The days begin to lengthen again and the first semester comes to its end; at this time of the year, and at this point in our student lives, it is at last time to take a deep breath and look back at what can be considered as the beginning of a new part of our lives.
Indeed, following the frenzy of the exam period, time stands still, allowing us to rest, but moreover, to realise that these upcoming days might be the very first weekend of true tranquillity. Surprisingly, after such a long time of fulltime rush, always apprehending a test, a dead line, an exam, this “time out” leaves a surreal impression. And this feeling of having nothing to do immediately reminds us of a time past; yet, this past feels quite far away, and still, this new life can leave us with a feeling of incredulity.
As we took our first steps in the first year of law school, we quickly discovered that time is really precious, and the rare pauses valuable. Accustomed to having quiet moments during the years of high school, this first semester was very intense: between the standard training courses and the ones from the “Grande Ecole du Droit”, we literally always had something to do; the work-free moments of our days were very few, taking a day off could be risky, and even the holidays were busy since we had to study for the upcoming exams.
Thus, these months have been filled with newness: lessons, conferences, meetings, debates… This newness took several forms and could be observed in many areas.
University, first and foremost, involves finding a new rhythm: the time spent on campus is up to the students, whether it be listening to the professors in the more or less crowded amphitheatre, quietly studying in the university’s library, or reviewing one’s lessons at the beloved cafeteria. We found out rather fast that if this independence is enjoyable, it is followed by more important responsibilities. The students study in a new environment, especially the amphitheatres, where the number of students is huge and intimidating compared to our previous small classrooms. In this way, the lessons are delivered as lectures, the students can’t participate actively, which is also new for us in. But the students’ questions are taken care of by teachers, during tutorials, in smaller groups.
Ultimately, first year students get to meet many new people: students from the same GED promotion, from the other university’s promotions, older students, former students, professors, etc; and, especially among the people from the Grande Ecole du droit, we feel like we can find a reliable friend in every one these encounters.
GED1 students can rely on so much support from other members of the school, the encouragement coming from everyone is really a very precious help, significantly thanks to the tutoring system and the coaching project.
To be honest, the period of adaptation when starting university can be tough; the pressure encountered, especially toward the first (quite often not so good) grades, could have made the beginning of the school year rather hard on us; But thanks to the stimulating lessons, the caring professors, the kindness of older students and essentially thanks to the solidarity within the whole GED group, (or should I say the GED family), first year students such as myself are more motivated than ever. As apprehensiveness and nervousness diminish, impatience and thirst of knowledge increase, the main source of our interest in law studies, the determination to do our very best and to succeed can now flourish.