Advice to my First-Year Law Self 🤔

Dear Evangeline,

4 years, 2 degrees and a fiancé later – who would’ve thought you would have made it this far. But you did it 🥳

If only you knew what I know now. I wish I could go back to every time that you doubted your abilities, your courage and your strength. I wish I could give you a little hug from the future and tell you that all those small things that you worried about worked themselves out in the end and there was no need to lose relentless night’s sleep over them. You even passed your public and EU law exam first time round btw; I secretly always knew that you’d do it. You even went on and surpassed your wildest expectations – I am so proud of you.

Reminiscing back, I wish you knew some things that only experience would have taught you. Guess it’s never too late to learn. So, future Evangeline has compiled a list of the things she wishes you had known back when you were an 18-year-old girl embarking on the biggest journey of your life.

1. I wish you didn’t try to change who you were to attempt to fit in with the crowd (NTS – jet black hair does not suit you). It turns out everyone loves you for exactly who you are. So much so, that you will have your own catchphrase ‘eve moments’ that your friends will incorporate into their vocabulary.  

2. I wish you had found your voice a lot quicker and stopped letting people walk all over you. I know that you only did this because you didn’t want to upset people, but the truth is life is so much easier when you speak your mind.

3. I wish you had started applying for training contracts sooner and researched the particular area of law that you wanted to specialise in. Future Evangeline is very mad at you about this!!

4. I wish you were prepared for freshers’ flu. It is not just a word or a joke but an actual thing. Can you imagine that!! I wish you had stocked up on cold and flu tablets and not completely terrified your housemates and family by sleeping the whole first week away.

5. I wish you would have taken more time to mingle with your uni professors in first year. They are not angry scary humans; they are actually unbelievably kind and helpful. You will be seeing their faces for the next 4 years so suck it up and schedule some meetings. (*FYI – future Evangeline here to tell you that by your LPC, you will be best friends with your lecturers).

6. I wish you would have left your eyebrow’s alone. Square eyebrows are not cute, and you will spend the next 5 years trying to get back your natural eyebrow shape. Also DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT overdraw your eyebrows with a dark pencil unless you wish to resemble a caterpillar. In that case, go ahead.

7. I wish you would have tried more sporting activities. Yes, you did go on to do tennis and cheerleading but uni is the perfect time to try something new. Adult life is not so flexible. Let’s just say you will barely have the time to shower let alone dry your hair. So, sample everything and have no regrets. I know you wanted to try so much more but you didn’t have the confidence to put yourself out there. It’s worth it.  

8. I wish you would have known that although you think your eyesight is bad now, you wait. Your eyesight will deteriorate significantly every semester and you should really be getting more eye tests and taking more trips to the optician. I wish you would have invested in anti-glare and blue shield to. That would have helped you, especially during the MANY late-night library sessions you will encounter.

9. I wish you would have figured out how to use public transport quicker. I get that you were in a foreign country and all, but buses and taxis are your friend, particularly at 4am in the morning when you are trying to get back to campus. Also, I wish you didn’t walk home with your mates after a night out because I now know that you pick up a unanimous item every time on your way home and hoard it in your uni house for the foreseeable future. This isn’t ideal when it comes to packing up your room, but it does make for some great memories.

10. Lastly and most importantly, that weird boy that keeps looking down at you from the top row of Grove lecture theatre is not as weird as you think. I wish you would have given him a chance sooner. It turns out that he loved you since day one and you will end up marrying him one day 💍💍

The world is a very different place to the one that you once knew. The friends you make in uni will be your ride or dies for life and you wouldn’t be half the person you are today without their love, support and laughter. Although part of me wishes that you had known these 10 things back then, at the same time I don’t. Because knowing what I do now requires sensibility and I am glad you lived your first year without any worries or cares, because adult life makes it hard to think of life without its troubles.  

I am proud of everything that you have achieved and everything that you stand for – you are doing just fine.

Until next time,

Love,

 a 23 year-old Evangeline 💞