Finding Happiness in Chaos : The Law School Life

This blurb is submitted by Ishan Khanna, 2nd year, HNLU Raipur.

I would like to start on a rather unconventional note, warning you of my incompetence to warn you of what lies ahead in law school. I feel myself highly unmotivated to present a dissection of law school life and do not feel it is my place to do so.

Two years down the road to that shiny graduation cap, I see the trails my friends leave beside me and notice stark dissimilarities between the footprints of us all.

No two people inherit law school alike.

It has different meanings, poses different challenges, and is associated with varying aims for even the closest of friends. Thus,  for me to claim that being two years old in law school makes me possess knowledge of the challenges it may pose to you, would be injustice to you and to the column of this website I occupy!

This article is the culmination of a chain reaction formed on a breezy summer’s day in a café with an old friend.

As often is the sad custom amongst old friends, meeting after ages leaves you a little awkward with people who at one point in time probably knew everything that went on in your life. In the silence of passing moments, he suddenly asked me a random question, probably just an attempt to make interesting conversation, “So is law school life good or bad?”

My instant reaction was to form the positive word on my lips, but something stopped me. Often we talk amongst college friends and describe in detail how awesome our school lives were, even how much we miss school.

But here was a person who knew me back then, someone I probably groaned about school to, hence my answer got stuck in my throat, and instead I merely shrugged.

The moment took me two weeks back to my conversation with another friend, to whom I had said that I feel jealous of the person I was ten years back; free from the usual tensions of mundane things like money and jobs. My friend’s reply had made me think deeply. She said, “You had worries that seem small now, but were big back then. You just choose to think you were happier because all your tensions of that time seem childish now.

And now faced with the question of whether law school life is good or bad, I believe it is a choice of the way you prefer to think.

Often we recall amazing school bus cum playground cum recess moments, and think of how simple and amazing life could be, a few years back. But we choose to ignore failed maths tests, or extensive insults from teachers, or standing outside class for an hour for talking.

Similarly, if I look back upon my two years in law school, I see it peppered with ups and downs; achievements and disappointments.

What makes the main difference is what I prefer to think of on a lazy Sunday with a warm cup of coffee in hand. Is it a moot court I won, the proud memories of which I cherish, or a rainy day in Raipur (and it has all too many) of damp emotions which comes to my head?

The answer would decide how good or bad law school has been for me.

I promised not to give advice on what law school holds for you, but I still see myself making unconscious advice on the kind of attitude that’ll help you deal with any situation you find yourself in.

A walk to the canteen to forget the lost moot challenger, or the marks that you deserved and didn’t get would help you a lot more than brooding in your room as to exactly how horrible your life is. However big a STUD you may be, I assure you, there would be days when you’d feel like law school is ‘taking a toll on your life’ (as I remember myself saying during semester 4 end terms).

In such moments, often a look around you will help. The combined fears of two make an adventure; laughing with friends on the prospects of you failing in the next day’s test would make you laugh at those memories years later as well, reckless brain storming won’t. After all, laughter is what everyone wants to remember, tragedies are often buried deep under the rubble of suppressed memories.

I do not ask you to take your 5 years lightly (not at any cost should you do that), I merely advice a positive approach for all goals. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to soar high, so a couple of dips won’t kill!

Cherish the butterflies before an exam or a moot, the celebrations on hostel terraces, the amazing long walks. Delete the negative memories, just remember the lessons; getting stuck to one disappointment would make you ruin future opportunities and time (despite the so called 5 years) is something you don’t have.

With every passing moment, you’ll be living parallel lives: the friend, the prospective lawyer, the adult, the kid. They would clash, and your attitude would help you decide the best path to take, the road you’ll make for yourself.

The choices you make in your five years of law school would define the person and not only the professional that’ll walk out with that big bagful of memories and knowledge. In such circumstances, loving the small good things would do you wonders. Keep asking for more, but cherish what you have. I do not feel anyone can have a perfect life, but being proud of what you have will take you close.

Before I take your leave and stop boring you further with my thoughts coming out on (electronic) paper, I’d like you to fast-forward your life 5 years down college and think of the day you’d be having your farewell. Rest assured, you’ll walk out with a lump in your throat; the question is whether the tears would be for the good things you leave behind, or for the things you wish you had done while you had the chance…

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