Sunday, January 16, 2011

1L Grades

You know that feeling on Christmas morning, after all the presents have been opened? There's wrapping paper everywhere, you've eaten a huge breakfast, and now you just feel... disappointed? I've been told that is the definition of anticlimactic, but that's debatable. Not everyone has the same Christmas, or celebrates Christmas at all, but I'm sure you get the idea.

That is how grades felt for me. I told myself I was going to get B's, (by B's I mean just somewhere between a B- and a B+.) It's a statistical probability, given that most people do, and very few get A's and C's. So that's what I told myself. Why stress about it if you already know what you're going to get?

When I got sick over Finals, that probability seemed to go out the window. I was so high on NyQuil I couldn't even REMEMBER my Contracts final. Something about an airplane? I dunno. I left feeling miserable and uncertain. Never in my life had I felt so blindsided by an exam. Normally you know what to expect when you show up to an exam. I had to skip the first page and come back. I changed my answers several times on the multiple choice. These things I remember, (and have subsequently stressed out over) but the actual exam is lost forever. Being so uncertain (and not remembering the exam) had me kind of nervous. The thought of getting a C felt horrible.

So anyway, I told myself I was going to get B's. And that's what I got. I did much better in legal research, but of course that doesn't count toward your average. OYE. I'm told that employers often ask what grade you got in that class, so at least I have a good answer.

Getting what you expect, with no surprises, is the anticlimactic part. I did fine. Good, even. Not great. I'm disappointed only because I expected the grade fairy to come along and change the past or something. I'm happy, but I feel sort of blah about it.

Luckily, I've already got an internship lined up for the summer so grades at this point are inconsequential. I want to do Moot Court, not Law Review. And in any case I can write my way onto Law Review (I'm told that looks better than grading on anyway) if I want, so again grades aren't that big of a deal.

My point is, all that worrying or stressing does you no good. You can't change your grades, but they can't change you either. Let it go, focus on the new semester. These grades do not define you. The reality is, you will graduate, you will pass the bar and you'll be a lawyer. That is the point of law school, isn't it? So just focus on actually learning the black letter law and regardless of what grades you get, you will be a lawyer when you are done.

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