Vol 12, Issue 12
Last weekend I received my acceptance for exchange. This means that within two weeks I will have spent my last week at MLS and within just over a month I will hand in my last ever assignment. The feeling on receiving this letter was for the most part pretty standard; happiness at being able to ask the government to support me while I travel, nervousness at leaving the city that has been my home for 6 years perhaps forever and surprisingly, overwhelming relief.
I will be the first to admit that I have a complicated history with the law school. While I have met inspirational people and formed some strong friendships I have also faced many challenges, some expected and some not. I didn’t aim to end up here, I’ve battled to be able to study and work enough to support myself, I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety and have at times felt caged in and claustrophobic as soon as those glass doors slide shut.
I don’t think I’m the only one. Not everyone fits in here (to which the weekly articles in De Minimis can attest) but it’s more complicated than that. I wouldn’t consider myself as being on the outer of MLS and don’t pretend to speak for some sort of Breakfast Club-esque group of misfits. However, towards the end of semester I have noticed an increased amount of nostalgia amongst the third years; year book, valedictory and each social event taking on new meaning as it may be ‘the last’. This growing nostalgia has made me reflect on my time here and I’m still pretty unsure of the outcome.
In first year everything was new, large groups of LMRs would hang out in the sunshine and each class felt one inspirational teacher away from a ‘Captain My Captain’ moment. By second year the law school crack starts to wear off, I realised that I didn’t have to attend every event, in fact, it was better for my mental health not to. Anxieties get diagnosed, competition creeps in and the omnipresent idea of networking may make you question if you have friends or just a carefully constructed house of contacts.
Third year comes along, everyone gets busy. If you’ve got a strong group of friends this solidifies, otherwise it becomes a long list of ‘we should catch up’s. Life shifts drastically to what you’re doing outside of the law school, what are your plans for the future, where you got (or didn’t get) a grad position. If you feel like you just got the hang of the internal goings-on you need to forget that. Don’t worry, you won’t really have time to remember. It is, quite honestly, exhausting.
It was exhausting from day one and there has been no real break. I found myself withdrawing more and more to things outside MLS, people who have no idea what a top-tier firm is and could not care less.
I look at the people I know who have continued to involve themselves with the Law School with genuine admiration. I have experienced enough here to listen to those who tell me they have thoroughly enjoyed their time with complete belief.
And therein lies the complication. I am extremely grateful to the law school, my teachers and my peers, I have shared in experiences here that have helped me grow and question myself as I did so. And yet, answering yearbook questions about ‘my favourite memory of MLS’, sugar coating the very real, very challenging issues that I faced during my time here made me feel like a sham.
Our emotional connection to any place is complicated and nuanced. So If you ever feel as if you are missing something by not getting a rush of sentimentality when you look towards Pelham Street, you are not alone.
As for me, will I look back on these three years and fondly remember my time? The jury’s still out on that one.
Abby Cone is a third-year JD student and the reluctant 2017 De Minimis sub-editor
More articles like this:
The rest of this issue (:O)