The well-knit campus of NLS is small yet accommodative. Not all classrooms are big or pretty but they sure are well equipped. We do have the air-conditioning facility, which we hardly ever use (Merci, Bengaluru weather!). The three-floored library is a saviour in times of moot! It is actually impressive and remains open till 3 am. It has turned out to be a decent socializing place as well. You can run into any batch mate or senior and discuss the readings for tomorrow, go on a rant about how boring a particular subject is, how engaging some lectures are, how you hate some people more than the mess food, etc. until the librarian starts giving stern looks. People then take the conversations and debates either to the Library Park or ‘Chetta’- the on campus food joint/bakery that remains open until midnight. The library is usually crowded during the project submission week and moot rounds.
First two weeks in law school pass in the blink of an eye. For the first week, the day starts with a morning bath, breakfast followed by four hours of classes till 1:30 pm. Gradually, one starts to pick up the two most required exercises amongst morning bath, breakfast and attendance. The maths you’d have studied for CLAT will only be used in calculating the number of hours you can afford to miss without losing marks and without touching the dreaded 75% mandatory attendance status. I wasn’t shocked when the guy beside me came to the class with toothbrush and toothpaste. Some even bring a tongue cleaner. All the grooming is to be done in the first break when the attendance is at stake. This is just one side of the story, a few of my friends manage to wake up early (I have no clue how) and go to the gym or for the morning walk, go jogging, do yoga and read newspaper in the morning itself.
The campus has a football field where we often play cricket, a basketball court where we have played hockey. Not just sports, the court has witnessed many other things such as chilling at night, playing loud music followed by a warning, the next day, from the faculty quarters. This is just to mention a few. Trust me, it has witnesses a lot more! The play areas are used the most during ‘Spiritus’- annual sports fest, and ‘Strawberry Fields’ or ‘SF’- annual rock fest; both, hosted by NLS in August and December/January, respectively. Those are the times when the college interacts. Participating and volunteering to help organize these events makes the college a merry place. You get to come out of your hostel rooms and engage in activities other than reading or sleeping. The events are great at law School and so are the after-parties. The majority believes in ‘work hard, party harder’. Lucky for us, Bengaluru is a great place to go pub hopping.
The University dates back to August 29, 1987. Ring a bell? No?
Hint: It’s 2017, guys! The hostels are not ‘all-fancy and shizz’. Privations of living in a hostel include random insects attack (the campus is in wilderness), unpalatable mess food (unless there is chocolate ice-cream), no hot water at times. But the benefits overdo these costs. Midnight hunger strikes and you are bound to knock the room having induction and refrigerator. Taken ill, all you have to do is ask on the hostel WhatsApp group for a medicine, there’s always a doctor-parents’ kid. You even get a lemon or curd before the class hours :p are in a habit of promptly informing the fellow residents if a dog, monkey or even a rat is sighted on the corridor. There are occasional hostel terrace parties. Hostels for first year boys and girls are separate from the rest and chit picking decides the roommates. Second year onwards you get to choose your own roommate(s) and are allotted new (older!) hostels. Boys have triple occupancy rooms. They are ‘T’ shaped, each ray of the T forms one cubicle. Girls have an option of choosing between double or triple occupancy rooms.
Your rank remains your identity for the first few weeks then the GPA dictates the number game. The senior-junior dynamics at college is the thing I can boast about after the college Library. We have a very supportive system of mentorship. Each newbie has multiple mentors. There are rank, roll and cubie parents (the persons from the previous batch who had the same rank, roll number and room last year, respectively). A welcoming rank family is a comforting thing to happen to a first year. Some rank families are pretty close (and they can’t stop bragging about it). The Student Bar Association (SBA) also assigns a mentor to each first year to make her/him adjust to the law school environment. Oh! And then there are treats coming from all these seniors.
We are prone to use decorative terms and hence there’s no speck of ‘ragging’. Mere ‘Positive Interaction’ happens with the juniors. Different people have different experiences with respect to this but for none of them this interaction is severe or harsh. Infact, many start talking terms with the seniors. If any individual feels uncomfortable, s/he is free to walk away. No questions asked. Super seniors, commonly called alumni, get to interact us through credit courses, conferences and talks organized by various committees. Internships with the alumni have also been fruitful in the opinion of many.
The law school has a different aroma and it is amazing. This place in itself is kind of a nation. The people are from many distant places. There is diversity. There is freedom of speech in reality. It is liberal. SBA even has its very own constitution. This is a great country for one to migrate. It is an appealing place. Once here you’d realise that, in law school, learning begins from 8:50 am till forever!
Making it to Law School and making it through Law School are two very different endeavors. Here we are but our choices determine where we go. Jessup, Rhodes and CV conundrum boost a few, some don’t give a damn. Some identify their calling, some do not even hear their alarm. Basically, all are doing their time here. Approaches might differ but one thing changes for sure, perspective. The five years of Law School are bound to change a person and the perspective. We ‘decode’ ourselves. NLS has a rigorous trimester system, our heads get heated up typing 5000 words research papers, readings take a toll on us but soon the trimester gets over and we go on a break! We are under pressure of 4 papers, 8 exams every three months but alike me all of us have sailed through the trimesters. No doubt there is pressure but you do witness perseverance. It sucks here but we eventually learn to love it!
We’d like to thank Anushree Jain (Batch of 2020, National Law School of India University, Bengaluru) for taking out time from her busy schedule and sharing her experiences.
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