Law school: myths vs reality

Have you ever seen those memes that are always going around about law school?

Have you ever wondered if they’re any accurate? I know I have.

Well, it’s about time we debunk them. Or not. And when I say we, I mean me and you, because I hope there is still someone out there that reads this blog. (Just kidding, I see you. Hiii!) If you’re planning on taking this blog post seriously, you’ve come to the wrong place, but you’ll have your fun nonetheless (I guess).

Myth #1: We’re all nerds.

Well, given that you have to be a straight A student and excel in your exams, it’s kind of difficult not to be a nerd. But when in law school, you can see all the different types of nerds that there are in this world. It’s actually pretty funny. There are the true law-or-die book nerds who go to classes all day and study all night, the student athletes (who are usually really good-looking), the really into-politics nerds, the trying-too hard not to be a nerd nerds (which is pretty much everyone, including me) and the cool kids (which are non-existent; we are still in law school guys!). The problem with the last category is that they are usually dorks.

Myth #2: We can’t lose an argument

We always seem to lose arguments with our siblings. Enough said.

Myth #3: We love to read

Everyone gets into law school loving studying, even though they can be really tired after their exams. By the time you are in your fourth year, studying is the thing you love to hate or hate to love, depending on the time of the year you find yourself throwing the civil code on the wall.

Myth #4: We are competitive

Can’t help but answer with a relevant meme here. b0299f41e21ae09e725ef9afe71e4e1d--law-school-humor-school-memes.jpg

Don’t read the hunger games. Come to law school, it’s so much better and FUNNIER.

Myth #5: We have all the answers

I’m sorry but, haven’t you heard it already? It depends. 

Myth #6: We find comfort in I fought the law by the Clash and think we’re bad-ass.

What? Is it just me?

If you’ve got any other myths you want me to adress, comment below. But chances are, they’re probably as legit as my dog (I don’t have one).

See you on the flip side or in law school.

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5 ways to beat the heat in Athens

(or wherever you are)

Summer is upon us. There is no doubt about it; even though it was raining cats and dogs last week. In Greece it can be very hot during the summer. Whether you’re living here or you’ve just visited it during the summer, feel free to nod behind your screen freely. If this summer finds you somewhere in Athens unable to find salvation from the everlasting heatwaves, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what I do when it’s excruciatingly hot outside and what you could do as well, if you’re doing none of this already.

  1. Visit a museum. Okay, okay, I know you’re ready to give up on me after this. But don’t. You know why? Museums can be cool. Take the Acropolis Museum or the National Achaeological Museum for example. They have hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Also, museums are cold. Hence, why you could just go there for a change of scenery (if you’re into art/history) from your hopefully air conditioned house.
  2. Go to an open air cinema. Open air cinemas are the best place to go in a hot summer night for three main reasons: the greenery, the atmosphere and the film. These types of cinemas that thrive in Greece during the summer months are usually surrounded by some type of greenery that serves as an elimination of distractions and a source of oxygen. They’re an open spaces and provide you with a view of the night sky. ( Another reason why this could be your best chance of escaping the heat is that this time of the year comes with the return of some great films like the Godfather that was airing two weeks ago.
  3. Hang out in a park. Athens doesn’t have a lot of parks. Especially if you live in the center, you won’t have a great deal of options. There is the national garden, right next to the Parliament and the garden of the Megaron, the Athens Concert Hall. During the summer, a lot of concerts are organized in the garden of the Concert Hall. So why not? The tickets are affordable as well.
  4. Go out at night. But on a terrace. Monastiraki, Plaka and Kerameikos (or Gazi, as we call it) have a lot of rooftop bars that are just perfect for a hot summer evening. Whether you prefer your drinks classy (A for Athens) or trendy (Couleur Locale), terraces are the place to be in Athens in the summer. A lot of bars throw parties or invite cool DJs so be in the lookout for those.
  5. Avoid the bus in the afternoon. 3 pm is not a great time to be catching the bus in Athens for two reasons. Number one: It’s always hot in the afternoon and buses are crowded during that time of the day. Everyone wants to go home, so they get on the bus frantically and all of that, in a 35 degree heat. Not the best place to be. Number two: there is always the metro. Faster and with good air-conditioning, there is nothing like escaping the heat by entering the train. If you can avoid the bus, do it at all costs! Exception: the dreadful green line.

So there you have it! I hoped you enjoyed this summer-inspired post. Hope it made you laugh a little. And if everything else fails.. you can always avoid the great outdoors during the heat wave!

See you on the streets!

Kleanthi

 

A year of blogging!

