How to Survive Summer Culture Shock


By: Sarah Telle, 1L

Section Editor

It’s that time of year again. Soon W&L law students will be leaving the small, safe, and quaint City of Lexington to resume life in the outside world. The transition back into the outside world presents many conflicts and conundrums to law students who have been trapped in Sydney Lewis Hall for the past nine months. Here is a list of practical advice, which one would do well to remember as one embarks on a summer adventure.

1. Lock your car

Lexington is an incredibly safe place. If you don’t lock your car, if you leave your laptop someplace, or even if you forget your wallet on a park bench, you don’t really have to worry too much about whether it’s going to be there when you return. However, those not subject to W&L’s Honor Code and beyond law school may not understand that trespass to chattels isn’t okay.

2. Hello is not required

One of the best/worst things about small-town living is that people say “hello” when passing one another on the street. It doesn’t matter if you’re running, walking, or even if you’ve already said “hello.” This action doesn’t necessarily occur in most places these days. In fact, some people beyond Lexington’s city limits may look at you weird if you even accidently make eye contact, so raising your voice toward them in a friendly greeting might be met with outright hostility. Just remember “hello” is not required, but merely recommended in the outside world.

3. Be prepared to meet alumni

If you wear any W&L gear, alumni will stop you for a chat. This is good because you might make a friend, or an unexpected network connection. This is bad because it might make you late for a meeting. Advice to all rising classes: the summer is a perfect time to reach out to W&L Alumni and expand networking circles for life after law school.

4. Normal Chinese restaurants

Tongs is a Lexington original. Don’t be disappointed that your neighborhood Chinese restaurant lacks a disco bar. Yes, the funky ambience might be absent, but the Chinese food will be better. And, just remember: you can disco anywhere.

5. Bragging about W&L

You attend an amazing school with an incredible history. George Washington was the school’s first benefactor. Robert E. Lee and his horse, Traveller, are buried right here, on campus. Your professors know you by name. You casually run into said professors while shopping in Kroger or munching at Taps. You know nearly all of your classmates and a substantial number of those from other classes as well. Feel free to share these fun facts with your friends and coworkers, but don’t go overboard. You don’t want people to get jealous.

Lucy at her Advice stand

Source: | Transitioning from the quiet Lexington life to a bustling city this summer offers its challenges.

6. Decision overload

In the outside world, you will be faced with a plethora of choices. There will be more than two restaurants open past 8 pm. The weekend activities will not be limited to hiking and outlining. However, Jenna Lorence,3L, points out, “Just because you have the options doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to decide.” Being limited to a handful of restaurants has its perks.

7. Clarifying where you go to law school

You attend Washington and Lee University School of Law. You do not attend Washington and Mary, Williams and Lee, Washington and William, Mary and Lee. You live in Lexington, Virginia. You do not live in Williamsburg, D.C., or anywhere in Washington State. For the outside world, these distinctions may be hard to grasp.

8. Planning is required

Traffic is a thing. You can’t expect to leave your house five minutes before a meeting and be on time. Punctuality plays a crucial role in making a good impression. Try to be places 10 to 15 minutes early, not two minutes late.

Good Luck!!


Categories: Opinions & Editorials