The summer before my 1L year, I drove to Boston for the housing fair. It was the middle of the summer and I had no idea where to live (or who to live with). After the housing fair, there was a bar review at Cityside. I met some of my future classmates and some rising 2Ls that were kind enough to attend.
Andrea Clavijo, the former LSA Vice President, was one of those 2Ls. She told me that she made a lot of friends during 1L year by playing softball. “You have to play,” she said. “It’s really fun and you’ll meet so many of your friends.”
I have been a swimmer my entire life. I usually get a chuckle when I tell people that I’m not so great at land sports. I had never lifted a softball bat in my life. I couldn’t even remember the last time that I had played backyard whiffle ball.
“But I’ve never played softball,” I said, expecting her to change her recommendation.
“That doesn’t matter at all! You should do it anyway. There will be plenty of people with very little softball experience.”
So I took Andrea’s advice, signed up for the Section 3 softball team and showed up at the Cleveland Circle softball field on the second Saturday of the school year.
The rule is that if you have three women on the field, you can field an extra player, and the batting order is 2 men followed by 1 woman. So I got up to bat twice and played in the outfield for an inning. As my friend Brett loves to tell people, I did not touch the ball during my outfield experience. At one point, the ball was hit right toward me, dropping about 4 feet in front of me. I wasn’t sure what to do, so he had to run over from center field to grab it and throw it back into play. I felt badly, but Brett continued to encourage me throughout the season, assuring me that I was not inept. We lost the game, hung around the field and watched the games that followed, grabbed food in Cleveland Circle, and made plans to meet up and go out later. This sequence of events became a tradition every Saturday of 1L Fall.
Softball is how I met and got to know the people that would become my study group for every class of 1L. It is also how I got to know some of my best friends in Law School. Moreover, it is a great break every week from the stress of classes and studying.
So Andrea was right. And now I am sharing her advice with all of you. Play softball. Even if you don’t know anyone that is going, just show up. You’ve got nothing to lose (well, except for maybe a game or two–or all but one, like our 1L year). But we survived and came back stronger and more bonded during 2L, and came in second in the league!
See you Saturday!