This, a thousand times this. Let me tell you rising 1Ls something: median at the University of Chicago is a pretty damn comfy spot to be in, and below median can be pretty nice too, depending on your personality and life story. You could do far, far worse (and literally tens of thousands of law students across the country do worse) than median at this school. It's a really interesting dynamic: everyone is where they are (read: here) because they have some kind of competitive streak, but then you get here and, for all practical purposes, nobody really has to compete anymore, at least not in any meaningful sense.
I spent a lot of time thinking about the unwritten prohibition of talking about grades, and I honestly think more grades-transparency would help more than it hurts. People at the top and bottom already know they're at the top and bottom, but the 80% or whatever clustered around median would see that they're in the same boat as everyone else, and I think that would be really helpful for many of them (because I got a strong sense that, with the black-box approach to grades, people who were doing just fine were convinced that they were failures).
Yeah, I think most students fall into the trap of not realizing how good of a position they are in from the beginning. I often thought of it like being in the NBA (or whatever pro sports league) of legal academics; everyone wants to be Lebron James, but very few people can. Nevertheless, you are still in the NBA. It's easy to forget that there are plenty of other law schools in the city of Chicago where students are struggling to get any
job. You are fortunate enough to be at school where you have pretty much won the "law school game" upon entry (unless of course, you think you will only be successful if you become a Supreme Court clerk. If that is the case, you are in for a rude awakening).
I also agree about the grades comment; more transparency would be better. After all, you will know who makes law review, etc. at the end of the day. However, 80% of the class is pretty much clustered around median, and the distinction between a 177 and 178 can be minuscule. Unfortunately, it seems that law students in particular are the type of people who constantly worry about these fine distinctions (which in the end don't matter at all).
At the end of the day, law school is a professional school. You are training to be a lawyer. Try to relax and enjoy 1L (you will only be an 1L once). I also recommend trying to maintain a "blank slate" mindset. In the legendary words of Professor Helmholz: "Originality is one of the most dangerous traits of a law student."