Exams and Winter Break

Helping other international students find their place at Loyola Law School

My last exam ended on December 20th at 9:10pm and exactly 24 hours later I was on a plane from LAX to MNL. I brought all of my camera gear, my current read (“Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law” by Mary Roach) and my laptop to keep doing the occasional work for my Practicum when it came.

Flying home once a year is more than many Filipinos get and I’m grateful for every visit. When I go home, people jokingly call me “attorney” because it’s commonplace to refer to someone as their ‘title’, I never really understood why. But it makes me happy to see how proud my Lolo and Lola (tr: Grandpa and Grandma) are to make those jokes about me – as I am the first of their grandkids to pursue a legal education.

My Lola especially has encouraged me to pursue the law since she heard me convince my brother what his favorite color was at the age of 8. She would save newspaper clippings of Filipino law school rankings and give them to me as a teenager. Since I graduated from college during the pandemic, I’m especially excited for my family to see me graduate from law school in 2024.

The strangest thing every break has always been the sudden change from an intense exam season to the sudden relief of your last exam being over. I would frequently text my friends, despite being halfway around the world, thinking I missed something – I usually didn’t and just needed to switch off ‘exam mode’.

I’ve learned the importance of relaxing. This winter, I spent my time on my photography, enjoying time with my family, and learning about animals, given my upcoming externship with the Animal Legal Defense Fund. And of course, eating all the Filipino food I could.

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