Now that the summer has progressed into the post-training contract application stage, the time has come to pause and reflect on the past few months.
1. Training contracts
Expectation: I’m going to apply for training contracts the minute exams are over, thereby vastly increasing my chances of nailing one.
Reality: One week before training contract deadline. Oh dear.
2. Al fresco dinning
Expectation: Have a sophisticated summer picnic-dinner, just like the cultured lawyer-to-be that I am destined to be.
Reality: BYOB and a packet of monster munch. The student within me has not died yet.
3. Legal reading
Expectation: Here’s a sensible idea my future self will thank me for! I’ll catch up on legal reading over the summer and organise notes for next year. Books are my friends.
Reality: 60 episodes of Suits later… Law is basically just walking around in high heels, right?
4. Immerse in foreign culture
Expectation: Go somewhere interesting and practise a foreign language.
Reality: Does visiting my extended Glaswegian family count?
5. Hit the gym
Expectation: I’ll use all my spare time this summer to ramp up my fitness game.
Reality: I don’t know how many packets of Doritos I’ve eaten today but I do know every single line of How I Met your Mother…
6. Reminisce with old friends
Expectation: Catch up with former school chums and relive your childhood memories.
Reality: For some reason my old friends aren’t interested in comparing law firm trainee retention rates. The law is a lonely road…
7. Vac schemes
Expectation: Summer? What summer? I’ll be vac scheming it up!
Reality: I failed to secure one and have brought dishonour on my family.
Expectation: Fix the printer/shelf/chair that’s been broken all year.
Reality: Being able to write a case summary has not actually prepared me for the real world. A future of wobbly furniture looms.
9. Parental praise
Expectation: My family are going to be so impressed with my career ambitions, part of me hopes they don’t praise me too much, you know? I am the golden child.
Reality: No, dad, I can’t help you avoid the parking ticket; you parked in a CHILDREN’S PLAY AREA.
10. Charitable work
Expectation: Do something a bit different and volunteer for a good cause.
Reality: Working at a criminal law firm is basically volunteer work anyway, am I right?
Expectation: I know what I need. A fun relaxing holiday to prepare for the start of term.
Reality: I’M BANKRUPT
12. Vitamin D boost
Expectation: Get a nice healthy tan.
Reality: Spending every waking hour studying has not prepared my pasty skin for the full force of UV light. I must retreat back into the depths of the library from whence I came.
13. Summer fling
Expectation: Have a whirlwind summer romance.
Reality: We’re not sure how Amal Alamuddin winged that one, but we’ll get back to you when we figure out how she managed it.
Expectation: Throw caution to the wind and do things I would never otherwise dream of doing.
Reality: It has started to dawn on me that the law student is not the most daring of beasts. Maybe I should have studied archaeology for a more Indiana Jones-style life.
15. Planning your future
Expectation: Okay, game plan. Let’s prepare for next year’s applications and work NOW. I must set my own course.
Reality: Or free fall. Whatever…