My Winter Break

Helping other international students find their place at Loyola Law School

I’ve been bilingual for most of my life, having learned English and Tagalog as a child, and learned Spanish as a teenager. And if you ask me, law school feels very much like beginning a new foreign language from scratch at the age of 23, in a remarkably competitive environment.


It rewires the way you think slowly and somewhat subtly, and this transformation becomes more apparent when I visit home and am not always surrounded by my fellow law students or others in the legal profession.


The random ‘legalese’, the way my brain analyses things different immediately, how much more attentive I am while reading fiction because of months of reading casebooks; two and a half years later, I notice just how much my mind has adapted to the intensive study of law school.


Being able to go visit my home country this past winter break – one more time before I embark on my final semester and take the bar – was a worthwhile refresher on why I began law school to begin with, and also helped re-immerse myself in the other languages that faded away after months of learning the language of law school.


I wish I could talk to my 1L self now and tell her not to be so stressed about how fluent everyone else seems.


I think she’d be content to find out that the language of law school that seemed so intimidating in that moment, she would eventually learn to better comprehend and use with time and repetition, just like she learned the other three languages in her arsenal.