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What to Expect the First Day of Law School: Things they don't tell you

Monday, November 27, 2017

Your first struggle to open the faculty's heavy doors is a mere foreshadowing of tests of strength to come. You may be greeted by the aroma of instant coffee; the hero of all who dare facing lectures without a sweater or good night's sleep. Your eyes dazzle at the alcoves where thrilled peers sit sandwiched beneath notice boards beaming with faculty excitement. Although there is in fact a directory at the foyer, you will get lost if you aren't already. You might also try to decipher who, of all the persons passing by looking stern and very lawful, are your lecturers and not just older peers, but find yourself sitting next to the best of your guesses anyway.

Soon, you'll make your way to your first class; the one that will christen your crisp pages with Latin terms and scribbles from trying to keep up with trains of thought. You greet the custodian, the security guard and the faculty fish, who will all remain unbothered as your faculty life gets hectic. Is there a seat saved for you amongst your high school clique? Or will you latch onto the first fascinating accent you hear (but can't quite understand)? In this new chapter of your life, whoever you choose to surround yourself with can be the stepping-stone, or stumbling block on your way to the Bar. Wherever you sit, don't ever mistake the crevices of the theater as refuge from the limelight of participation. The mic gets to every eager learner nestled under the nose of the lecturer, just as much as those who saunter in late and crawl into the what-lef' seats. When you look around and notice that everyone is seated but you still hear a strange, amplified sound of students settling in, it's not the ghosts of those who dropped out, just your friendly neighborhood WJC joining your class via video call. From that moment, note that along with your tutorial sheets and highlighters, be sure to pack a bit of patience, because technical issues are no stranger to this union.


Your lecturer will arrive with your first gifts: course outlines and scores of slides you will try to note keenly- before discovering it's all online. There's no telling what your lecturers will be like at first glance. If you're fresh from secondary school, whatever your teachers warned about the callousness of tertiary educators is likely to be inaccurate. They do take note of consistent tardiness and incomplete assignments; they abhor when you chat during explanations; and some certainly will remember your name although there are hundreds of others to consider. Ironically, just like high school, most students seem to eventually acquire a "designated seat", so be mindful of where you plant yourself.


Despite noting every tip, joke and quote the guest speaker at orientation made, you might still be anxious about how your faculty life will unfold. You still aren't sure how course overrides work, you don't own even half a textbook and your schedule has that one class that's basically past your curfew. However you may feel, these woes are guaranteed to pass. Whether your first moments are filled with fear or excitement, they will probably be the easiest of your faculty life. In the words of your (future favourite) contract law lecturer, you shouldn't go in as dumpling and come out flour. Therefore, these first few moments are also your last as the person you were when you first entered. You are now one step closer to being a learned friend, and you should only expect great things from yourself.

Written By
MSW

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