“Hype yourself up, before you psych yourself out!” These are the words that I constantly yell at my peers . . . in the spin room. This past August, I became a certified spin instructor. My decision to become a spin instructor was encouraged by my classmate Ben Minerva. Ben knew that I was going to spin classes daily and questioned why I did not just become an instructor. Fast forward after months of training and making playlists, and I have been teaching spin classes at Boston College’s Margot Connell Recreation Center four times a week.
The highlights of my week have often been filled with moments from my spin classes. Spin has acted like a safe haven for me from the stresses that come with being a law student. Someone once told me that the feeling of being nervous is identical to the feeling of being excited. I use my spin classes as a way to channel my law school fueled nerves into the exciting energy that comes with teaching a spin class. My spin classes have also been a space where I have grown so much as a person. I learned how to find and use my voice, how to troubleshoot problems on the spot, and how to build trust and rapport quickly with those who barely know me. All of these lessons, in my opinion, are transferable to my legal career.
The Impact Blog is launching a new spotlight series focused on local foods! We believe that one of the most important features of an area is the food, and no one should need to search far for good options. We’ll provide critiques and reviews of foods in the immediate Newton area surrounding the BC Law campus. Not all establishments are made equal, so whether you’re planning on coming to BC Law or just recently moved to the area, we’ll try all the local spots so you don’t have to.
Our first review turns to an American staple that doesn’t receive the credit it deserves. An often overlooked, taken for granted, carb-y snack: BAGELS!
What is your name, year in school, and post-grad plans?
Allyson Cavaretta, Class of 2023. My post-grad plans include working in the federal government on legal and policy issues pertaining to national security, compliance, emerging industries and investments.
Can you give me a quick rundown of what Boston College Law Republicans is all about?
Boston College Law Republicans provides connections for conservative/libertarian students to engage with political, legal, and academic leaders and enriches the law school experience with opportunities for learning and contributing to the public good.
Why did you choose to lead the BC Law Republicans?
As Co-Presidents of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), we understand the importance of balance. While Black people make up 13.4% of the American population, Black lawyers make up less than 5% of the legal industry. To mitigate this stark disparity, BLSA seeks to build community, provide academic support, and bridge generational gaps through consistent professional development.
This year, we made a targeted effort to reconnect our community after the COVID-19 pandemic strained our social relations. When we began planning, we realized that our current members’ hardships mirrored those of BLSA alums from years past. Many of us still feel isolated, struggle with imposter syndrome, and ultimately feel unprepared. We decided with this presidency that we want to change the narrative. We recognize that an active and reliable community is paramount to combating these feelings of isolation and imposter syndrome. Our presidency is dedicated to making BLSA that space for our members.
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.
Basic economic theory will tell you, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” But, law school is rife with opportunities for a free lunch. So, who should you believe?
Well, incoming students should go ahead and throw those economics degrees straight into the trash where they belong, because attending BC Law is a three-year barrage of free lunch after free lunch. The Alpha is Panera Bread at 1L summer orientation, the Omega is Nina Farber bribing reluctant 3Ls to learn about bar exam preparation with pizza, and there are countless free food opportunities in between: club meetings, career services trainings, seminars, guest-speaker panels, and so on.
Rather than, say, prepare for my upcoming finals, I have instead surveyed a collection of 3Ls on their favorite free-food experiences – and transmitted their responses into digital format so that the data may outlive us all, somewhere in the cloud. I asked “what was your favorite free-food experience from a BC Law event?” and they answered:
Today we’re hosting a guest blog from Talia Weseley, the incoming Law Student Association President.
BC Law was a very different place when I started as a 1L. While I felt very lucky to have some degree of in-person classes, it was impossible to not feel isolated and overwhelmed in the height of Covid. I was excited to start law school and begin this chapter of my life, but I also genuinely had no idea how I would fare trying to make friends and navigate this new environment.
I figured the best place to start would be to try and make friends over GroupMe. I distinctly remember feeling overwhelmed as I sat in my Zoom Civil Procedure class, and decided to post in my section GroupMe to ask if anyone wanted to form a study group. Looking back, I’m honestly not sure what I thought would come out of my shout into the void. Much to my surprise, nearly the entire section replied that they too felt overwhelmed and were also in search of the same community. In many ways, this moment was the first time I truly felt like I could find the support system and network I so craved at BC Law.
My most embarrassing moment of 1L year wasn’t messing up an answer to a cold call or falling down the stairs while giving a tour to thirty students, although both of those things did happen. My most embarrassing moment came on January 23, 2020 – my first intramural basketball game for the BC Law team. Having played basketball my entire life and having coached for two years before starting at BC Law, I was so excited to meet a group of 1Ls similarly passionate about the game. And with high energy and even higher expectations, we promptly lost that first game by a score of 50-11. Yeah – we lost by 40. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be our only loss in our first season, as we lost every single subsequent game by similar margins. And while I hated to lose, I loved getting to know my classmates outside of Torts and Contracts.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but that season would be the last set of games for the BC Law hoops team for nearly two years. But don’t worry, because our basketball team is back and better than ever! And this year, things are different. This year, we won’t lose every game by forty points. This year, the BC Law Basketball Team is going to win a championship.
One of the first things my current roommate told me about social life at BC Law was the ski trip he went on as a 1L back in Winter 2020. Throughout my search for law schools, I had heard plenty of stories of BC’s bar reviews and the other opportunities he had to meet people and forge initial friendships. But in talking with both my roommate and his friends (now 3Ls), one theme almost unanimously emerged: “I didn’t really know my friends until we went on ski trip.”
And it wasn’t just as a 0L that I heard this sentiment. This year, one our way home from Killington, I asked a 3L friend how Ski Trip 2022 compared to its 2020 edition. Her response, in a nutshell, was that the two trips were “different, but in a good way.” The first time around was an experience that truly molded the friendships that would characterize her remaining two years at BC; the second, meanwhile, was a culmination of those friendships and a chance to let loose after having so many social opportunities of the preceding two years marred by COVID-19.
As I entered into the thick of finals, I found myself in the usual funk of the season. Whether it be the long hours studying, the unfortunate act of flipping through class notes only to find illegible scribbles, or the jealousy rising in me as I see people pass my window enjoying their afternoons–I cannot help but feel a bit grumpy about what I (and all other law students) are going through at the moment.
On top of the usual irritability, I am painfully aware that this is my fifth time heading into finals. As a 3L, I have found myself dragging my feet more this time around. I have admittedly become a bit more impatient with tough concepts, lackluster in my study habits, and generous with my study breaks.
Beyond chuckling at the images of Prof. Bloom and the class showing off their goofy sweaters, I felt a rush of nostalgia. I had completely forgotten about my own section’s Ugly Sweater Contest two years ago. Cooped up in a Civil Procedure review session, I remember laughing at both the fashion choices of my classmates and Professor Bloom’s zany commentary along the way. It was such a pleasant (and needed) break from stressing over what would be my first ever law school exam–a lighter moment to share with the people that had filled my life over the semester and who were going through the same taxing time.