Best of 1L times, worst of 1L times

Having been inspired by the process of “outlining” (although I’m still not sure what it is), I have written a blog post that should make up for the fact that I have been terrible about posting about law school. Here, I outline my typical day as a 1L and the “best case, worst case” scenarios. I don’t mean to imply that each day is either/or, or that they’re evenly divided. I hope I’ve had more “best case” days, but I probably couldn’t tell you. I think most are a combination of both, but I’ve definitely had one or the other.

 Activity 1.    Best case 2.    Worst case
I. Get ready for school A.  I get up: At 6:00, easily and with the help of animated woodland creatures. At 7:00, tired and a little sweaty because the radiators in my apartment are set at 1000 ᵒF.
B.   I start coffee: By grinding fresh coffee beans. By heating up what’s been in the pot since yesterday.
C.   Showering I get a shower. I skip showering to get out of the apartment on time, feel sort of gross all day.
D.  Moisturizing I moisturize. I skip it, feel sort of scaly all day.
E.   I get dressed: In something I like. In the only pair of jeans that fit and a t-shirt, feel sort of frumpy and fat all day.
F.   I eat: Something with peanut butter (e.g., mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, warm oatmeal). Nothing.
G.  Make-up I put on make-up. I skip it, feel sort of ugly all day.
H.  Teeth Brush teeth.
I.     I leave: And walk to school. “Too late” to walk, take the bus, and feel sort of lazy all day.
J.    I arrive: 30 minutes early. I look over the reading or get a cup of coffee and chat with a classmate in the Green Lounge. 1-2 minutes before class starts. The anxiety that has built up over possibly arriving late is distracting but dissipates within first 5-10 minutes of class.
II. Class A. Comprehension I understand most of what is being discussed. This is reinforced by the fact that I am able to predict two or three questions posed, answers expected, or transitions made by the professor. I understand very little of what is being discussed. The anxiety of not following the class discussion is exacerbated by each question or comment, each further reinforcing that I am not understanding. There is very little hope that I will pick up the train of thought at this point because (a) it’s always difficult to come into the middle of a conversation and (b) I continue to get further and further psyched-out. If I’m lucky, the professor will make an abrupt transition and I can get back on track.
B.   Notes My notes are well-organized and comprehensive, but I was also able to spend a good amount of time just listening and thinking. I either (a) write next to nothing or (b) write the whole time. In the former case, I will have to spend a lot of time later catching up on my own. In the latter case, I am not confident in the accuracy of what I have or if I have captured the “big picture,” and the notes are poorly organized. I will have to spend a lot of time later trying to sort them out.
C.   Comments If I commented in class, I felt like my comment was well-organized and contributed something to the discussion. If I commented in class, I feel like my answer was poorly-organized and less-than-revelatory. I spend the next thirty minutes agonizing about having wasted my classmates’ time and imagining that they (a) think that I’m stupid and/or (b) think that I’m egotistical and just wanted to hear myself talk. I vow that I will never volunteer again. I get excited about the topic and volunteer again. Repeat.
D.   Cold-call Whether I knew or didn’t know the answer, I felt like I was thoughtful and at least got a piece of what the professor was looking for. Best case, my answer was “good” or “excellent” and float through the rest of my day. I blacked out. Not sure what happened. Day’s notes in their entirety: “Got called on.” See, II. B. 2. a.
III. Lunch A.   Lunch talks I went to a great lunch talk with a healthy lunch. I went to a horrible lunch talk and spent it stressing out about how much time I was wasting when I could have been working. (I will not leave in the middle of the talk, though, or read, or surf on my laptop during the talk, because that’s sort of rude.)
B.   Working lunch I knocked out two or three errands (e.g., ordered something I needed from Amazon, booked a train ticket, scheduled maintenance, paid bills) and started working on my reading for tomorrow. I only accomplished one thing that ended up being much more complicated than I expected, and so ate up the entire time. I haven’t touched reading for tomorrow yet.
C.   Social lunch I go out to lunch with a professor and some classmates or with a friend and have a good time. I did something awkward. Spend the rest of the day agonizing about how someone thinks I’m weird.
More class.
IV. After school A.   In the library I finish up my reading and get some other class work done in the library. (a) I’m distracted and unfocused, and get very little work done, or (b) I still have a mountain of little errands to do that keep me from doing homework.
B.   At the pub or Wine Mess I tell a couple of good jokes or a funny story and have a good time with my friends. I believe that people like me. Either (a) I don’t feel like I can go and everyone has fun without me; or (b) I go and (i) feel as though I should be working, (ii) have a hard time justifying the money I’m spending, and (ii) See, III. C. 2.
C.   Foosball I lose.
V. At home A.    A cat:  Greets me at the door. Has pooped on the floor.
B.    My apartment is:  Clean. Dirty.
C.    The dishes are: Done. Piled up in the sink.
D.    Clothes are: In the hamper. All over my apartment and covered in cat hair.
E.     Homework is: Already done, so I get ahead by working on other assignments. I will finish working around 8:00. Just getting started. I will either finish (a) extremely late or (b) by deciding that I can’t do it and closing my book, opting instead to surf aimlessly around on the internet.
F.     For dinner, I have: Something healthy that I’ve made. Something I found in the back of the fridge or in the bottom of my backpack.
G.   Leisure time I watch an episode of something on Netflix and work on the scarf I’m knitting. I watch a dozen episodes of something on Netflix while eating garbage and feel worse and worse about all the time I’m wasting.
VI. Go to bed A.    Teeth Brush teeth and floss. Skip it.
B.    Face Wash and moisturize. Skip it.
C.    Contacts Remove. Skip it.
  D.    Vitamins Take vitamins. Skip it.
E.     Reading Read a chapter of a book in bed. Skip it.
F.     Bedtime 10:00. After midnight.
VII. Misc. A.      I lose: Nothing. One or all of the following: (i) my keys; (ii) my phone; (iii) my debit card; (iv) cash; (v) my Wine Mess card; (vi) my i.d., (vii) other.
B.    Family I’ve spoken on the phone with at least one member of my family this week. I have not.
C.    Significant other I’ve spoken with my significant other in the past two or three days. My anxiety manifests in some form of argument or paranoia and I avoid talking to my significant other for two or three days.
D.    Working out I haven’t run since I moved to Chicago, but I’ve been busy. I feel guilty about only having put on workout clothes on laundry day to run to the grocery store. I put on some sweatpants, which makes me more comfortable and miserable.
E.     Writing I’ve written a blog post recently. Family and friends have shared in on Facebook and been really supportive. I haven’t written in weeks and will never have time again.
F.       Someone comments innocently on how they’re approaching an assignment or their study schedule I’m not worried if someone is in the library longer or has a different way of doing things. Everyone is different and I’m confident in my own abilities. I am going to fail out of law school.

One thought on “Best of 1L times, worst of 1L times

  1. Wow, who knew Beck was so mortal? You’re doing just fine, darling girl. It also looks like you have the concept of outlining down perfectly. Try not to let the anxiety beast get you – everyone else is fighting it too.

    I can’t hardly wait to see you! Can we all agree to wear sweatpants to Thanksgiving? I’m Bar Review fat. I will try to wash my hair and brush my teeth.

    Thank you for writing, love! See you Friday…xx


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