Law School Room Tour

Now that my first week of classes is done, I’ve officially settled into my new home in Macon. My little house is super cute, and I’m excited that my room has a little more “depth” to it than just four plain white walls.

Most of my decorations are little things that I’ve collected over the years. Whether it’s art from friends, post cards, or treasures from around the world, it all reminds me of all the people I love (and miss).

I’ve been very into Christmas lights recently (maybe it’s because I binged Stranger Things over summer break…or maybe it’s because I get all my decor ideas off Pinterest). One thing I really appreciate about twinkle lights is their ability to create soft light. As someone that frequently gets headaches, I’ve found that soft lighting is essential when having to power through a night’s worth of homework if you’re already feeling like your head is splitting open. My friends with “big girl jobs” use Christmas lights in their offices, too! Soft lighting for the win!

The wall above is still a work in progress, but I like where I’m at so far. I’m planning on adding postcards and letters from friends around the cork board. My favorite piece of art in my room right now is the painted chicken above my desk. I got it outside of the Met while I was in NYC a few weeks ago!

I am excited to see where week two of law school takes me, and if my room ever actually gets “completed.” Hopefully I will still be able to spend downtime here once midterms get started.

Two Story Coffee House

Macon doesn’t have many good coffee spots. I like Starbucks as much as the next person, but there’s something about a shop with personality that makes me feel more at home.

Photo from: Style Blueprint

My favorite coffee shop in Athens closed down right after I began my junior year. It was called Two Story, and it got its name from the way it looked: a little house with two stories right off South Lumpkin Street in Five Points. The coffee was delicious, but that’s not the whole story behind why people liked this place so much.

The big appeal? It’s a house! Walking in felt cozy, like coming home. You could sit on the front porch and watch the world go by. You could lounge in a couch indoors like a lazy cat under a sunny window. Upstairs had study nooks with desks in every room. The back porch, screened in and facing a gravel parking lot, was my favorite spot. Screened in so the bugs couldn’t get ya, but still outdoors. Sitting there while it rained was a favorite leisure activity of mine.

Photo from @TwoStoryCoffee on Twitter

Each space felt special. I think everyone that walked into Two Story thought that. Being away from home, finding a spot that felt cozy and homey was important to me, even up until my junior year when I lived in an actual house. I haven’t found a place like this in Macon (which is probably why I camp out on the couch in my living room so often). Maybe I’ll find my “spot” someday soon, but Two Story will always have a special place in my heart. Even though I don’t live in Athens anymore I am still sad it had to close!

What I Did in NYC

New York is one of my favorite places on earth. It also helps that one of my favorite people is now living there. That’s sort of what happens when everyone graduates college and figures out adulthood. Friends move, things change, and I plan weekend road trips to visit. My ideal adulthood would consist of me earning a living by visiting friends, but I guess law school will have to do for now.

Anyways! I was in NYC! And boy did I do a lot. Especially considering that I went during the heat wave. It was in the 90’s for most of my trip, which for me living in Georgia I found quite normal, but I think New Yorkers felt like they were living in the Devil’s armpit…the subways were a sweaty b.o. disaster most days.

As I usually do, I visited an art museum. This time it wasn’t just any art museum, it was the art museum. My friend Mira, her girlfriend C, and I wound up at the Met my first day in town. Thankfully they let me do my nerd girl thing and listened as I chatterboxed my way through a bajillion exhibits on Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art. It also helped that C fenced growing up so she knew everything about the swords and armor!

The Camp exhibit was ah-mazing, too. And the Apollo 11 inspired art was my favorite but I was so enamored that I forgot to take pictures! Lol!

I spent around four hours in the Met, wandered around Central Park in search of Halal food (my favorite NYC eat is a food truck falafel wrap with hot sauce and white sauce), and then headed back into Manhattan to meet up with the girls. The cherry on top? We spent the rest of the day at The Strand and eating good food.

