The further I go in my education and life in general, the more I feel like I am surrounded by people who are similar to me. This of course has its positive and negatives.
I take comfort in the fact that I have friends who think about all the permutations of VP for the 2008 candidates and friends who can name the eight presidents who a one-syllable last name. I take comfort in the fact that in law school, there are other people who like to color code, use post-it notes to organize their notes, and find an inexplicable joy in using footnotes. I like being around people who find nothing wrong with being nerds, who work hard, who want to change the world, and occasionally pencil in some time for fun.
But while being around people who are similar can bring out my positive attributes, it can also do the opposite. I am admittedly a competitive person and a workoholic, who is now surrounded by many people who are the same. It not only makes being workoholic seem ok, it pushes us to work even more. It's funny that as headstrong as law students are, their competitive nature manifests itself into a perverse kind of peer pressure.
For my externship class, we read an article about unhappiness in the legal profession, which largely stems from this competitive-workoholic-money obsessed culture. It's scary to read that lawyers are twice as likely to be depressed or alcoholics than the general population. (The whole report was a lot more disturbing but I'll spare you from all the stats).
I think I'm lucky that I have so many people in my life that aren't lawyers/law students and aren't like me. I have a family full of science-y people and friends who are less neurotic. People who will give me some perspective when I am stressed out about my classes, and a boyfriend who isn't afraid of slapping sense into me when I make uber nerdy adverse possession jokes.