I talk to my friends and family, ask them how their day is going, joke about how none of this is ever going to end and we will never see each other. Then comes that inevitable question: How’s law school, btw? This is me trying to answer it.
Content warning: Extreme cringe (My memes are not very dank😔)
CLAT. AILET. SLAT. LSAT.
Long ago the four nations lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when the consortium nation attacked us with a pattern overhaul in November 2019. And nothing has been the same since.
But the syllabus change was only the beginning.
Amidst all the confusion and chaos of surviving the 12th grade and trying to get into a good law school came COVID-19. If things were bad before, it was bad on steroids now.
Surviving multiple lockdowns and exam postponements, preparing for and writing a brand-new limited edition (and futile) NLAT, writing all the other bazillion entrance tests – all while trying to stay sane amidst a global pandemic was, to put it in simple terms, NOT easy.
But we’re all past that now. Some (like me), got into NLUs. Some got into other amazing law colleges. Some took a much-needed gap year and others said Bella ciao to law (at least for now).
And then the class links started coming in and I became Jared, 19 because I forgot how to read. (See this if you don’t know Jared).
I haven’t enjoyed my law school experience, but others should have…right? So I asked my friends how they felt about it and here are their answers. I now realize this is transforming into a Buzzfeed “saddest tweets by law students” article but it is what it is.
What My Friends Had to Say
If the above tweets don’t aptly summarize what my law school life has been like, I don’t know what does!
I always wonder when it all went wrong. Probably on the first day when I woke up half an hour late and attended the orientation in bed with my eyes half-closed.
But the very sad fact is that I did not feel excited about starting law school. I had been slaving away for more than a year trying to get into a good University but now that I was there, I felt…empty!
It was supposed to be my main character moment. Dior in hand I’d waltz into the class with ‘Gulabi Aankhen’ playing in the background. Can I afford Dior? No. Do I know what comes after ‘Gulabi Aankhen jo meine dekhein’? Also no. But that’s how it was supposed to happen.
Instead, it turned into seeing faceless names in the participant list of a not very user-friendly video calling software. “It’s just because it’s the beginning”, she tried to convince herself. But oh how wrong she was.
The truncated semester and the alien teaching medium made what should have been interactive and engaging discussions into long monologues with 70 or so barely awake participants (out of a class of 200) listening with a mouthful of cornflakes. And along with the classes and the heavy syllabi came an avalanche of submissions and deadlines. Like someone once said, deadlines are like the proverbial albatross around our collective necks! The 8-hour open textbook exams, my abysmal moot rank and the constant feeling of failure made my already deteriorating mental health worse.
Especially for someone like me who heavily relied on extracurriculars to cope up with academics, the complete lack of the same has left me feeling haunted with ghosts of activities past. All the opportunities, friendships and relationships that could have been, exist as empty voids in me- lost pieces of a puzzle.
And there is the omnipresent imposter syndrome that haunts me every day. Am I good enough for law school? What if Law isn’t for me?
But how can I be an accurate judge when I have only experienced the worst of law school and none of the good parts?
And I can’t really drop out now; I’ve already made law school my entire personality.
But it’s not all rain and shadows either. Some parts of law school have been nice too! The comfort of attending class from bed or in the shower is exquisite. I may not be learning anything, but cat videos during class? GOOD. While I have no idea what most of my classmates look like, the infinite amount of sticker packs and memes that I have accumulated over the year is extraordinary. The sense of solidarity of my class as we come together as one to answer that one Google form test is one feeling I will always cherish. It is always ‘Our exam’.
But these ‘pros’ come from a place of privilege. That of having quality internet, a happy family, a room for myself and more. But even with all these privileges, the mental toll that classes have had on me is significant. I am here writing this, just like all my other assignments, after a couple of breakdowns and several hours of doom scrolling. Deadlines, exams, teachers and the administration continue to be foes for many of us. I feel like I am fighting a losing battle and the main enemy is not the pandemic but the degree I may never get!
But Pandora’s box has been opened and COVID-19 has escaped, and all that’s left at the bottom is the tiny sliver of hope that rattles the loudest. And with this hope in my heart and an eyelash on my hand I wish for one too many things:
I wish for cool nights on the campus with friends whose laughter I have heard only through earphones.
I wish for a vaccination slot with an easy to enter captcha.
I wish that Jindal Global Law School would stop sending me emails even when I’ve already blocked them.
I wish for the internship application I sent to be accepted.
I wish for hyperlinks to become the only accepted form of citation. No, actually scratch that. Petition to make ‘Trust me on this, I wrote it at 2 AM’ the only acceptable form of citation.
For all I can do right now, is wish.
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