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Heather O’Connor is a 3L. After a seven year marriage and three kids, Heather went through a divorce that left her questioning what to do with her life. She decided to become an attorney and has never looked back since beginning the long journey. She entered a local community college after...

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One Exam Away From My 3L Year!

Posted by Heather O'Connor on 05/13/2010 at 09:41 AM

This has been my busiest semester yet as far as exam taking goes.  I've taken five finals so far and I have one left to go.  And then, that's it - my 2L year is over.

I remember the welcome to high school speech that was presented to me and my class as 9th graders, entering the big, grown up world of high school.  The principal stood before me and informed me that these next four years would be over before I knew it.  Well, that was true.  And as I entered each level of higher education, I was told the same thing in the welcome speeches, "Enjoy your time here because it will go by so quickly."  Each time I hear it now, I know from experience that the time seems to go by faster and faster with each passing year. 

Just two years ago I was graduating from undergrad, getting ready to take the LSAT - having no idea what the world of law school was like, but only knowing that I really wanted to be there.  Then I was there.  First year was so exciting and so scary all at the same time.  And before I knew it, the first semester was over and I was finding out why if I mentioned the word finals to anyone that had been in law school past their first year, they got a little white in the face.  Finals are horrible.  They are torture.  I don't mind actually taking the exam - it's just more the mental anguish you go through during the study periods.  But then even those were over.

During Christmas break after my first year, I deleted all my outlines, all my class notes, and anything on my computer that reminded me of law school.  I debated not going back.  But I did. 

Second semester seemed to fly by even faster than the first until finals were upon me once again.  They weren't quite as bad the second time around, but I remember looking in the mirror at one point and thinking, "Wow - So this is what I am going to look like when I die?"  I was in rough shape.  The school throws a champagne toast at Jackie's Galaxy which was really nice, but by the time it was over, I could barely stand up without holding onto a wall for support.  I was completely wiped out.  And I wasn't the only one.  Because of the exhaustion, it took some time to realize I had actually made it through my first year.  But when that hit me - I just couldn't believe how fast my first year had flown by. 

My first summer internship was amazing and went by all too fast also.  My 2L year was just around the corner, getting ready to take electives for the first time in law school.  And now, here it is, almost coming to a close. 

The other day as I walked up the stairs, I thought to myself, "In one year, this will be just about it."  The end of my educational career and the beginning of whatever the future has in store for me.  Because I'm over-sensitive and sappy, I got a little sad thinking about how I will have spent the past seven years of my life in school, learning, pushing myself, growing, and achieving.  I like school.  (Even though I complain about it sometimes).  And I have especially liked law school.  I'm going to miss it.  Although I am excited about finally being a 3L and then being able to take the bar and become a "real attorney," it's still a little sad.  I haven't figured out why yet. 

Maybe because since my divorce I have always been hoping and pushing myself for my family in the quest for a better future.  Maybe because I found myself along the way and discovered I like learning for me too.  Maybe because I am scared of what is waiting beyond the diploma and the black and purple graduation gown.  Maybe because RWU really has become a home to me, and in just one year, I'll be leaving.  I don't know why, but there's a little piece of me that is going to miss it terribly. 

Three days and I take my last 2L final.  Three days and I become a rising 3L.  Time needs to slow down a little so I can enjoy this!