1. Romantic relationships are a luxury. If you had a significant other before law school began and he/she is an understanding and patient person, then you are fortunate. I am luckily in that boat (even though the long distance is a pain). But if I went into school as a single person, I definitely would not have embarked on a new relationship. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
2. You are weirder than you used to be. I go home on breaks to hang out with my friends and try to relax, but I hear/watch myself being weird and socially awkward. Whatever “coolness” I once had is gone. It’s like my inner-nerd has come out, permanently.
3. Your weight is never constant. “Make a frozen pizza and get all my homework done, or workout/cook a decent meal and be unprepared for class” is a regularly occurring thought.
4. Your family and friends cannot relate to you. Unless your parents are lawyers, they do not fully comprehend how much work you have to do. My mom literally said to me “your finals are worth 100% of your grade!? Oh my goodness, go study. Bye.” Thankfully I do have extremely supportive parents and friends, but explaining how I’m graded against my classmates is like teaching a foreign language to them at times. This is probably because law school goes against nature.
5. Competitive people are the worst kinds of people. I am fortunately not in an uber competitive environment (based on horror stories I have heard from other schools), but there’s still a few in the bunch that refuse to help others, even when it won’t benefit them in anyway. I mean, really? You’re just an asshole for the fun of it? Get a life. Oh wait, you can’t. You’re in law school. I forgot.
6. Work hard, play hard has developed a whole new meaning. Translation: bust your ass with nonstop reading for weeks until your eyes hurt and then reward yourself by getting black-out drunk once or twice a month. It. Is. So. Worth. It.
7. You feel stuck. You’re not in undergrad anymore where it was acceptable to make bad choices, yet you’re still not in the “real world” working a big girl or boy job either. So where are you? I’ll tell you where: you are an adult with responsibilities like bills but you do not have an adult paycheck. Even better, on top of the $0.00 you make per year, you are driving yourself into debt. Just keep telling yourself, “it pays later”, although I’m still not fully convinced.
8. Making a new friend outside of school is your favorite activity. Friends in class are vital for law school survival, don’t get me wrong, but meeting someone new is a breath of fresh air that you just can’t stop breathing. Someone you don’t see for 5 hours straight every day and doesn’t want to discuss law school is a much-needed outlet.
9. You have attended more substance abuse assemblies than in high school. We get it, lawyers drink. Sitting through this meeting makes me want to drink more than I did before. And if you are so concerned about us developing a problem, then why does almost every school function surround around alcohol? Riddle me that, enablers.
10. Some classmates make you question the quality of legal care in America. I think this one goes without saying but this quote can summarize making friends in law school: “the odds are good, but the goods are odd.”