It was my first time eating pirogies! And of course I forgot to snap a pic 😦 But here’s a cute set of me eating Big Gay Ice Cream!

Mira and I went out to Stonewall and a few other places before getting 99 cent pizza and wandering through Time’s Square, because no trip to NYC is complete without one dazzling moment under all those lights!

What I Did to Prepare for Law School

Hello from Mercer Law! Today is my ~official~ first day of orientation and I am hyped to get myself orientated! I am also scared out of my mind. Seriously. I never thought I’d go to law school, let alone get a full ride. I’m a Woodruff Scholar, and that sort of freaks me out. Part of me is like “how in the heck did I get here?!” and the other part of me is saying “can I even live up to this title?” and then there’s a tiny voice inside that’s chanting “you earned this, so you can do it.” Truthfully, I will always compare myself to my peers and wonder how I ended up in the same room as some of the most brilliant, amazing people I’m sitting next to. I think that’s my twenty-year-old default setting. But preparing for law school, I gave myself a pep talk in perspective.

There’s not much you can do when prepping for law school. Sure you can get advice from everyone you know that’s even gone, but the best thing to do is to understand that to get into law school you had to be smart. Now you’re in a room full of equally qualified people, all as smart or smarter than you. You’re all going to feel not smart enough at some point your first year. Just take that fact in and let it sit with you. Knowing that all those amazing people you think are so much better than you at 1L are just as lost as you are will be comforting. You are not alone.

That’s probably the most depressing pep talk of all pep talks, but I like to know I’m not alone. Figuring that out is so much better than someone half heartedly saying “you got this!” when I have absolutely no idea what in the world I’m doing, let alone how to get to my 8am classroom. I will definitely not “have this” around 75% of the time, and then things will click at the end of the year and I’ll have an “aha!” moment. This much I’ve gathered from 2L’s and recent grads.

Another big thing is to get used to reading. Law school is almost all reading and writing. I’ve read a variety of different things, but mostly things I enjoy. There’s a study that I read that said you need to prep your eyeballs for the amount of reading you’re about to endure, so reading novels back to back through the summer before your 1L year will prep those muscles for their marathon case brief extravaganza. You can check out what I’ve been reading recently in this post, but I’ll have another one up about my summer reads ASAP!

Calm down. Just chill out. I’m so type A that me not doing anything stresses me out until I spend so much time doing nothing that I get used to it. I’m weird like that, I know, but if that’s how you can totally destress then do it. If you spend time with friends, do face masks, play with puppies, volunteer, whatever it is that you do to make yourself feel good and comfortable with life, do it! This might be your last chance until Thanksgiving break.

I set a few goals for myself. Most of them were about self care (like cooking at home at least once a week), but a few were about my studies. When I set goals, I have different tiers. The lowest tier is stuff I know I’m going to accomplish, and I set those goals because checking the “I did it!” box makes me feel good. The next level up is stuff that I want to strive for but can be flexible with, such as getting an internship for next summer that fits with that I want to do long term or being in the top 50% of my class. The top tier is what I really have to push myself for. Those are things like being at the top of my class, exercising regularly, and finishing the novel I’ve been working on forever.

I find that having five goals, with at least one in the top tier, helps me set my own tone for the semester or year (whether it’s for law school, undergrad, a job, what have you). There are things that your professors or your boss is going to expect from you, but there are also things you need to expect from yourself. Holding yourself to a high standard not only helps you reach higher goals, but also teaches you about your self worth. I find that when I get to know my self worth (i.e. how much do I value myself? How much do I respect myself?) I do better overall.

My last little tidbit is to find joy and bring it with you. I did this by saving up notes from friends, usually complements or congratulations, to hang above my desk.

Keep in mind that this is only my very first day ever of law school (and classes technically haven’t even started yet) so I’m not too sure if any of this will actually work, but it’s what I did this summer in preparation. Let me know if you guys want a “halfway” post reflecting back on this advice to see if it actually worked.