Thursday, October 31, 2013

Testing the Waters

By Marlee, 1L

Uncertainty, precariousness, unpredictability, variability, inconsistency- these are a few words that make my Type-A personality cringe. Instead, I prefer certainty, consistency, and a plan. However, these words seem to sum up my life recently. While law school is new and exciting, it is far from anything certain, and the scariest part about starting anything new is uncertainty. Uncertainty about how to study, outline, or how I’ll ever train my body to wake up and function at 6:30 every morning. Looking around at my fellow type-A 1L’s I can tell I am not the only one trying to cope. However, immersing myself in Loyola activities has helped bring some stability into my life and has helped me adapt to what will be my new home for the next three years.

Tactic One: making friends with people in my section. So far my 1L life has been spent with the people in my section. Everyday from 8-12 we share the same classes, same breaks, and same library after-hours. Luckily, the best part about making friends in my section, is everyone is going through the same transition together. When I can’t figure out a topic, there is always someone to help. If I need to vent about a memo (I have re-written eight times, and still can’t figure out) there is someone to share my pain. And when I am spending hours upon hours studying, it is so nice to look around and see my classmates right there with me. Besides that I truly love the goofy individuals in my section, I really think it has been important to be able to learn and grow with the people experiencing the same challenges as I am. With that being said, while starting something new is scary, it’s much better to go through it with others.

Tactic Two: Joining clubs and going to events. Loyola provides endless opportunities for 1L’s to reach out to not only those in the same section, but to the whole school and alumni, as well. Every week Loyola sends out “In-Brief”, an e-newsletter informing students of upcoming events. The events range from alumni coming to speak to students on campus, to on-campus yoga, to off-campus law school events. In addition, Loyola has a wide array of clubs where students can really find their niche. While I hadn’t originally planned on joining clubs (my friend signed me up when I couldn’t make it to turf club), I couldn’t be happier. Clubs are a chance to further get involved in the great opportunities Loyola has to offer and to meet more friends, some older, who seem more than willing to give some helpful hints on making it through 1L. (More on clubs and events later).
Tactic Three: MENTORS! Along with the other perks of joining clubs, clubs offer mentors. Mentors are older students who you can meet with and who can give you their two-cents on surviving 1L. Not only do clubs offer mentors, but Loyola has a program that will pair you with older student mentors and alumni mentors. I could not stress enough how helpful these mentors have been. Beyond sending me some calming texts or hearing about their personal experiences, I have seen the love for Loyola they have. Seeing how involved the older students and alumni are and their appreciation for Loyola reinforces what a great school Loyola is and the amazing opportunities it offers.

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