Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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IAFG
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby IAFG » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:22 pm

emkay625 wrote:Scenario: I am in the bottom half of my class at NU. What are my options like?

it will depend on things that don't have anything to do with your grades: your background, your luck, your geographical flexibility, your commitment to gunning employment. you'd think everyone would gun the shit out of employment, but they don't.

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Samara
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Samara » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:35 pm

LRAP question, if anyone wants to help: If attending NU at sticker, would it be financial suicide to participate in LRAP for 3-5 years before exiting to the private sector if the private sector starting salary is "only" around $100k or so? I don't quite understand how much in loans I would have after that point, but it seems like it would still be a lot. I'm not really interested in making large loan payments for 20 years.

TYIA

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Flips88
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Flips88 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:43 pm

Samara wrote:LRAP question, if anyone wants to help: If attending NU at sticker, would it be financial suicide to participate in LRAP for 3-5 years before exiting to the private sector if the private sector starting salary is "only" around $100k or so? I don't quite understand how much in loans I would have after that point, but it seems like it would still be a lot. I'm not really interested in making large loan payments for 20 years.

TYIA

Not sure if it would be suicide per se, but Northwestern's LRAP does have what I think is a unique aspect where it pays down part of your unpaid interest every year to keep your interest from ballooning out of control for cases like this. I believe they pay up to 5 years and it is on a sliding scale dependent on income. If your salary was $100k and you were living in Chicago, things would probably be tight and it'd take you a while to pay off loans. If you're living somewhere cheaper and making that and can put $40k of your income to loans every year you may be able to pay them off in a reasonable time.

bdubs
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bdubs » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:44 pm

Samara wrote:LRAP question, if anyone wants to help: If attending NU at sticker, would it be financial suicide to participate in LRAP for 3-5 years before exiting to the private sector if the private sector starting salary is "only" around $100k or so? I don't quite understand how much in loans I would have after that point, but it seems like it would still be a lot. I'm not really interested in making large loan payments for 20 years.

TYIA


Most LRAP plans don't cover much if any principal payments. This means that if you're using IBR (like many of them require you to do) your loans will actually be growing in size, or at best remaining the same. The real payoff with LRAP is if you remain in the program for the full 10 years, since it basically subsidizes your lifestyle and waits for the government to forgive your loans. If you don't make it the full 10 years you are basically treading water and will have a lot of money to pay down.

I don't think this is unique to NU, most school's programs are similar (some give you a little more support, but they're not going to pay down your debt for you).

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Samara
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Samara » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:52 pm

Flips88 wrote:Not sure if it would be suicide per se, but Northwestern's LRAP does have what I think is a unique aspect where it pays down part of your unpaid interest every year to keep your interest from ballooning out of control for cases like this. I believe they pay up to 5 years and it is on a sliding scale dependent on income. If your salary was $100k and you were living in Chicago, things would probably be tight and it'd take you a while to pay off loans. If you're living somewhere cheaper and making that and can put $40k of your income to loans every year you may be able to pay them off in a reasonable time.

Thanks for the response. I did read about their interest payments, which is what is making consider alternate career paths. I will be living in Chicago, though not necessarily in the city, so it does seem a bit tight.

Their calculator shows the annual repayment under a 10-year plan at nearly $30k, annual IBR payment at ~$5300, annual unpaid interest at ~$10600, and the LRAP award at $12k. So, if I participated for five years, I would pay about $4k per year. After those five years though, how much would I have left in loans? Is $30k deducted from my loan amount each year, working out to about $100k left or is $16k deducted from my loan amount each year, leaving me with about $170k?*

*I suck at calculating loans and such.

bdubs
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bdubs » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:01 pm

Samara wrote:Thanks for the response. I did read about their interest payments, which is what is making consider alternate career paths. I will be living in Chicago, though not necessarily in the city, so it does seem a bit tight.

