This piece was written by Aniruddh Nigam (Batch of 2019).
My first year of law school, we were set up randomly with roommates. Within a few hours, we had figured out how we were going to deal with the sudden lack of space and our presumed active social lives. Every night, one of us would go out to party, get hammered and do a lot of women while the other one would study in the library and diligently take notes. The next day, we would switch. Some of you first years reading this may be nodding along, thinking “great idea” as you run to the hostel office to get a perm form, thinking about which woman on your top 5 you want to hit on first. This is why you’ll be first years, because you’re very dumb. Tinder in Nagarbhavi has a higher chance of matching you with a supermodel than an idea like this working. Every evening in first trimester, I’d check my wallet at 6:00 pm, decide I’m out of money, go to the next room and learn that everyone is out of money, and then make the excruciating walk to the mess to sign good ol’ roomcheck. I didn’t party every night (sorry, 16 year old me) and I didn’t even see a single breast that trimester (other than my own, and my roommate’s). First year sucks. You have no idea what you don’t know, or how you overestimate yourself, and for that, we envy you.
I don’t know if I’m writing this for first years. There’s no way you’ll listen. You’re too cocky. You’re thinking, “Screw you, I’ve seen Project X, I’ll have this student body wrapped around my finger within a week.” And why wouldn’t you be? You just aced an incredibly tough entrance exam. A town of people looked at you as the smartest thing to happen since Uday Chopra quit acting and you are set up for a future as the next big thing to shake the legal world.
But so is everyone here. You’ll get to college and realize life at home wasn’t that bad. You had food, laundry and masturbation without having to shoo your roommates away. Sure, you couldn’t waste all your time dozing off and jacking off (or you could, I don’t know how weird your family was) but at least you had a constant reminder of your greatness in the form of “good job’s” and “We’re proud of you’s”. Instead of courses you could bunk and nail, you have History I. Instead of class teachers who would fawn over you, you have an endless stream of condescension. The 95’s you used to whine about now seem golden, given the 51’s you celebrate. This is not including PI’s, laundry, or that girl who you thought wanted a quad party hookup when she was just preparing to puke on you. First year is rough. You can ask anyone what they think and their answer will be a bunch of grunts and expressions symptomatic of PTSD.
But don’t look for sympathy. If you look in the eyes of any senior, beneath a hangover, you’ll see fear. The end of the free ride is coming. Either they’re past third year, and have to deal with a job, a career and the choice of fulfilling their dreams. Or they’re awaiting third year. A train is going to him them, and they know exactly when. These seniors would switch places with you in a second. They would take History I, bad quad parties, PI’s all over again to know that they could relive the good moments that come after it. First year is brutal because change is brutal. Change is the ride to the hilltop before the view. That view is coming sooner than the dark abyss of life, and this is why we envy first years. The friends you’ll make, the blackouts you’ll have and the stresses about class that aren’t even a stress at all. Good luck this year, and remember, you are very dumb.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org