Breathe Again

Posted in Law School on Aug 28, 2013

Fall semester just started on Monday. I don’t know where my two and a half weeks of break went. I had all these grand plans for it, and then it was over.

I did pick up all sorts of new PADI scuba diving certification though. I got my drysuit certification, got advance certification, and will be picking up my deep dive certification in another dive.

But I don’t want to talk about diving.

I want to talk about my ONE four hours final. I studied my ass off for that but I did take a day off to goof around. I thought I knew the materials very very well, better than well. Then the final  day happened and the four hours felt like a very short blur. I came away from that feeling like I failed it miserably. Like I probably got a “C” and I regretted taking that one day off.

One of my study buddy walked out of the final saying, “Somebody better get me a lawyer because I killed it.” He was trying to get us to stop being so serious when it was time to celebrate. Then he told me, out of everyone I seem to know my material the best, so I really shouldn’t worry, but ugh…it really was such a quick haze, I was feeling a little ill.

Around 13 of us gathered that night to get completely shitfaced. I wanted to be full of hangover and regrets the next day and it actually felt good the next day to be hungover.

Throughout my break, whenever I typed in my student login code to check if grades were out, I felt like I was about to get kicked in the gut. I braced myself. I’ve been bracing myself since I walked out of my final 22 days ago.

Then yesterday in class, we got an email saying grades were released. One of my dear classmate, logged on and shouted to us that she got an “A”. Now we were warned multiple times that we should never discuss grades because it’s bad etiquette. And now I know why. Because for a moment it made me feel angry at her, there goes one of the limited “A’s” the instructor got to hand out.

That made me feel really shitty about myself, because I’ve prided myself in not getting competitive. This gal sat next to me last semester. I’ve always tried to answer any questions she had, and I’ve even sent her pages and pages of my notes when I thought it would help her. I did the same for many of my classmates. I wanted everyone to do well. This is why we are discouraged from talking about grades.

I waited till I got home and for Drew to leave the room before I logged on and clicked on the link. And somehow, I saw an “A”. I logged out and back in, just in case something went wrong. Then I had Drew come look at it for me. Like was that an “A” grade or A for Asshole? After he confirmed the grade, I started jumping around the room like an idiot. This is why we were warned against checking our grades in front of classmates, because it’s quite possible that A is for Assholes when you jump around like a classless asshat with unadulterated joy.

Somewhere in that jump, I felt like my lungs were expanding and contracting normally again and that I stopped bracing for the pain to come down. First time in three weeks.

Every new professor has warned us again taking our grades so seriously because it should not define us. I know this. But it’s so hard to not label ourselves with our grades. We as first years know our grades will determine if we get certain internship or clerkship. My grade determines if I will continue to receive whatever scholarship my school gave me.

Breathe.

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