If you have served an LDS mission, chances are you've already done it. Because it is basically the same thing.
1.) When you tell people you're going to law school, they feel compelled to warn you. Especially people you're meeting for the first time. They'll look deeply into your eyes and tell you how hard it is, even though you both know it's not something you'll be able to emotionally understand until you've experienced it. It almost feels rude to say that you are still planning on going anyway.
2.) Law school orientation is just like the MTC-- a fun, highly structured summer camp where you don't really learn anything but you feel like you have! You hear pump-up stories about the value of education, the difference you'll be able to make in the lives of others, and smiling authority figures confirm that you are, indeed, destined to succeed. Orientation ends and you think you've already graduated, like "Well, it was hard but it was good! I learned what I needed to learn; glad I did that. Time to go home!"
3.) Your lifestyle doesn't really allow you to date, but you do get fed at least once a week by members of the Church. Professors here take you out to lunch with other classmates on the law school's tab. (Obviously, I'm really looking forward to this as too many Bach seasons have taught me the importance of competing for one-on-one time on group dates. Crossing my fingers for some good drama at Mountain West Burrito.)
4.) Your brain hurts frequently (if not constantly) and you don't really know what's going on. People say a lot of words at you, and you pretend to understand what they mean.
At the end of class, your professor slows down and looks at you with compassion.
"Let's bring it back to what's most important," she says. "If you take nothing else away from these cases, the one principle I want you to understand here is hypothetical jurisdiction dichotomy referendum expectations prospectively distinguishing tantamount punitive construed reasonable determination."
Ah, yes. That clears things right up. You nod wisely, like you're really tapping into the nuances of what she's saying, while your fingers silently google What is a tort? for the 15th time.
5.) You decorate your study carrel with pictures of Jesus, your family, and/or motivational quotes. Everyone else does the same, and you enjoy casually creeping on their photo collages whenever they're not at their desk.
6.) But mostly, you work really hard and hope that all of this won't be for nothing.
Not to whine or anything. It's not all that bad. You can wear pants in public! Leggings, even! AKA there are still some key differences...
WHY LAW SCHOOL IS NOT TOTALLY EXACTLY THE SAME AS A MISSION:
Leslie Knope is always there for you on Netflix whenever you need a break from studying.
BYU Law believes in caffeine. I've seen Diet Coke snuggled up right next to the Shasta at every school event so far.
Sundays are magical, because you really can rest from your labors. After church you can come home and nap instead of having to go out on the street and try to enter strangers' homes.
You're allowed to look cute like actually cute, not biking-in-the-desert cute.
I could go on and on. See? Not even as hard as a mission! WE ARE DOING THIS.
CLASS OF 2017