1L vs Freshman Cage Match
Last week in the Stuart dining hall, while I was chatting with a section mate and sipping a cup of pseudo-Peets coffee (it may say Peets on the tin, but it tastes like charred wood), a freshman collided with me and hot coffee spilled all over my white blouse. My favorite, most expensive white blouse. My immediate (though unvoiced) reactions were along the lines of, “OMG IDIOT FRESHMAN” and “WHAT KIND OF COFFEE LID JUST FALLS OFF? RES IPSA!!” but the freshman’s quick apology and my section mate’s utter calmness in the face of disaster persuaded me that these feelings should remain unvoiced. I made do with a buttoned cardigan for the rest of the day, yet another 1L victim of freshman terror.
Life can become slightly more stressful when you share a campus with the eighteen-year-olds that the Chestnut Hill campus was only too glad to house in Newton.
The law students and freshmen somehow manage to exist on the same campus while acknowledging each other as little as possible, delicately negotiating territory and managing to live in our own separate worlds. But sometimes we are forcibly thrown together – especially in Stuart.
One of the first things I noticed during my first week at BC Law was the crowded, noisy lunch hour. The dining hall would not be big enough if it only served the freshmen, and it would not be big enough if it only served the law students. When it attempts to serve both freshmen and law students, white blouses get ruined everywhere. To give the eighteen-year-olds credit, everyone tries to maintain a façade of civilization even when we are jealously guarding microwaves, crowding around the free condiments, and being forced to share tables with strangers.
But the din can be distracting when you are a 1L who is trying to eat and quickly finish the reading for your next class. It’s particularly distracting when the gaggle of freshmen next to you are reliving last night’s drunken revelry while you resentfully remember your exciting evening with your Property casebook and Glannon’s E&E.
And I love the looks that 1Ls exchange when we overhear freshmen moan about their sociology essays and pop quizzes, their traumatic attempts to do laundry on their own, and my favorite freshman remark of all time: “Hey, did you see what Snooki tweeted today? Her tweets are actually really interesting.” Hand to God, you cannot make this stuff up.
In all fairness, I can only imagine some of the thoughts that go through the typical freshman’s head when they see our annoyed faces. If only they knew why! While the freshmen flounce about campus glorying in their newfound freedom and the excitement of COLLEGE OMG, 1Ls are constantly aware of the exams that will decide our futures, even those among us who thought law school would be College 2.0. And although law school is surprisingly a lot of fun, 1Ls are not preparing for exams in Basket Weaving 101.
However! There is something that us 1Ls can look forward to. After 1L year we’ll probably stop caring about law school as The Job Search begins, which means the freshmen probably won’t appear on our radar anymore, which means…we can look forward to trading one source of stress for another, scarier source of stress? Yes, this is optimism in Law School Land.