Confessions of a 1L: I’m in a relationship with my secret library study spot

Grecia Perez

Not quite sure where my days begin and end at this point.

I am also quite sure that my secret study spot on the third floor of the library and I were connected in some past life because, as it turns out, I can’t get enough of it. I find myself spending more time at the library these days than any other place – my home included.

When I moved to Kansas from California, I bought a pet turtle to keep me company – don’t ask. I’m almost positive that said turtle has developed a distaste for my presence due to my long periods of absence. I get home, books in hand, and he looks at me, almost as if he doesn’t know who I am. Considering that his brain is the size of a pea, this may very well be the case. However, I choose to think that he is actually just jealous of the relationship I’m having with my secret quiet spot on the third floor.

All of this can only mean one thing: Finals are lurking.

I’ve been out of school for a while now, and the only other exam that I’ve had to concern myself with has been the LSAT. If there is one thing I know now and that KU has made great efforts to emphasize, it’s that preparation for finals can never begin too early. This is a concept that I have had a hard time explaining to my friends and family outside of law school. They are curious as to why I’ve begun to stress, prep and plan for exams that I won’t be taking for another eight weeks. My personal reasoning may be different than others, but the outcome we’d like to achieve always remains the same – to succeed. I uprooted my life and walked away from a career as a means to embark on this endeavor. Failure is not an option. If this means making a “Grecia-like” indent on one of the third-floor chairs until finals are over, so be it. If this entails having a diet consisting mostly of vending machine goodies, snacks will become one of the elements in my pyramid of food groups.

I cannot stress the importance of starting early with outlining all of your courses. It would be nearly impossible to cover all of the material by just reviewing notes. This is not, which I have learned the hard way, at all like undergrad in that respect. Cramming is not an option. Either you understand the concepts or you don’t, and no amount of cramming will compensate for that. However, the familiarization with the terms is just a fraction of what is required for these exams. These terms, facts and laws must then be applied in a clear and cohesive manner to various situations. There are a lot of analytical skills that begin to formulate through the process of studying and outlining. I am no longer just regurgitating facts; I am attacking problems. Given this reasoning, I am more than happy to spend my days at the library.

There is always a reason to procrastinate, but there is nothing that can bring back time spent on understanding the material. With that said, I can honestly say that I’ve made some amazing friends while taking up shop in the library. We are all bound by the drudgery, the stress and the confusion that is commensurate with your first semester/year in law school. Being the overachievers that we are, we can also recognize when we’ve been working hard and need a break. I’m not quite sure how to describe the feeling you get when you’ve spent an entire weekend studying, looking up and seeing your friend sitting there doing the same. It is a sense of solidarity that can only be achieved in silent admiration.

Despite the pressure of it all, I love being here. I couldn’t imagine my life having not elected to attend law school or KU for that matter. So, my turtle will have to deal with it for a few more weeks because Momma has stuff she needs to get done.

— Grecia Perez is a 1L and KU Law Student Ambassador.