Maybe you could hit up your favorite restaurant? Take a friend with you. There's no reason your life should be so insanely stressful that you are wanting to rip yourself apart.

Remember, law school is only three years long, and you are already one semester through it. In the end, you will be through with it and it will be a distant memory. Law practice is a lot worse, so you got that to look forward to! Enjoy these days!

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