Their calculator shows the annual repayment under a 10-year plan at nearly $30k, annual IBR payment at ~$5300, annual unpaid interest at ~$10600, and the LRAP award at $12k. So, if I participated for five years, I would pay about $4k per year. After those five years though, how much would I have left in loans? Is $30k deducted from my loan amount each year, working out to about $100k left or is $16k deducted from my loan amount each year, leaving me with about $170k?*

*I suck at calculating loans and such.


Pretty sure that IBR and principal payments have no relation. IBR is a formulaic assessment of how much you can afford to pay.

If the annual interest on your loans is $15,900 (about 200k @ 8%, so sticker), Northwestern will cover $12,000 of that. Leaving you to pay ~$3,900 per year out of pocket and leaving your principal balance approximately the same.

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Samara
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Samara » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:09 pm

bdubs wrote:
Samara wrote:Thanks for the response. I did read about their interest payments, which is what is making consider alternate career paths. I will be living in Chicago, though not necessarily in the city, so it does seem a bit tight.

Their calculator shows the annual repayment under a 10-year plan at nearly $30k, annual IBR payment at ~$5300, annual unpaid interest at ~$10600, and the LRAP award at $12k. So, if I participated for five years, I would pay about $4k per year. After those five years though, how much would I have left in loans? Is $30k deducted from my loan amount each year, working out to about $100k left or is $16k deducted from my loan amount each year, leaving me with about $170k?*

*I suck at calculating loans and such.


Pretty sure that IBR and principal payments have no relation. IBR is a formulaic assessment of how much you can afford to pay.

If the annual interest on your loans is $15,900 (about 200k @ 8%, so sticker), Northwestern will cover $12,000 of that. Leaving you to pay ~$3,900 per year out of pocket and leaving your principal balance approximately the same.

Ohhhhhh, so "annual unpaid interest" is the amount of interest after the IBR payment. I get it now.

Well, fuck. There goes that idea. Biglaw or bust it is.

ryemanhattan
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby ryemanhattan » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:24 pm

How are the job prospects looking for the bottom half, third, quarter, of your class? I'm quite possibly enrolling next year, at sticker, and want to have a sense of the risk I'm taking. Of course I think I'll be super awesome and in the top third of my class but I'm sure everybody else does too, and I want to keep in mind the outside chance that I undergo some sort of freak personal trauma right before exams, i.e. parents dying in a blimp accident, newt gingrich becoming president, etc.

Is a quarter million dollar investment worth it if you are in the bottom third of your class? at median?

Thanks for your time in answering this. Debt is scary.

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IAFG
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby IAFG » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:27 pm

ryemanhattan wrote:How are the job prospects looking for the bottom half, third, quarter, of your class? I'm quite possibly enrolling next year, at sticker, and want to have a sense of the risk I'm taking. Of course I think I'll be super awesome and in the top third of my class but I'm sure everybody else does too, and I want to keep in mind the outside chance that I undergo some sort of freak personal trauma right before exams, i.e. parents dying in a blimp accident, newt gingrich becoming president, etc.

Is a quarter million dollar investment worth it if you are in the bottom third of your class? at median?

Thanks for your time in answering this. Debt is scary.

This is a really hard question to answer. It will depend on a lot of things, if you're in the bottom 1/3: luck, background, ties to less competitive markets, your interviewing skills, your ability to grind at employment, how picky you are about firms and cities, etc. No one can promise you you'll get a job with weak grades.

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Mr. Somebody
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Mr. Somebody » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:41 pm

IAFG wrote:
ryemanhattan wrote:How are the job prospects looking for the bottom half, third, quarter, of your class? I'm quite possibly enrolling next year, at sticker, and want to have a sense of the risk I'm taking. Of course I think I'll be super awesome and in the top third of my class but I'm sure everybody else does too, and I want to keep in mind the outside chance that I undergo some sort of freak personal trauma right before exams, i.e. parents dying in a blimp accident, newt gingrich becoming president, etc.

