Friday, March 8, 2019

My 2L Winter Break

Winter break is, for the law student, the most wonderful time of the year. Summer is obviously longer, but that’s when you’re supposed to have an internship lined up. Those can be just as stressful – if not more! – than school. In the internship I took after my 1L year, I was constantly staying late, eating lunch at my desk, and putting in extra work every day. The attorneys were so impressive to me, and I wanted them to be impressed by me, too.

Winter break is nothing like that. Of course, the exam period leading up to break is pure intensity, a three-week period during which I really did nothing but study and take exams. But once that last exam is over, the vista of four-weeks of no-strings-attached free time spread out before me, with all its uncharted R&R possibilities.

I made the most of this opportunity. I spent two-and-a-half weeks in Colorado with my parents – we saw a play, a couple of movies, and, of course, exchanged presents on Christmas morning. (My favorite gift was a couple of nice new ties – man, how your priorities change in law school.) I burned through The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which I read for the Dean’s Book Club, a small discussion group on campus with Dean Waterstone. I was gripped by it. It erased all the fatigue I had built up around reading endless Supreme Court cases.

After that, I spent even more time with family – this time, with my girlfriend’s family, who reside in beautiful central North Carolina. There was lots of good Southern food, long walks, and more movies. It was, in every way, the complete opposite of law school exams.

I thought about law school almost never during break. I did work on a project with a professor, but it was a passion project – the sort of thing I’d be delighted to do professionally once I pass the bar. By the time the four weeks of winter were over, I was excited to come back to school, and looking forward to my classes. I’m still riding the burst of energy– remembering how lucky I am that I get to learn full-time, and grateful for the professors who keep it all interesting and engaging.

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