It’s that time of the year again. Another batch of law students joins the hallowed halls of Army Institute of Law, Mohali. Like a mechanical cycle, one batch enters, the other leaves, taking with it tons of memories, experiences, and friends for life. Like the others who have been here before it, this batch is special, more so because it is the first one with a hundred students. ‘The Super 100’, they’ve been dubbed.
The Batch of 2026 has joined the pandemic batch club with ours, young people who have spent all of their college life behind screens, with the exception of a few who went to college for a couple of weeks. Online college, like most other things, has its own pros and cons. Just sheer existence has merits and demerits too. Undoubtedly the regret of not being on campus runs high, but virtual law school is okay too. The fog will clear, and maybe this sentence will make sense (both the reader and me). Without much lingering, here are a couple of things that have either been told to me by my seniors or the things I wish someone had told me:
1. Get books
This is one of the things I believe makes a huge difference. One will be spending almost a third of their day in front of their laptop, and it is no secret that phones contribute to hours of screen-time. PDFs of books are generally available, but getting an actual, real book to refer to will make for a good change. Too much screen-time is anyhow going to leave you exhausted, and a thing that does not emit blue light but gets the job done is your messiah.
2. Compile notes
Listening in class and making your own notes is one of the most effective ways to learn and ensure you have time to do other things after classes and not slog. I must admit I haven’t been the most patient (or consistent) listener in virtual classes, but whatever I did listen to stayed with me, and the notes I made myself have proven to be much more effective than others. Nonetheless, get notes, ask a few seniors if you get stuck, but always have notes to refer to if the need arises.
3. Connect with your batchmates
Virtual interactions are poles apart when compared to physical ones, but we are in a pandemic, and it is what it is. We have been there too, a batch sitting over Google Meet, hoping to befriend a few. But it works out. The Novices Moot Court Competition will be one initiator for this connection building exercise. Eventually, you will discover people to talk to, people to participate in events with, and people who love the same TV shows as you, and when you do, they make life easier.
4. Build a rapport with seniors
Having a good rapport with seniors is something I often heard, and I failed to understand the hype behind the statement. Little did I know that my buddy senior would be my saviour on numerous occasions, and other seniors would literally save the day. My buddy senior has also been my go-to person for last-minute questions driven by jitters, the person to answer pretty dumb questions and whatnot. With seniors, it is not only notes and projects but also simple advice and unplanned conversations which build bonds that will last for a long time to come. They will have your back, and you will, theirs. Respect and acceptance are mutual, not a one-way street, be nice to all, and you will figure out the ones you can bank upon, and they will too.
5. Have a routine after classes
Classes till 1600 hrs can get tiring, especially when everyone is new to the schedule. Sitting idle is not very healthy either. To actually be able to get through the next day without ranting, having a routine after 1600 hrs is imperative. Indulging in exercise and keeping up with one’s hobbies are the essentials everyone must have heard of, and there is not an iota of a doubt why it is being prescribed the world over. Meet vaccinated friends, hang out, make plans, laugh like there’s no tomorrow. Your brain needs a break, and so do you.
6. Equip yourself
Anti-glare glasses, spill-proof keyboard skins, snacks, something to drink, a couple of people who will be willing to listen to your ‘dukhda’, notebooks and stationery are the bare minimum you need to survive classes. Get them and let G Meet bring it on!
7. Be grateful
To really appreciate life, gratefulness is the key. Everyone stumbles sometimes, and it is but natural to feel like things are going everywhere but up, and that is okay. The world is in the middle of a pandemic, but better things are coming. People are vaccinated, and an increasingly growing number of vaccines are being supplied to the global populace. To be one of many who have made it through this period unscathed and into this college is an occasion to be grateful for. The more you appreciate and recognize your privileges, the better are your chances of voicing it out for those who have been starved of the same. You end up bringing greater good into the world, and everybody needs that.
8. Remember you are your very own person
At the end of the day, no matter what anyone says, you are one in 7.7 billion, and there is no one like you in the whole of being. You have your own laughter, your own means to seek solace, your own dreams and plans, and your very own self of being. Change is the only constant, but you do not have to change what lies at the core of your existence, the things that really make you who you are, the very things that the people you love, love about you. You are your very own person, and that should be something you take pride in. Always.
(This article is also an attempt to extend an informal welcome to the Batch of 2026. A batch who will follow their seniors yet carve out their own identities in the five years that they spend here. You will look back years from now and be proud of your growth as a person. Welcome juniors, feel free to reach out whenever. We were where you are once, and we will be here for you now.)
This article has been written by Sakshi, IInd year