By :Dalton Carty
Lansing Managing Editor
We all know summer is a time for fun in the sun. Amusement parks, barbeques, bonfires, camping, bike riding, fireworks, swimming, baseball, and horse-back riding are only a few activities people engage during summer. However, for diligent law students who opt take classes during summer rather than return home to be with family and friends, summer activities are even more important because they are a means to escape the continuous rigors associated with pursuing a law degree especially as one’s mind frequently drifts to home with its familiar nuances. Plainly stated, it is difficult to concentrate on the intricacies of negligence when one can only think about mom’s homemade July 4th apple pie, the annual trips one took to the beach or lake with friends every summer before law school, the home team’s opening day, or the music festival where one heard a favorite band on a date with a special someone. Therefore, as a complement to the article Michigan Summers that enumerated places to visit in Michigan during the summer, I posed questions to several Cooley students about what they did during summers before law school, what they do while attending summer classes, and what their plans were for summer 2014.
Andrea Woods, a third term student from North Carolina, said she attended summer picnics before law school. However, she has not attended any picnics since beginning law school because she spends most of her time studying especially with finals quickly approaching. Yet, she said she was happy to spend time focusing on academics and obligations to student organizations.
Yingzhe Yang, a third term student from China who spent seven years in Canada before commencing law school, said he spent summers in Canada studying, watching soccer, and the NBA finals. Although he still studies regularly since starting law school, he admitted he took time to view the World Cup because it only occurs once every four years and he had to see it due to his love of the sport. He also watched the NBA Finals because the San Antonio Spurs was one team in the finals. He said the Spurs is his favorite team and there was no reason to ignore the finals as long as the Spurs played. However, he confessed he does not get to watch soccer as much as he did before law school.
Sarah Grodek, a third term student from Livonia, Michigan, said she spent summers prior to law school bike riding, engaging outdoor activities like swimming, and connecting with family and friends. Since starting law school, she continues to do all the aforementioned and has also done stand up paddle boarding on Lake Lansing, had a weekend trip to Cedar Point Amusement Park, studied outdoors, and traveled home to see family and friends.
An anonymous third term student from Buffalo, who spent sixteen years in California before coming to law school, said he spent summers in California running, biking, swimming, and attending barbeques and baseball games. However, since commencing law school, he has not done much of the aforementioned. Moreover, he wanted to compete in a half marathon this summer, but said he probably would not have the time because finals were rapidly approaching.
Zakiyyah Jackson-Bey, a third term student Chicago, Illinois, said she spent summers before law school going to food and music festivals, the beach, theme parks, and movies in the park. However, since starting law school, she has not done any of the aforementioned because such things are not available in Lansing.
Nabil Freij, a sixth term student from Cypress, California, said his summers before law school entailed going to the beach and gym and playing basketball. However, although he still plays basketball and goes to the gym since starting law school, he does not go to the beach because there is no ocean in Michigan. He also said his time to play basketball and lift weights has been seriously impaired because of his law school workload. Still, his love for the ocean has been partially satisfied by Michigan’s multiple lakes and rivers. He has gone to a friend’s cottage on Lake St. Clair for the last two summers and realized an interest in boating and fishing.
Asked about plans for summer 2014, Woods said she intended to study because it was time to crack down with finals only a few weeks away. Yang said he intended to finish his courses and return to Canada to see family and friends. Grodek said she was going to Wisconsin for the July 4th weekend. The anonymous student from California said he intended to study for finals because they are distracting him from doing other things like the marathon. Jackson-Bey said she planned to go home, work, finish summer classes, and attend a park concert in Lansing. She also said she expects a relaxing break before starting the fall term. Finally, Freij said he had no plans for the remainder of summer.Although summer is usually a time for fun in the sun, law students relinquish the ability for summer fun to advance their interest in law. Many give up seeing family and friends as well as engaging typical summer activities to demonstrate continued commitment to their chosen profession. Therefore, they should be commended for their diligence and anticipate the day when summers are once again pleasurable.