Rain City Calling
In the year or so before I started law school, I’d mostly been finishing my BA in Victoria. I’d spent a month in Ireland and been back to my hometown, Prince George, a couple of times (that’s sort of the middle of BC). For my 0L summer right before I got to Allard, I was working at a museum in a small town an hour and a half outside Calgary. What I had not done and had never done was spent more than a few days in Vancouver. I’d actually only been to UBC once before orientation week. So what was it like moving to start a new degree in this new city I didn’t know? Well, terrifying obviously.
One of the great things about law school is the community, all the people who will get together and make law school an exciting, rewarding thing to be part of. Even before 1L starts you can take tours with upper year ambassadors to get to know the school and there will be icebreakers all across the country. In no time, people are going to be posting in your Facebook group about meeting up with all the cool people they’ve met, and, if you’re like me, you aren’t going to have a chance to do any of it.
My job kept me busy and I was just far enough from a big city that I didn’t have a chance to take part in any of the events leading up to the start of school. I didn’t think it was ideal at the time. That summer there was a lot of being overwhelmed by the dizzying amount of extracurricular things you can do to “get involved” at Allard and trying to crack the secret of how to prepare for classes despite everyone saying you can’t (don’t worry you really can’t). I spent what some people might call too much time looking at Facebook photos of my awesome classmates to be and worrying about how I was already behind on my #networking.
First day of O-Week, I was incredibly nervous. I didn’t know a single person in our first year class and I was convinced my summer in the badlands had pre-sunk my legal career. When our Orientation Week started, though, we went into a classroom. I met someone who turned out to be one of my best friends at law school within two seconds. Within a week, we’d started classes and I realised I was just as ready as anyone, which was not very.
Of course, it might not happen that way for you, but that’s sort of the great thing about law school. It will be different for all of us because none of us got here the same way. Whatever you’re doing now, that’s why you deserve to be here. Which was not something I could have convinced myself of a year ago despite how cool my summer of teaching kids about dinosaurs was. As it turned out, though, there’s a reason we don’t need prereqs. Whether you’re imparting useless wisdom like I was, touring South America or rocking the classic bar and grill gig, it’s going to make your education better. So, embrace the trite adage 0L me could not and come as you are. Bring your own background to Allard because our law schools need it.
Making the move to the land of sushi and skytrains is going to be your own unique challenge. From someone who made a strange journey of it, though, get excited because law school is a ride unlike any other and you’re going to want to enjoy it for everything it’s worth. And when you hit the rough parts, you can do the other thing 0L me didn’t have the wherewithal for and reach out. For now, congrats class of 2019. Everything you’ve done to get here really is an accomplishment and I look forward to meeting you.
Written by Nic Healey