THE BLACKHALL CHAPTERS: IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS
I had this belief going into Blackhall that I’d suddenly find myself with more free time than I’d be able to cope with. Everyone who has been here before me seemed to say the same thing – relish the nights out, take up new hobbies and try and squeeze in every last minute of free time I possibly could before the exam season kicked in. You end up going in with expectations that you’ve to do absolutely everything that you can. Honestly, it gets a little pressurising.
Am I loving Blackhall? Yes. Absolutely. I’ve joined the running club (I’m back doing weekly 5-10ks!), I’ve joined the baking club (guess who’s successfully made a three tiered iced cake this weekend?) and I’m a member of this year’s Stetson moot team competing in Florida after the exams finish in March. I couldn’t possibly love my tutorial group, my trainee intake or my moot team more. I’ve made some great friends and filled my life with amazing women who I know are going to take the legal world by storm. Blackhall was worth the pain and suffering of the FE1s and the months of locking myself up in my own little study cave, but crazy as it sounds, I had a surprisingly stressful time at the beginning trying to adjust to it all. It’s okay everyone, I’m completely fine and adjusted now, but I feel like it’s an important thing to admit and to write about in this blog because I can guarantee that next year some of you readers will feel it too. (I know you law heads read this, I’ve heard enough of you say it!)
So at the beginning of my time in Blackhall I found that I literally couldn’t keep up with the nights out followed by the days in lectures. I’m a wine lover and a foodie and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest to admit that I’m no longer able to keep up with my college drinking days. I love nightclubs, but not several nights a week. It just isn’t my thing and that definitely won’t be changing any time soon. But in Blackhall your days are flipped. Weekends are for recovering from the mid-week nights out. Mondays in Xicos or Tuesdays in Diceys quickly become routine. And in full and frank disclosure – it’s not for me. Not every week at least. BUT, and this is a large one, I can’t get enough of the brunches, the dinners, the shows, the gigs and the random little trips away. I’m finally finding time to learn to knit, to bake and to improve my fitness. I’m coming back to blogging. That said, even though on the face of it I’m doing loads, I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing out.
I think I came to Blackhall with certain expectations not just of the people I met and my time here but of myself. I expected to want to go hard or go home. But I don’t. I like being prepared for tutorials (although every now and again I’ve winged it) and I don’t have much time for hangovers anymore. Granted, Christmas is coming and the festive season is literally a day away, but I’m happy to limit my alcohol intake if it means I don’t have to write off a day for recovery. Accepting that I’m a bit on the dry side of life wasn’t the easiest, but I think I’m learning to embrace it now. If Blackhall has given me anything thus far, it’s the self-awareness to accept that I cannot change certain things about who I am and the determination to change those that I can.
Over the next few weeks I intend on filling my festive period with things that I love at this time of year. I’m going to go ice-skating, secret santa-ing, gift shopping, have some cinema visits, family time, nights out, nights in and ultimately I plan to finish off my 2017 embracing my happiest self. My time in Blackhall is too short for anything else.
Before I finish off – congratulations to all of you who just survived the FE1s and received your results this week! Adventure is coming. You’ve earned it.