All That’s Left


Law school will come full circle for the current batch of fourth years come May. It’s sad but true that most of us will be leaving law school looking far worse than we did when we entered. Sitting in “The Summit” today and observing the Year 1s and 2s walking around, I realised that the difference was far more apparent than I first thought. Save for a precious few who continue to take extra effort to doll up, most of us look exactly like the exhausted soulless final years that we are.

In the grand tradition of my life, I attempted to sum up the past four years of my life in a different institute of learning. The law degree course being twice as long as junior college, one would expect to walk away with more memories and friends. While lectures and seminars don’t exactly make for the best environment in which one can converse and connect, at the very least, one should be leaving with more friends than JC, albeit not as many as secondary school, right?


Maybe it’s law school. Maybe it’s the people who will in future be known to society as prostitutes and blood-suckers. Maybe (and this is most likely), it’s me. Law school started with a bang, but looks set to end with a whimper.

Legal writing is a great course to start off our law school education with. Apart from grounding us technically, it bonded people together like no other course could. As those who’ve been through army know, strange things happen when people go through shit together. And while that didn’t translate as literally as it did in army, legal writing, with its insane workload, saw everyone bond together in the best way possible. United against a common enemy – the bane of work.

Days were whiled away in the business canteen, talking, inquiring, sharing. Learning more about people was akin to shooting up drugs – it gave one a rush, a thrill to have engaged someone else in something so basic yet special. Sure, all that amounted to a nasty shock come exam time, but even the process of studying was made all the more enjoyable with late night study sessions over nasi lemak and coffee (and the occasional beer of course).

As drugs do however, the momentary high courses through one’s body before sweeping away, leaving one with nothing but snot and tears. Friends started drifting. Rivalries formed between different ‘cliques’ of friends, and soon enough, it became impossible to trust everyone save for a few. The people you thought knew you well… didn’t actually. Meetings together became sparse and filled with conversation that left one feeling nothing, empty. Granted, withdrawal set in occasionally and glimpses of the brilliance and love of past could be seen in those rare meetings. Generally however, nothing came close again to what you experienced, what you thought you had.

Friendship was never this complicated in secondary school. It’s not supposed to be filled with politicking. It’s not supposed to be merely about lunches together amidst inane chatter. It’s about having the honesty to tell others what you really feel and really think. To make sure you don’t neglect friends just because you suddenly grew another half. To care. To love.

So what’s really left?

One or two good friends you know will stay. A dozen plus friends you know will drift. A whole lot of memories, but ultimately, a vague regret at what could have been.

The best laid schemes o’ mice and men

Gang aft a-gley

And leave us naught but grief and pain

For promised joy


10 Responses to “All That’s Left”

  1. 1 Zhenz

    is the last portion an excerpt from somewhere?

  2. 2 jj

    Was it schemes? I thought it was plans. And I know what you mean, about how you regret not doing certain things before graduation. But I guess we just have to keep looking forward and take comfort in what we have, as opposed to what we may have lost.

  3. 3 Anikin

    What disrupts the force my master?

  4. 4 Zhenz

    Testosterone …

  5. 5 Jammy

    Quality over Quantity.

  6. Zhenz – It’s a poem by Robert Burns. And your testosterone comment… is nice.
    JJ – I think schemes and plans have been interchanged in different version?
    Anikin – See Comment 4
    Jam – I agree. But it’s more a case of being unhappily surprised at having to return some goods.

  7. 7 vdr

    hey, drop by kent ridge campus for a drink (munchie’s); think i din tell u i got the offer + qt a nice package 🙂

  8. 8 Zhenz

    vdr si tar por or char bor?

  9. 9 vdr

    limbei is tar por

  10. 10 Zhenz

    ok lor sianz i sway …

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