Is a quarter million dollar investment worth it if you are in the bottom third of your class? at median?

Thanks for your time in answering this. Debt is scary.

This is a really hard question to answer. It will depend on a lot of things, if you're in the bottom 1/3: luck, background, ties to less competitive markets, your interviewing skills, your ability to grind at employment, how picky you are about firms and cities, etc. No one can promise you you'll get a job with weak grades.


Do you have any anecdotal evidence about how people are doing? Not necessarily bottom 1/3 but below median in general. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bjsesq » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:51 pm

Mr. Somebody wrote:
IAFG wrote:
ryemanhattan wrote:How are the job prospects looking for the bottom half, third, quarter, of your class? I'm quite possibly enrolling next year, at sticker, and want to have a sense of the risk I'm taking. Of course I think I'll be super awesome and in the top third of my class but I'm sure everybody else does too, and I want to keep in mind the outside chance that I undergo some sort of freak personal trauma right before exams, i.e. parents dying in a blimp accident, newt gingrich becoming president, etc.

Is a quarter million dollar investment worth it if you are in the bottom third of your class? at median?

Thanks for your time in answering this. Debt is scary.

This is a really hard question to answer. It will depend on a lot of things, if you're in the bottom 1/3: luck, background, ties to less competitive markets, your interviewing skills, your ability to grind at employment, how picky you are about firms and cities, etc. No one can promise you you'll get a job with weak grades.


Do you have any anecdotal evidence about how people are doing? Not necessarily bottom 1/3 but below median in general. Thanks in advance.


I have heard it both ways. Some who ended up below median have landed jobs, some haven't. I, for one, am uncomfortable making any generalizations from this. I will say: be above median. If you are past that point, you need to bust your ass during and after OCI. You'd be surprised how many don't.

09042014
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:31 pm

Other than to close friends, nobody really talks about grades. Only one person has ever told me they were below median.

There is no way you are going to get a good representation of what happens without looking at some kind of hard data. Which just isn't available.

To be honest, I don't know if any law school is worth 250K in debt unless you have some burning desire to be a lawyer (and actually know what that is like). It takes 5 years in big law to break even. I don't know what life after big law looks like. If it's 150-200K/year for life. Then it's definitely worth the risk.

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homestyle28
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:56 pm

bjsesq wrote:If you're above median, you're golden


Aw what great news, thanks bjs!

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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby cactuarX3 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:11 pm

Staying above median to have a good shot at biglaw sounds pretty damn good! At my undergrad b-school, you had to have >3.5 GPA to even be considered for an interview at white-shoe consulting/finance firms and EVEN THEN, when I graduated, there were about maybe 20-30 people who actually got them out of a class of around 300-400. Compared to that, staying above median to get biglaw sounds almost like a sure thing!

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Flips88
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Flips88 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:20 pm

cactuarX3 wrote:Staying above median to have a good shot at biglaw sounds pretty damn good! At my undergrad b-school, you had to have >3.5 GPA to even be considered for an interview at white-shoe consulting/finance firms and EVEN THEN, when I graduated, there were about maybe 20-30 people who actually got them out of a class of around 300-400. Compared to that, staying above median to get biglaw sounds almost like a sure thing!

Spoiler alert: your chances are 50/50

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cactuarX3
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby cactuarX3 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:27 pm

Flips88 wrote:
cactuarX3 wrote:Staying above median to have a good shot at biglaw sounds pretty damn good! At my undergrad b-school, you had to have >3.5 GPA to even be considered for an interview at white-shoe consulting/finance firms and EVEN THEN, when I graduated, there were about maybe 20-30 people who actually got them out of a class of around 300-400. Compared to that, staying above median to get biglaw sounds almost like a sure thing!

Spoiler alert: your chances are 50/50


Sorry, I meant to bold those sections for the benefit of those who can only take things literally. Anyway, 50% >>>>>> 5%.

