I’m in East Wing 115, the very first room I sat in as a brand-new BC Law student. It’s the room that looks so much like a Greek amphitheater and feels like one, too, when the questioning begins. The lights aren’t even on because it’s 8am, a full half-hour before Contracts, and dammit. I’m not even the first one here. Walking to my seat, I shake my head. Who gets up early for Contracts at 8:30 in the morning?! It’s a ridiculous question, of course, because the answer is Me. I get up early for Contracts. It’s just that…I didn’t think anyone else would. And it’s not just one else, either. There are a good half-dozen elses, chatting softly together in the gently lit dark. I shake my head again. Madness.
By eight-fifteen, the classroom is full. Section 2 is present and accounted for. Hillinger could walk in and start her
interrogation critical questioning, and no one would bat an eye. Everyone is ready, anyway. Somebody tapped the lights on the way in, and now the classroom blazes with life and energy and conversation.
Maybe we’re happy because the Admissions office knocked it out of the park when putting our class together. Or maybe we’re happy because we knocked it out of the park, all on our own. Or maybe we’re happy for a dozen other good reasons. In the end, though, I don’t think it’s any of those things. At least, not by themselves. No, I think in the end we’re happy because we feel like we belong. Not just here at BC Law, but among each other. I’ve known my classmates (section mates? Barrister buddies?) for less time than I’ve owned my groceries, and yet I know so much about so many of them.
Now, I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say it’s still early. I know that. It’s all been low-stakes so far. I know that, too. Assignments and exams are still a ways off in the distance. The ‘sweatpants and a hot cup’ times are not yet upon us. But I gotta tell you: this is something else. A lot of else. Cold-calling? Pff. Good luck with that. There’s already 10 hands in the air. Oh, and good luck getting through your course material in a timely manner. We ask a lot of questions – so many questions that our Professors have all devised strategies for getting us to shut up. Except Yen, gentle soul that he is. He gets to everyone, and we love him for it.
The thing is, somehow, in some way, we just know we’re in it together. That’s what I come back to over and over: the feeling of Communitas in the best sense of the word. Feeling anxious and stressed? So am I, let’s get coffee. Didn’t do the reading? Talk to Jake or Laura. Maybe you want to play softball but you’re awful at it. Jim will tell you it doesn’t matter. He wants you there. No matter who you are, how you are, or where you are, there’s a place for you. You are supported. You are at Boston College Law. And we are 1L of a class.
Michael Deere is a first-year student at BC Law and a new Impact blogger. Contact him at email@example.com.