i used to think about going to law school all. the. time. there was the blizzard in january 1999 during which i spent three full days stuck in my kalamazoo townhouse with the nice roommate reading One L together (twice) and talking about how smart and organized and how ... awesome we'd be at law school. we dremt of proving ourselves to a mean socratic professor, all the other brilliant women we'd meet ... how exciting it would be to have a true academic challenge. i became obsessed, that winter, with law school and - for some reason i simply cannot recall - my law school. and even though it wasn't until six, seven years later that i actually started law school - my law school - i never really stopped thinking about it.
but i tell ya, i never once thought about finishing law school. i never thought about being a 2L, and the only thoughts i had about 3Ls was, gosh it sure would be nice if some brilliant 3L girl took me under her wing and showed me the way. not actually... being one. not actually ... going to a firm for the summer, clicking around dc every day in a suit and heels. not actually ... ever being a lawyer. in fact, i think i went through most of this academic year thinking i was still a 1L.
i've only very, very recently started to daydream about being a lawyer. and though i've spent much of the past year daydreaming about being a summer associate, it wasn't until the exam care package full of snacks and red bull and highlighters (b: you need another highlighter like i need another hole in my head) ... and the flurry of emails to the de facto welcome committee (gosh, s, we can't wait for you to join us in a couple weeks) (a COUPLE of WEEKS?!?!?) that it really, honestly, truly, genuinely hit me.
at some point, law school will end.
more to the point, eventually i will not be a student anymore. people, i have been in college for a decade. i'm finishing the 22nd grade here. i haven't not been a student since i was three or something. it's what i do. it's who i am. it's been my identity for ... as long as i can remember. more importantly, it's been my safety net. when i decided to switch careers, did i stop going to school and regroup for a year? noooo. of course not. i started a master's degree in history and figured after that was done, i'd have a better idea of what i should do with my life. my life, which has always been divided neatly up into bite-sized semesters. i'm pretty sure i thought the second i stopped going to school i'd end up pregnant and barefoot in some suburban ranch home.
school is basically my blankie, i guess that's what i'm saying. or the nest out of which someone is going to eventually throw my grown ass. and, look, on a day with two exams, it's not that i'm saying i am not looking forward to it being over. but there's a reason i've done it for so long. i love being a student. i really, really do.
so instead of silently griping about having two exams in one day on my way back to the law school, i'm going to be quietly relieved that this isn't the end. that we get one more year together after this, me and my old friend school. one last dance before we part ways for good. because we're not getting back together, no sirree. after next year, we're done. it's over.
i'm not gonna lie, i might even enjoy taking that exam tonight. because secretly, deep down, despite what i say or how i complain, i enjoy taking every exam.