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The title says it all, folks. I’m burnt. Spent. Doneskis. Going into retirement. Missed the Hall of Fame by a few votes and am now resigning myself to a quiet life of reading Town & Country and deep-sea fishing. The first two years of law school coupled with summer classes and internships have completely depleted my health, bank account, and motivation, but least I still have my sense of humor.
There’s this really adorable saying that is oft’ used during law school: “The first year – they scare you to death. The second year – they work you to death. The third year – they bore you to death.” At first, I thought this little ditty was just some bullshit phrase lawyers liked to spout off, but I must admit, my experience has tragically mirrored that exact description.
The first year was (obviously) brutal, as one might naturally expect. I was sure my professors were out to destroy me in the most mentally-harmful of ways. I suffered through every class biting my nails and sweating from pure anxiety. Had you placed a bit of graphite between my ass cheeks, I can guarantee you that it would have been transformed into a flawless diamond by spring semester.
The sad truth is that the Scaries I experienced during my first year didn’t hold a candle to the horrors that awaited me during the second year. When 1L was complete, I was sure that I had just descended straight into the pits of Hell and somehow lived to tell the tale. Soon, I learned that I had only made it to Dante’s Fifth Circle, and that my torture was far from over.
Upon the commencement of 2L, I plunged into a year wrought with heinous law school drama (who knew that law students have a bad habit of sleeping with each other?), a never-ending to-do list, and a level of sleep deprivation unlike anything I had ever experienced. I was at what some would call my “wit’s end.” But yet again, history repeated itself: I managed to survive, if with only my self-deprecating jokes intact. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my GPA.
Summer began, and I immediately started an internship while I continued to take classes. By August, I was actually looking forward to getting back in the classroom, if only to release me from the prison that was my broom-closet-sized office for the past three months.
But upon the realization that I would soon be back within the hallowed halls of my law school, once again saddled with responsibilities and obligations, I discovered something. An enlightenment of sorts. An internal paradigm shift.
After living in a perpetual state of distress for the past two years, I have somehow reached a state of what I can only describe as pure apathy. I no longer fear the reprimands of my professors for being unprepared during a cold-call. I have lowered the standards of my own academic performance and capabilities to that of a realistic level. With one last lap around the scholarly sun ahead of me, I refuse to leave any stone unturned. I will attend every happy hour. I will hit the links. I will drink at the lake on the weekends instead of staying home to wallow in self-pity and drown in outlines and Chinese food delivery. I will take an unnecessary amount of naps. I will watch every college football game on planet earth. I fear nothing and no one. C’s get JD’s.
I ordered my textbooks for this semester approximately 3 days before classes began, putting all my faith in the Bezos gods over at Amazon Prime. As luck would have it, I was able to get all but one subject’s reading requirements before that first day.
I woke up early on Monday, the first day of class, in order to get showered and dressed. I also needed to skim my first week assignments and syllabi for the first time. At 8:30 a.m., I spent precious minutes I should have used for reading, to snag a salted cold foam cold brew from the local Starbucks. At 8:55 a.m., I was shooting finger guns at my buddies in the hallway, pulling off my sunglasses as I stepped into class, and sliding into the seat that a pal had saved for me. I’d finally reached the top of the food chain. It was time to get my learn on.
I survived the uneventful first day unscathed but was still in a bit of a tight spot. The class I didn’t have the books for was the following day. I decided I would pay the bookstore a visit in-between classes and get myself sorted out before the class. This was a mistake.
Tuesday afternoon rolled around, and I was t-minus 2.5 hours from the first meeting of this particular class. I decided it was probably a good idea to finally give the first-week assignment a quick once-over. To my dismay, I discovered that not only was the first reading approximately 75 pages long (an actual eternity when reading case law), but that I would also need to be prepared to present an opening statement over a case file that I had neither read nor had in my possession. As if that wasn’t disturbing enough, to top it all off, there was a strict absence policy. By strict, I mean that you couldn’t miss a single class. Not a one.
No further questions, Your Honor.
Your girl logged right in to the enrollment database and dropped that sucker like a hot potato. If there’s one thing I need in this law school life, it’s a flexible absence policy. I love skipping class. Really live for it. I use all of my permitted absences every single semester, strategically and intentionally. That particular class procedure simply wasn’t conducive to my learning lifestyle.
So, long story short: I dropped a class two hours before it started because I wouldn’t be able to skip it, ever, and was going to have to read 75 pages worth of legalese in the next hour and a half. I just couldn’t do it.
As fate would have it, I wound up enrolling in some other random class that all of my buddies were already taking, because one single seat had opened up. That’s called luck, ladies and gentlemen. I had missed the first day of class the previous day, but upon emailing the professor, was reassured that it was no biggie. I went to the bookstore that afternoon, stood in a line of beaming and hopeful undergrads for a full 45 minutes, watched Post Malone emergency-land his private jet on Facebook Live, and carried on living my life.
That same night, I went to a Rainbow Kitten Surprise concert instead of reading and preparing for class. I took my first absence that next morning out of necessity, thanks to few-too-many snoozes on the alarm and a decent PBR hangover. I made it to my other class, and later that afternoon, I started my first golf lessons. The next afternoon, I took 120 swings at the local driving range in the sunshine while classic rock played in my headphones. It’s called work-life balance.
Needless to say, I continued my commitment to extracurriculars by spending the weekend at the lake. I left my laptop, books, and backpack at home. Because I’m a creature of habit, I didn’t do today’s reading assignments until 30 minutes before class started. I’ve been called on multiple times, somehow managed to bullshit my way through every single one, and have been able to leave class with (what remains of) my dignity still intact.
I’ve got spin classes, golf lessons, a Fantasy Football draft, an eyelash-extension appointment, and the opening OU football game on the docket for this week. I guess I’ll try to fit attending classes in there, somewhere.
3L is here, and I am absolutely mailing it in. Everyone knows that the real deals get done on the course, anyway. If you need me, I’ll be at the clubhouse, pretending I know the difference between a driver and a sand wedge. Bar exam, be damned..