Run for your life and mind the gap: the Bar School. Is London worth it?
No. It is not.
Just kidding, but I do have mixed feelings about the city.
Studying and living in London can be very attractive because you have everything you need in one city, you get to experience the city and there is a lot going on. It really can be awesome and inspirational. London is gorgeous and at first it can make you feel like anything is possible.
Don't we all want to success in the city? The beginning is great, but after a while you get to see this disorganisation, hecticness, rush hour, exhaustion, e.g. in London courts or CPS stuff go missing all the time or something is in one way or the other not working how it should, all this stress and running around. Living in the big city starts to be annoying then it becomes very draining and then people you meet sometimes make it 100 times worse. Is London worth it all?
1. Aggression, arrogance and ambition
One of the first groups of people I met was the overly aggressive set of individuals pulling in their own direction. They thought that they have all of BPTC business figured out and that being an arrogant a*se is the way forward. This is particularly relevant to individuals who take the bar exams and they (seem to) "have it all" already, impressive degree, thousands of work experiences and/or long running family tradition of being in legal profession. I need to tread carefully here and I am very careful not to mention the class system as it is 2018. I am referring to those people who regardless of their background look down on others and think that just because they are planning on the career at the Bar of England and Wales, it is acceptable to treat people "below" them like s*it. The source of this nastiness has not as much to do with their location as with their upbringing, however the intensity of such individuals per meter square tends to be higher in London and the bar school seems to be their natural habitat.
I haven't really figured out a fool-proof method for managing the arrogant a**holes but ignorance is bliss in that case I think. You are not obliged to speak to them or be around them, so just cut them off. But before you write them off completely, learn from them. It might be a good idea to pay some attention to them, because what you can learn is this unapologetic presence they have and they are onto something when I comes to putting on a show. Take the arrogance out of the equation and what you will be left with is a confident and dominant individual who knows what s/he wants and s/he came there to get it and does not care at all what you have to say about that.
2. Key to Un/happiness
Dissatisfaction is a common view in London, even by just looking around the street or tube stations, it is like everyone gave up but they are still going. I know this is a big generalisation and I am sure there are happy people in London but in about two years I have been there, I only ever saw one person smiling whilst on the tube. This guy was so busy doing his make up between King's Cross and Covent Garden I could not help but watch these contouring skills. He might have been smiling to himself in the mirror or because he had a full bag of MAC make-up, either way he was happy!
The miserable one and this one is the most depressing because they drain you energy too. To be fair, the person I going to use as an example deserves their own separate post entitled "1000 complaints about the life as a barrister" but I do not want to spread the misery just warn about it, because this person was in a very bad place and refused to do anything about it. So in my mini-pupil-times I got to shadow an individual who was not happy about anything:
- family case
- criminal cases
- making £1,500.00 in a day
- making over £100,000.00 in a year
- paying 40% tax
- instructing solicitors calls or overall their existence?
- folders - there was too many
- folder dividers - just wrong
- solicitors sending over documents day before ...
The list goes on and on and on for 3 or 4 days I was there. I was so exhausted just listening to all of this, how everybody and everything was so bad and this individual was a victim of it all, making more in a day then I ever did in a month, having a place to live in the city, having stuff to eat, but most importantly having healthy children and means to look after them and secure their futures. How can one be so far gone that one does not even appreciate one's children?!
Anyway, I did not do psychology, but law so let's get back to the issue at hand, you have a problem how do you fix it?
Is it the location's fault? No.
Is it other miserable people's fault? No.
It is your own fault. And if you find yourself complaining over and over again, what you do to stop the misery is... stop complaining.
This mini was an educative experience in that it made me reflect on my complaining. In fact this was the first time I started to look at this whole mindfulness business. The idea of positive thinking or at least the idea of sensible thinking and minimising all these daily projections of negativity. It is very simple: you complain about the court, documents, solicitors, money or whatever else, and then what happens? You get even more of that crap you don't want because you complained about it and focused you attention on this nonsense and it comes back to you again! Instead, you should be grateful for the things you have and focus on the positive sides of the situation you are already in.
I my absolute favourite book "10x rule" written by Mr Cardone, he goes on about accepting responsibility for everything that happens to you, everything! No excuses or justifications. Oh because the train was late and there was snow, rain, traffic, and.... whatever. No one cares, you should have set off earlier and prepare for snow and all other scenarios. Or this one: I failed my course because the provider, the board are against me, they set me up to fail, they did not prepare me, they did not tell me this and that, they all conspired against me and made my world collapse on me... Well, no you took a chance, failed for whatever reason but it is your responsibility and fixing this situation is entirely on you!
So is London worth it? It is 100% worth it if you want it to be and if that is the case, then hold on tight and enjoy the ride!