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homestyle28
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:29 pm

Flips88 wrote:
cactuarX3 wrote:Staying above median to have a good shot at biglaw sounds pretty damn good! At my undergrad b-school, you had to have >3.5 GPA to even be considered for an interview at white-shoe consulting/finance firms and EVEN THEN, when I graduated, there were about maybe 20-30 people who actually got them out of a class of around 300-400. Compared to that, staying above median to get biglaw sounds almost like a sure thing!

Spoiler alert: your chances are 50/50


Also I might have misconstrued bjs post re: median...

median sounds easy until CLR makes you cry a little

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IAFG
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby IAFG » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:37 am

Mr. Somebody wrote:
IAFG wrote:
ryemanhattan wrote:How are the job prospects looking for the bottom half, third, quarter, of your class? I'm quite possibly enrolling next year, at sticker, and want to have a sense of the risk I'm taking. Of course I think I'll be super awesome and in the top third of my class but I'm sure everybody else does too, and I want to keep in mind the outside chance that I undergo some sort of freak personal trauma right before exams, i.e. parents dying in a blimp accident, newt gingrich becoming president, etc.

Is a quarter million dollar investment worth it if you are in the bottom third of your class? at median?

Thanks for your time in answering this. Debt is scary.

This is a really hard question to answer. It will depend on a lot of things, if you're in the bottom 1/3: luck, background, ties to less competitive markets, your interviewing skills, your ability to grind at employment, how picky you are about firms and cities, etc. No one can promise you you'll get a job with weak grades.


Do you have any anecdotal evidence about how people are doing? Not necessarily bottom 1/3 but below median in general. Thanks in advance.

I'll just say that I know of more below median people than DF does (4+) and each got multiple callbacks (even the bottom 1/3 people). They aren't all employed but then, they didn't all hustle like they needed to.

That said, I won't say it's just a question of having hustled or not hustled, about being a good interviewer or not, of not having bid correctly, or any of those other things, because I don't think it's necessarily true and I think there's an element of survivor's guilt and wanting to blame the victim when people get to speculating about what other people did wrong.

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bjsesq
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bjsesq » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:29 am

homestyle28 wrote:
bjsesq wrote:If you're above median, you're golden


Aw what great news, thanks bjs!


lol

dolfan0516
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby dolfan0516 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:54 pm

So just got accepted and read the past 5 pages or so. I am pretty sure that I will be attending in the Fall, but I do have some concerns.

I am from Florida and have lived in the state my entire life. Is there anyone else here that comes from a warm environment? How were you able to deal with the cold? Any advice or opinions?

I know that at NW most students are a little older. I usually have no problem getting along with those that are older than I am, but I dont want to be the only one in my early 20's. Are there a fair amount of students in their early 20's?

Finally, my eventual career goal is sports law. I know its almost impossible to start off with a job in sports law (at least one that could pay off the massive debt) out of the gate, but was thinking about trying to work in biglaw (or at least a job where I could pay off the debt) for the first 5-10 years and then transitioning to sports after. Yes, I realize much could change in that time. But is this idea even possible? Is it a dumb dream/plan to have?

thanks for your help

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Samara
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Samara » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:13 pm

dolfan0516 wrote:So just got accepted and read the past 5 pages or so. I am pretty sure that I will be attending in the Fall, but I do have some concerns.

I am from Florida and have lived in the state my entire life. Is there anyone else here that comes from a warm environment? How were you able to deal with the cold? Any advice or opinions?

I know that at NW most students are a little older. I usually have no problem getting along with those that are older than I am, but I dont want to be the only one in my early 20's. Are there a fair amount of students in their early 20's?

