CLAT done, results out, allotment list released. The path is all set for you all to take on the world ahead of you, my budding lawyers! The roller coaster ride of emotions that you all must be going through is difficult to put into words, I know. Exactly two years back I went through the same and it still gives me goosebumps to reflect upon the adrenaline rush I felt before moving to college. Before you board your flight to your dream college, here are some safety instructions or I should say some essential tips which I am hoping will help you to ace law school better.
So fasten your seatbelts and prepare yourself for the most adventurous journey of your life because a new chapter of your life is about to begin which will open for you a chamber of opportunities, challenges, memories and most importantly some lifelong lessons. I am sure by far you all must have had done your basic research about what college life entails like what’s the location of the college, how is the food in the mess, which are the places to hang out nearby etc. etc. and I am sure forming a WhatsApp group of your potential batchmates must be done by now. So let us have a glimpse of things you might not know about.
Let me tell you the first month might turn out to be a shocker for you(this is not to scare you I promise but to give you a glimpse) Reactions ranging from “Oh, I love this place!” to “Oh, I want to run away” to “Oh, I don’t know what’s happening” can switch really fast. It largely, in fact, entirely depends on how you take this change. The one mistake quite a lot of you will happen to make is getting complacent after getting to law school and expecting a celebrity treatment because you cleared a national level exam,it’s a huge deal after all but you will get a reality check when you understand that there are many others who have cleared the exam just like you and have been toppers in their respective states so calm down kid, there is a long way ahead.
In the first month apart from the excitement to know your college and college mates, there will be a wave of self-doubting moments wondering why is everyone around so smart or do I even deserve to be here among many other questions that you will introspect over. That’s a phase that will soon pass so don’t let those self-doubts cripple your ability to work hard. Take this pressure in your stride with positivity, let this bring out the best in you. You have to survive through the pressure, not succumb to it. No matter how it appears on the outside everyone is going through the same set of emotions more or less, so most importantly reach out to people if the pressure seems too intimidating to surmount because help comes to those who ask for it.
In the first place, there could be a feeling of extreme joy to get the absolute freedom to do whatever you want, the way you want, nobody to answer to but the truth is living away from your family places greater responsibility on you because now you can’t run to your parents for everything. You will have to learn to tackle your problems by yourself. You wouldn’t have your mom to fix things for you every time you mess up something. You will have to learn it on your own and once you learn it, trust me it is going to be the most liberating feeling in the world and I know this sounds daunting now but you would learn everything with time so don’t go frantic if you burn your shirt while ironing or forget to wash your clothes for weeks, it happens. It happens because you would be out of your comfort zone all of a sudden expected to do things you never did but instead of cribbing about everything, help yourself evolve as a person.
Go ahead make friends, even if you are that introvert kind, make efforts because if there is someone who will help you get through every high and low, it will be your friends. You would make friends who will stay with you through the bunking classes spree, binge watching TV series, cooking the midnight Maggie and feeding you and through those cramming sessions a night before the exams. Also, demolish the preconceived notions you might have about people hailing from certain places and the strict policy of making friends only from your region. This will never help you grow and you might miss out on having a great friend from some other part of the country. That’s one of the best parts of law school that it gives you massive exposure to different kinds of people, ideas, perspectives and diverse experience, so cherish it. Also, don’t worry if the friends you make in the first week of college with whom you might upload pictures with the caption “Friends forever” and so on don’t remain your friends beyond the first month or the first semester. Again don’t get disheartened, this will help you choose your friends better next time.
Never fear to speak up for what you think is right even if your’s is the dissenting voice. Don’t try too hard to be a part of the mainstream culture by trying extremely hard to fit in. It’s completely fine if you don’t like hanging out or partying or doing things that everyone else is doing but also don’t judge others who might like doing those things. All of us are different so you must learn to appreciate it.
Most importantly even if you forget the above-mentioned things, don’t let the excitement fade, the excitement that you enter law school with, the sparkle of curiosity in your passion for taking on the world. Always remember how badly you wanted to be here when you were preparing for CLAT, the numerous sleepless nights, countless mocks and an immense amount of hard work has gone into helping you reach where you are, so please don’t take all this for granted. Also, a small message to all those who despite having worked hard relentlessly couldn’t make it to their dream college, don’t ever think of yourself as a loser regardless of what others around you tell you..You are a winner, you know why? Because you tried your best, you decided to compete with thousands of other students in an exam which is highly unpredictable .And those who try can never be losers so take up the imminent journey of law school with utmost passion and zeal. All the best.
We’d like to thank Srija Kumar (Batch 2020, NALSAR) for taking out time from her busy schedule and sharing her experiences.
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