amen, amen, a million times amen to #1.
(this started as a comment to Useless Dicta's last post, but it started to get so long that i decided to make it a new entry to the blog.)
i didn't quite realise what a drama factory law school was until i was a 2L. i was a little dense. to be fair, i came to law school as part of a couple, a pretty long-term one...and the drama is always a lot less when you're paired up than when you're single. i was just oblivious. it really didn't matter a whole lot what was going on. i wasn't really a part of the drama. i had my friends that i met through activities or through class, but there was always the whole significant other thing. i didn't do anything scandalous with my classmates, and i didn't care what kinds of scandalous things my classmates were doing with each other.
(although, i'm not quite sure how much of the second one was the fact that i was taken, and how much of it was the fact that people in college were so nice about staying out of everyone else's business--and the naivete that bred.)
then, pretty early in my 2L year...i was a single gal again. i had a new, clearer eye through which to see all of the drama going on around the law school, and it is like high school. the law school world became a little more interesting to me, since it had inadvertently become my entire universe...i'm not from st. louis, and so all the people i saw on a regular basis were truly tied to the law school. that was fine, i had close friends, and as supportive of a law school world as a girl could hope for.
but...i can't believe i had been so oblivious for so long. everyone knew everyone else's business. 1L, 2L, 3L...it really doesn't matter. be prepared for everyone to know a little more about you than you want to. i don't even know if high school is the right comparison...law school is more like the size of a middle school. (to be fair, i went to a fairly large high school.) law school is small. it's insular. people can be really, really catty under the stress of law school, and it's only exacerbated by the fact that most people spend almost all of their time around law students.
the best advice i have? what i wish i knew coming in? just...brace yourself for the most vicious rumour mill you've seen since you were thirteen. don't take it too personally when rumours start to fly about you or your friends. if anyone asks about them, feel free to clarify, but don't be surprised when your attempts to clarify what [salacious circumstances/rivalries/insert subject of rumour here] actually went on fall on deaf ears. keep living your life, and stay close to your friends because they can keep you sane as well as be a valuable aegis against your cattier classmates.
and, if you want to go to that house party and make out with that cutie in your torts class, don't be surprised if people ask you about it the next week.