Finally, my eventual career goal is sports law. I know its almost impossible to start off with a job in sports law (at least one that could pay off the massive debt) out of the gate, but was thinking about trying to work in biglaw (or at least a job where I could pay off the debt) for the first 5-10 years and then transitioning to sports after. Yes, I realize much could change in that time. But is this idea even possible? Is it a dumb dream/plan to have?

thanks for your help

Info on weather-appropriate shoes here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=162897&p=4963100&hilit=+cold#p4963100

Info on coats here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=162897&p=4697909&hilit=coat#p4697909

There's more stuff floating around if you want to look for it. I'm sure it will be discussed in the Class of 2015 thread a lot as well.

Bumi
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Bumi » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:16 pm

I have good friends here from Florida or Southern California. They do better with the cold honestly, because they are overjoyed every time it snows. It does require extra money in your budget for a down coat and waterproof boots if you don't have those. It's less of a big deal than I expected, but in undergrad I had to walk a mile in the snow to class (uphill) (both ways).

Most 1Ls are in the 22-26 range. There certainly aren't nearly as many people older than 28 as I expected. I found ASW to be pretty representative, so you should come to that if you can and see how you feel. I can't tell the difference between 22 year olds and 24 year olds anyway. You all look the same to me.

Assuming you've decided to take on the debt/risk/depression/alcoholism associated with being a lawyer already, I think it is a reasonable career plan. If your attitude is "sports law looks cool, but hell, if I like something else better, then maybe I'll do that" you're thinking about it the right way. Some biglaw is sports law, so maybe you'll get lucky right out of the gate. But if you take the attitude of "I am sports law or bust, nothing else will complete me as a person" then it will be a hard road, especially if the reality of the practice is not what you expected (or what you expected you would be good at).

dolfan0516
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby dolfan0516 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:38 pm

Bumi wrote:I have good friends here from Florida or Southern California. They do better with the cold honestly, because they are overjoyed every time it snows. It does require extra money in your budget for a down coat and waterproof boots if you don't have those. It's less of a big deal than I expected, but in undergrad I had to walk a mile in the snow to class (uphill) (both ways).

Most 1Ls are in the 22-26 range. There certainly aren't nearly as many people older than 28 as I expected. I found ASW to be pretty representative, so you should come to that if you can and see how you feel. I can't tell the difference between 22 year olds and 24 year olds anyway. You all look the same to me.

Assuming you've decided to take on the debt/risk/depression/alcoholism associated with being a lawyer already, I think it is a reasonable career plan. If your attitude is "sports law looks cool, but hell, if I like something else better, then maybe I'll do that" you're thinking about it the right way. Some biglaw is sports law, so maybe you'll get lucky right out of the gate. But if you take the attitude of "I am sports law or bust, nothing else will complete me as a person" then it will be a hard road, especially if the reality of the practice is not what you expected (or what you expected you would be good at).


Awesome, thanks so much! Helps quell some of my concerns and I can return to being excited lol

09042014
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby 09042014 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:04 pm

Winter never came this winter. It was like Fall the whole time.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby crumpetsandtea » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:25 pm

dolfan0516 wrote:So just got accepted and read the past 5 pages or so. I am pretty sure that I will be attending in the Fall, but I do have some concerns.

I am from Florida and have lived in the state my entire life. Is there anyone else here that comes from a warm environment? How were you able to deal with the cold? Any advice or opinions?

I know that at NW most students are a little older. I usually have no problem getting along with those that are older than I am, but I dont want to be the only one in my early 20's. Are there a fair amount of students in their early 20's?

Finally, my eventual career goal is sports law. I know its almost impossible to start off with a job in sports law (at least one that could pay off the massive debt) out of the gate, but was thinking about trying to work in biglaw (or at least a job where I could pay off the debt) for the first 5-10 years and then transitioning to sports after. Yes, I realize much could change in that time. But is this idea even possible? Is it a dumb dream/plan to have?

thanks for your help

I know I'm not a current student, but I wanted to say that I'll be coming from a warm environment (SW) and I'm 22. So, we can be buddies! (:




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