Sunday, May 7, 2017


You are packing your bags for a trip to Philadelphia (which is by the way definitely worth visiting! It’s only a one and a half hour train ride from New York.). Only a few minutes ago you finished your last exam. It was once more a typing marathon. Your hands are still sweaty. Your mind is still racing, and has not slowed down yet. A tentative feeling of pride and relief. Done. You are done. After nine month, no one is asking you for anything. No reading assignment. No reaction paper. No exam. And now you are standing in your room, thinking what to take with you.
You glimpse to your bookshelf. Chaos. Books pile up, papers all over the place, somewhere in between your outlines and candy – the fuel for the last few days of the semester. A glimpse out of habit – during the semester there has always been something you could and should read. Back in your mind, there has been always something to do. And so, you always took something with you – an outline, a book, a paper, if you went on a journey to discover other cities somewhere in the US and to compare them with New York, or if you only went on a subway ride. It was a different story if you really read everything you took with you. Mostly you did not. You soon realized that your plan has been (again) overambitious. But you always carried something along. Who knows, maybe it has helped, too.
Then you realize that you will not take anything from this shelf. Nothing to read! Nothing to work on! For a second you feel confused. For real? For real for real? What should you take instead? You do not know. Is there really nothing you have to/should do? Then you decide to take nothing. You will not take an extra backpack. You will not take any book. You will merely sit on the train and do nothing. Nothing nothing. For real. For real for real. It is a moment of happiness and relief, but also melancholy. You also realize that your stay in New York is coming to an end. Sooner than you expected. Sooner than you thought. Sooner than you want.

The LLM program itself is officially over. No more enriching classes, no more annoying exams, no more wonderful group discussions. No more sitting on the terrace and studying different approaches how to structure the world.

But so far, the New York experience has not ended. There are wonderful things coming up. Grad Ball. Graduation. And of course, finally free time to finally visit all the places on your long list you always wanted to visit during your time in New York.


This blog is featured on LLM GUIDE, a global, online community for prospective LL.M. students, and a directory of programs offered worldwide.