As I watch many of my friends start their first year of law school and observe the first years at my own school, I remember how much anxiety there was at the beginning of the school year. A lot of it was unnecessary anxiousness stemming from the horror stories of law school, particularly 1L year. And of course there is the pressure to succeed and the uneasiness about a whole new way of learning. No more skimming reading before class or whipping out papers in a few hours.
However, I realized that some of us were probably subconsciously uneasy coming into law school because we also hardly knew anyone. Everyone was the new kid. Even though my current roommate was at the same law school, and I am someone who does like meeting and talking to new people, I was a little nervous walking into my first class not knowing anyone. Am I going to find people to study with? What up if I end up sitting next to the really annoying person in class?
Fast forward a year, and it was nice saving seats for people because I knew I had friends in my class. And it was nice walking into the cafeteria for lunch and dinner (yes, that is how late we stay at school) to be greeted by your friends and catch up on what they did over the summer. My roommate and I agreed that seeing everyone in the cafeteria just brightened our day. It was like a reunion.
Knowing how much having friends at law school helps get through those long days and even longer readings, I am really glad that I go to the "kumbaya school." We are known as the school that is nice to each other with happy people.
Yet sadly, there are many other law schools, including schools I thought I really thought I wanted to go to, where people are not nice to each other. Places where people don't share notes if people are sick, and places where people don't study together. And those are probably the schools where the horror stories are more true, and where all three years probably do feel like the beginning of 1L year. That would be so sad.