To my community,
Last year, I wrote a piece in the Rutgers pandemic newsletter called Legal-ease describing how much I missed my classmates and what I would give to be back on campus. The hope of getting back to see everyone kept me going during those days in the pandemic where I felt I could hardly keep at this social distancing thing.
So, when I got the opportunity come back to campus to start my 3L year I was surprised at how underwhelmed I felt. Going to class didn’t excite me— dare I say, even felt daunting at times. Seeing people was causing me anxiety, and to top it all off, everyone else seemed to be feeling the same way.
What we have to remember about coming back to school is that everything is an adjustment. When us now 3Ls, as 1Ls, had to abruptly stop school, (recall realizing that after Spring break we weren’t going to be able to come back?), it was a huge adjustment. For 2Ls, having their first year completely online and being in person in law school for the first time ever is an adjustment. For 1Ls, being in law school for the very first time, in person, wearing masks is a double adjustment: to the law school experience itself, to being in person. The reality is, we are not yet fully out of the waters of this pandemic.
Even professors and staff are probably adjusting to the realities of in person teaching and working in person again. After all, Humans are creatures of repetition, so once we get used to something it seems easier to keep doing it than to pivot, no matter how much we want to. I got used to social distancing, but now its time to be together again and adjust to the natural inclination of human beings: to be together in community.
A little over a month back into school, I feel more adjusted. I feel grateful to be getting back into the grove of things. I am meeting with professors for office hours, asking more questions in class, enjoying ideas and intellection once more. Intellectual activity, I believe, has always been meant to be enjoyed in person and in dialogue with others. I truly missed all my friends, my professors, my mentors. I can’t wait till we can safely take off our masks in class and go to bar association and club events in person again. And while I don’t know what the future holds, I remain as hopeful.
To my dear classmates: it is really good to see you. I almost forgot how great looking you all are. But I’ve never forgotten how lucky I feel to be in law school with you, even in the difficult times. We will get through this year and for us 3Ls, we will graduate at its end. And when we do, we can claim victory over this pandemic and everything it took from us. I promise, brighter days are ahead.