Life as a Deacon and Syracuse Heartache

Today marks two months since I left my home in New York to begin the new and exciting adventure that has been my 1L year at Wake Forest Law thus far. It was not an easy move–I was only an hour and a half from home during my undergraduate years, and the thought of moving almost six hundred miles away frankly sort of terrified me. This is a place quite different from where I’d grown up, in terms of culture, geography, and even language. I never had any good faith reservations about attending law school in the South, but ripping up anyone from their roots and transplanting them into a completely different climate is never an easy proposition.

Fortunately for me, these past two months have been nothing short of awesome. I had the great fortune to be placed into a section of some of the brightest, funniest, and all-around great people I could have hoped to meet and befriend at Wake Forest (1st is the worst, 2nd is the best, something something hairy chest…). I have made friends that I know will likely last the rest of life, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

Culturally speaking, I’ve started to “assimilate,” if that’s the right word for it. I’ve caught myself using “y’all” without realizing it and calling adults “sir” and “ma’am.” I’ve even taught myself how to make fried chicken and gravy (not that difficult, but I’m still proud). Now all I need to do is forget how to use a turn signal, especially when merging into five lanes of traffic on I-40 at 75 miles per hour. Then I’ll be more of an authentic Southerner, I think.

Of course, school dominates every single aspect of my life, and it will continue to do so until sweet freedom (sort of…not really) comes in May 2017. I can safely say that I have learned more about the law these last seven weeks of school than I ever could have imagined I would learn about the law to this point. And that’s just in the first seven weeks. Of my first semester. Of my first year. I can talk about minimum contacts such that traditional concepts of fair play and substantial justice are not offended. I call tell you when “IT’S A TORT!!!!!” And I can tell you with absolute certainly that Justice Brennan loved personal jurisdiction and would be able to find it in literally every case he heard arguments for. And yet, as much as I’ve learned so far, I simultaneously know nothing at all.

But as much as I’m loving life down here in North Carolina, and as busy as school keeps me, I find myself missing Syracuse terribly. I miss my friends. I miss marching band. I miss hearing the Crouse Chimes ringing the Alma Mater and dealing with AirOrangeX insisting that I can’t have Internet access (okay, maybe not so much on that last one). The cruelty of higher education is that it mixes a bunch of people from all over and all walks of life together, allows them to form close and intense friendships, and then rends those friendships asunder when the time comes for commencement.

Fortunately, my Syracuse heartache will be remedied tomorrow, when I fly back to the Salt City for my first homecoming as an alumnus. I cannot wait to reconnect with my friends, see my parents again, take in campus once more, and watch as the Florida State Seminoles absolutely dismember our football team (seriously, SU Athletics? You couldn’t schedule homecoming for a weekend when a win is at least plausible?). But as rough as the game will be, and as many beers I am likely to consume as a result of it, I could not be more excited for this much-anticipated, if not brief, reunion. I have been looking forward to this day since the moment I left campus this past May, and that it is finally here has me shaking in mind-numbing anticipation for going to the Charlotte airport tomorrow. My bags are packed and my boarding passes are printed. I’m coming home, Syracuse.

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