The first week of law school

PentacrestRaindrops bounce into my kitchen, stamping little, dark circles on my refrigerator collage of Post-Its and postcards and pictures. I should get up and close the window, I know. It’s storming outside, the kind of Iowa summer storm that arrives unannounced, cool rain calming the charged air.

I look up from the court case I’m reading. A streetlight in the distance illuminates the raindrops as they fly in. As if this is the only place they want to be.

I started law school last week, and this is the only place I want to be, I keep reminding myself. So far, it’s fun and exciting and demoralizing and empowering and overwhelming and scary, among other things.

Law school is the process of rewiring your brain, I’ve heard again and again, and it makes frightening sense now that I’m here.

I’m making friends. It is a lurching juxtaposition of sorts; I go from being surrounded by new people at school to being alone in my apartment, opening my windows as wide as they’ll go, ushering in the din of cicadas, the dull beat of the bass dropping at one of the nearby frat houses. It’s quiet here. I can never seem to open the windows wide enough.

Eventually I get up to close the window, thunder booming outside. I relish the noise, the fact that it almost drowns out the worries that swirl in my head, over school and final exams (already) and getting nervous when new friends who are so cool and smart want to be my friend.

I brush the raindrops off the windowsill with the back of my hand. A few more sneak in as I close the window. I leave it open a crack.

Sometimes it’s comforting to get close to the chaos, to let it in, welcome it, to know that things can be tempestuous and scary and overwhelming somewhere else, too.

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