By: Kelly Donovan ENGL Dept. Social Media Intern (blog 5)
After playing in my senior game with the women’s soccer team this past Sunday, it has started to sink in that graduation is right around the corner. Now that soccer is coming to an end and I will no longer be a student athlete, I have been taking some time to reflect on myself solely as a student. In addition, I have begun to think about some of the things that I have learned along the way through soccer that I believe will help me in my law school journey. As a student athlete, you are forced to learn how to time manage. Between classes, homework, studying, practices, games, traveling, lifting, rehabilitation, meetings etc., student athletes quickly learn that there is not much room for free time. Instead, you quickly learn how to prioritize what is most important to you. I personally knew from the start that school would be my number one priority. Although it wasn’t always easy, I have taken pride in consistently submitting assignments on time while I also making sure the work itself was done to the best of my ability. When I know my soccer schedule is going to be extra hectic, I also try to complete work that is due in the distant future. As a second semester senior, my course load isn’t too strenuous. I recognize that in law school, I likely will not even have the option to complete work that’s due in the future, since the course load will be much heavier. Although this will be the case, I do think my time management skills will help me succeed in the classroom, especially since I will not have the extra obligation to soccer in my life.
When I think about myself as a student alone, it makes me excited that I have already started to find a passion in law through the courses I have taken and the extracurriculars I have participated in. However, this semester in particular has shown me the ways in which my writing skills have been of value as an English major and how they will change going in to law school. I would argue that the writing for my political science classes have been more similar to legal writing than the work I have done for my English classes. In political science, we are taught to spend a lot of time doing research before actually writing. Our writing is based off of solid facts, whereas this is not always the case in my English classes. For example, I took a class called Fiction Workshop. In this class we were taught to be creative. The writing for tor this class was not expected to be factual, hence why it was a “fiction” class. In classes such as this one, I have been taught to use a variety of word choice to entice readers. However, in Legal Research and Writing with Professor Sprowls, we have learned that legal writing encourages the repetition of certain terms for clarity and consistency purposes. In creative writing, citations are not required. In legal writing, it is important to include citations when referencing statutes or other authority. I also have learned that I will need to be extra cautious about grammatical expectations in law school. While contractions have typically been acceptable in the courses I have taken thus far, this might not be the case in the future.
I wouldn’t trade my life as a student athlete for anything, but I can certainly say I am ready for the next chapter of my life. While I have certainly learned a lot of life lessons and skills as an athlete, I believe that the things I have learned in the classroom will be most crucial in my success as a law student.