Monday, October 17, 2011

My First Month of Law School - Summer's Over, New Beginnings, Prepping For Life-Changing Decisions

My dear loyal readers,

I've neglected you.

What can I say? I'm sorry. What do I owe you? A hug? A drink? A nice cup of steaming hot cocoa the next time I see your lovely faces? As much as I loved blogging regularly this past year, life as we know it caught up to me this summer. I'm sorry. C'est la vie.

Clearly, my last blog post was ages ago. Three months ago to be exact. A lot has changed in the last few months of this grad life of mine - it was a life-changing summer, to be sure. I last updated all of you whilst frantic on the floor of my home in Kingston, Ontario, surrounded by boxes and garbage bags, packing up my life as a Masters student at Queen's University. And, side note, I ended up having to leave some furniture behind because I had too much crap to move back home. How did I end up moving more stuff back home than I brought to Kingston?

Curses. We should have hired a U-Haul. Ah, summer memories.

These days, my life at Queen's seems like an alternate reality. My year in Kingston feels, honestly, like a distant memory these days. Running to class, grading essays, slaving over TA prep work, reading, researching, reading, and more reading. It just feels like so long ago. It's funny how time flies by so quickly and life as we know it changes so drastically with every new decision we make.

And, yes, decisions. I made them. Boy, did I make them. Remember how you left me last? Agonizing over which school to go to? It was a tumultuous summer deciding which law school to inevitably accept. And, fast forward over the tears, the panic, the reservations that plagued me over July and August, I'm here - right now, I'm thousands of miles away from Mississauga, from Toronto, from my grad life in Kingston.

Hundreds of thousands of miles away in jolly old England.

Why England, you ask? Why not the US schools I agonized over for so long? That's a blog post for another day.

For now, I'm just glad I've decided to start blogging again. Because, well, what can I say? I've missed you all! i'm not going to lie and say I can blog regularly this year. But I will say that I'll try to regularly blog. How many of us can document their years of law school on a blog like this? I'd like to keep it up, as a compilation of memories, if nothing else.


So, yes, in the last few weeks before the start of school, I was in a state of panic. The weeks I spent getting my visa, purchasing all the items I needed for a trans-continental move, saying goodbye to friends, family, and loved ones. Booking my flight, packing my life away in several suitcases (do you KNOW how much it hurts to leave your precious wardrobe at home?!). And, basically, panicking for no reason. Because trans-continental moves do that to you.

Honestly, you cannot imagine my state of mind the last couple of months before this move. I was scared out of my mind. Moving to a US law school wouldn't have been as scary, I admit. It's just across the border. I could run home whenever I wanted. But, here, across that pond they call the Atlantic Ocean, I can't run home. I'm all by myself.

I was petrified to move to another country. To another continent when I've lived in Canada most of my life. And yet, I'll admit that it's an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. The life experience of living in Europe for a couple of years is indescribable - if moving away to Kingston did something for my independence, a move to Europe could sure as heck do wonders to a mommy's girl like me.

Well, after getting my visa, packing, flying, stopping over in Brussels for the longest layover known to man, I'm here. Safe, sound, if not a little home-sick, thrown off by culture shock, and missing the comforts of Canada. Because seriously, the minute I land in Toronto for Christmas, I'm heading over to the nearest Tim Horton's to nurse a beloved iced capp.

And, oh, believe me. You wouldn't think the British were capable of giving you culture shock. But they are. It takes awhile adjusting to another country - even if they also speak English. But that's a blog post for another day.


Okay, so I know I have a tendency to gush over how much I loooove everything (See: posts on my first day of my Masters program, etcetera etcetera).

So, it shouldn't be a surprise to read about how much I've loved and enjoyed my first month here. My first month as a law student has been nothing short of interesting. Friends have told me how much they hated Contract Law. But, you know what? I actually love it. I don't mind running home on a Friday night to slave over problem cases about Offer and Acceptance.

That isn't sarcasm.

And, hey, even if I don't understand Consideration just yet - I don't mind slaving over the 100 page chapter about it.

That isn't sarcasm either.

Don't give me a lecture about how boring this stuff is. You put that away! I love it. And I'm glad I'm learning it. There's nothing more amazing than living something you've always dreamed of.

Mind you, it's a crapload of work. My sleeping habits are nothing to be desired. I'm pretty sure I need to purchase concealer to hide the bags under my eyes. This first month of law school has worked me harder than the first three months of my Masters program. But, I enjoy it. And that's what matters, yea? The hard work - it'll be worth it in the end. And believe me, it's a LOT OF WORK.

If there's anything I can say right now, it's this: everything happens for a reason. And this transcontinental move to Europe is something I hardly regret. I'm enjoying law school more than I could have imagined.

Although, side note. Law school also breeds competition. And there's nothing worse than having to watch your back around your peers. But unfortunately, you'll find that people may will belittle you, your qualifications, and your education for the sake of looking better than you.

Law school is great. But, you need to be careful. Take my advice. I've seen it. And it's only Week 4. Unfortunately, that's the truth.

Anyway, aside from that negative note, I love it here. I love the friends I've made, and I'm enjoying school. It's funny how much my grad life has changed this past year. We're growing up, we're making decisions. We're changing careers, we've left for different schools.

Enjoy your life-changing decisions as you live them, my friends. Every minute is something to treasure!

With all my love,

Your resident grad-life-blogger-who-started-to-blog-again-woot!

"I chose to go to law school because I thought that someday, somehow I'd make a difference."
- Christopher Darden

"Unless it's extraordinary love, it's a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldnt be one of them."

"It's my favourite class to teach. Usually, someone cries."
- Civil Rights Litigation Professor


  1. Welcome back to the blogosphere! (Am I doing it right?) I'm still amazed at how you can type up these things in a matter of 15-20 minutes when it would take the average Joe probably an hour and half to write out a coherent post that actually flows well. Just remember to keep up the good work and do your best. It's worth it in the end.

  2. ^ what Tim said! And Skype date next week? I sense a whole bunch of stories coming my way...

  3. I love your blog Barbara, and am praying you don't put me in the competitive rank?!! Can be hard in a 50 minute seminar, when everyone has questions, not to give the impression of competitiveness when actually you're just trying to explore some questions you have. Perhaps we need to campaign for longer seminars and/or smaller groups! Ps, would love to chat about politics with you - I am a complete newbie, psychology hasnt prepared me for this at all....... Angela x

  4. Tim & Lenita - I love you both!

    Angela - Thank you!!! :) I would love to talk about politics with you! Although unfortunately, European politics is foreign to me :( I only ever studied Canadian and Asian politics. Let's get together one day though, especially to go over things we learn in class! I feel like those lectures go so fast that we hardly get a chance to breathe, let alone understand what ESTOPPEL is hahaha (I can't believe he only did one lecture on it!). And haha, no no, I don't put you in the competitive rank! It's just something I've generally observed. But I suppose competitiveness is everywhere - I shouldn't be so surprised. It shouldn't stop us from helping each other out though :D So getting together and reviewing things would most definitely be helpful! That sounds great! You're right, the seminars are way too short :( (Although I'll admit, Public Law seminars always feel like it's dragging along....haha). Hope you're having a great day!! :)