Today was the first day of my last year of law school. Thank God. Entering the building today, with a laptop in my backpack and a $150 textbook in my hands, I felt a wave of such familiar ... boredom. The change was almost tangible as I left the bright summer morning to walk the same old hallways and stairways, from locker to class to library and back again. The rhythms of law school feel so familiar and so uninteresting right now. The same vaguely familiar people drifting through the building. The same long-winded lectures and long minutes eyeing the clock. The same boring litany of websites I read to entertain myself, the same minutia I use as a distraction. It seems especially painful after a summer of working, when I'm chomping at the bit to do real tasks and look things up and learn things the hard way.
Compared to actual working, and actual adulthood, I appreciate the leisurely pace of law school. But something just feels so uninspired about this round of classes. Maybe it's the fact that this is my fifth time at bat here, I have secure employment lined up and my academic performance seems immovable. Hopefully the rest of my classes will perk me up, once we get past the clutter about grades and exams and attendance policies. Why do all professors beat us over the head with that stuff? We're expected to read hundreds of pages of parched case law and gassy academic treatises each semester, but they don't think we can read a four-page syllabus. Maybe they're right, and then maybe that's the problem. I don't know.
There was one bright spot, though. Especially after trudging through the soupy atmosphere of law school all morning, I was shocked by the little bolt of happiness I felt when I saw a bunch of my old friends gathering for lunch. There was the usual core of my good friends from law school, the ones I've known since my very first day at ol' FU, along with a bunch of others whose company I have come to appreciate. It felt great to reconnect after a long summer. Everyone looked fresh and tanned and more freckled than usual, people had sharp haircuts, and for a good hour we shared the buzz of of melancholic 3L excitement and nostalgia for our summer incomes. It was reassuring to see that I do have friends here, that there are other souls in the boat along with me. A few bright lights along these dusty old hallways.