Ok, so not really the first day. More of a “register, get your student ID, talk to some 2L’s and 3L’s, and take a brief tour of campus” day.
I did get to meet a surprisingly large number of my section members, and they all feel very, very young (well, to be honest, I feel very, very old). Several of them just graduated from college in the spring, which means they graduated high school in 2007… a year AFTER I finished my Masters.
I feel old. Decrepit, even.
The other interesting part of the day was a comment a 2L made in the midst of a panel that was largely self-affirmation pablum (“You’ll be fine, everyone freaks out, just relax, you were smart enough to get in here so you’ll be smart enough to do well, relax, relax, relax”), which touched on what this is really all about, and sliced through all the collegial rah-rah-school propaganda. His point (and this from the guy who spent 4 years after college working for Goldman Sachs in NY, so it makes sense it came from him) was essentially this:
You’re paying a lot to be here, but what you’re paying for isn’t necessarily the books. It’s the network. Michigan Law has one of the largest and most active alumni networks in the country. Use it. Be sociable. Make friends. That’s what is really going to help you find work.
Yup. That’s exactly why I’m here. Good to be reminded of that two days before the official orientation, and a full week before classes start. Gotta get schmoozing…