I have finished my first year of law school. Before starting a lot of people tried to let me know that it was going to be tough. They said things like “It’s way different from any other type of schooling” and “You will cry a lot.” Those people were mostly right. (Yeah I’m not going to say they were totally right). My first year of law school was rough, but not for the reasons everyone was warning me about. Sure the academics were hard, but if you go into it thinking it’s going to be easy then you are an idiot. No, first year of law school was hard because I had to grow up.
Now this is not to say that I wasn’t “grown up” before, but, as the title of this blog suggests, I didn’t feel as though I was a full adult. Society has created an interesting in-between for people my age that is called emerging adulthood. This is the stage between graduation and whenever you become established. The millennial generation has the highest percentage of college attendance compared to previous generations, which is amazing, but also stunts some growth. In college millennials tend to stay dependent on their parents, and then when they graduate if they do not get a job they continue that dependance. I sought to stray from this pattern and wanted to be like past generations to become independent as soon as possible. So, I got a full time job, my own apartment, and ventured out on my own.
During that time I was technically independent and self sufficient, but there was still a bubble of comfort. In my bubble of comfort I was still allowed to make mistakes and figure out what kind of adult I wanted to be. Well, that bubble has has popped with the start of law school. Professionalism, time management, and my sights set toward the future has made me expedite my emergence into adulthood. Law school is considered a professional school because the people you attend with will also be the people you work and network with. You want to create a “brand” that everyone will see and trust. For me, this has been exciting and awkward because I am still young. I see other people my age going out and doing these really fun trips or wearing really trendy clothing while I stay here and wear business clothes. Finding the in-between of trendy and professional has been interesting. I want to be taken seriously for my eventual job, but I still want to dress my age. It’s actually a fun challenge.
My biggest challenge has been time management because everything I do has to be planned out. I work full time and attend school and have friends and have a podcast and write this blog. I have always been a planner, so getting everything done isn’t too hard. However, it’s the energy to do everything that is the trick. I’ve never been one to do something halfway; and I never will be. I make sure that I give everything its appropriate amount of time. I have learned to be fully devoted to school and work simultaneously. I can say no to fun even if I really want to do it because I know that I need to be responsible.
My first year of law school has shown me my limitations. Before, my limitations were still unknown because I was still in that bubble of comfort. While I could provide for myself, I never really reached a point that was beyond myself. Now, my limits are clear. With everything I balance I know where my abilities cease. I think that being an adult isn’t just being independent, but realizing in your independence where the places are in your life where you have to say “No, I can’t do that.”
“Alfred: [noticing the scars with a caring look] Know your limits, Master Wayne.
Bruce: Batman has no limits.
Alfred: Well, you do, sir.” – The Dark Knight