As you can obviously tell from the title, today the Alternative Realities turn one! This time last year a very nervous me wrote the first post. Who would have thought that this time next year, I would be sitting at the same exact place brainstorming about the way I should celebrate the anniversary! In a year I’ve managed to write 30 blog posts, talking about films, music, travels and my random thoughts!

Even though it might not seem like a lot, to me it’s kind of a big deal for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the first time I’m THAT comitted to writing. This isn’t actually the first time I’ve written in my life. I destinctively remember writing a “novel” inspired by the adventures of Huckleberry Fin when I was around 10. Of course, I never got around to finishing it. Fast forward a few years later, when I experimented with a short story that got lost somewhere between a usb stick and a dead laptop. And then, after a few years off writing the Alternative Realities were born. Secondly, this whole blog thing that I have going on has really boosted my creativity. When you’re in university trying to keep up with school work and maintain a social life at the same time can really drain your creative juices. This blog has been my remedy when I was stuck in a rut and a great platform of sharing. Last but not least, this year of blogging was one of the fullest years of my life so far. I feel like I’ve grown and I’ve done things that I never imagined I would. From taking up photography to living abroad, it was a whirlwind of a year that had it all.

So what’s next?

Starting September, I’d really love to change things up here and start writing on a weekly basis (even twice a week, if I get my extreme time management skills back on!). You can expect to see more travel posts, more photos and maybe the odd post about politics here and there. And of course Films worth watching! Till then, I don’t know how often I will be writing here due to my need for a small pause and a lot of exams due in September. I can assure you though, that there is nothing more than great content coming your way as soon as possible!   I leave you with the hope that you enjoyed reading my blog this past year as much as I enjoy writing it. I couldn’t help but add this little piece of music (that everyone who knows me relatively well definitely recognises!) in order to get my dorky online celebration going.

Thank you for your feedback, your kind words and your support.

Here’s to another great year of blogging and lots of adventures!

Till next time,

Kleanthi

When in Barcelona

Barcelona is a beautiful city, with a very lively atmosphere, a lot of tourists and bikes. It has wide streets and great museums. You can’t help but feel mesmerized by the views from Parc Guell and the Montjuic Castle. I visited it in April left with the impression that you can live eternally carefree there. Who wouldn’t want to spend their free time eating paella, patatas bravas and drinking sangria? It can’t get better than this, especially when you’re there with friends. I had the best time and can’t wait to go back when the time’s right. But for now, I leave you with some of the photos I took when I was there, always on black and white 35 mm film.

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Gothic quarter 
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Museum of Contemporary Art
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Museum of Contemporary Art
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Museum of Contemporary Art 
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Sagrada Familia
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Montjuic Castle

 

Hope you enjoyed them. 

Have you visited Barcelona? If yes, what were your impressions? 

Till next time,

Kleanthi

 

Disclaimer: All photos are taken by me.

 

Does Erasmus do anything for Europe?

When you’ve spent the past few months in a foreign country, getting back on track in your home city can be (or definitely is) kind of tricky. It’s not only the fact that you had a lot of fun and got to experience a different lifestyle that you got used to eventually. It’s also the lack of adventure if you’re returning home in the middle of exam period. The lack of the unknown when you turn around the corner, your mother tongue that everyone speaks in the street.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t claim to know everything about Athens or about Greece. Very far from it! It’s that for now it sounds unadventurous. You will be able to communicate easily and that is great but there is nothing new about it. Sure, everything feels like home, the university library just how you left it and your neighbourhood almost unchanged with the occasional new coffee shop. Maybe this is an arrogant and slightly snobbish statement. And if it is, I don’t mind because I’ve tried enough to live it.

To be more precise, it’s more like a feeling of being torn between two places. You are Greek and you’ve been raised in Greece. Greece is your home and there is no denying it. However, the fact that you got to live somewhere else (in my case France) for a few months leads you to create routines, friendships, an everyday life different than the one that you were formerly used to. You become familiar with a place, you feel at home and then you have to live it. France is not my country but it’s part of me. So are the people I met there, the places I saw and the memories I made. Even though I had to get back to Greece, my home in a sense, I don’t feel as “at home” as I normally would.

At this point you are probably going to ask me, where are you trying to get?

Well, even though I might be feeling like this, thinking about it in a less sentimental way, I can see what was the goal. Except for studying (which was nonetheless more than enlightening), Erasmus has an other aspect as well. To force the students create a “new life” in an other country and to feel the same sense of belonging and closeness that they did back home. That is the point of the Erasmus program. It’s in the hopes of reinforcing the spirit of the European Union and passing it on to the next generations. To me it’s working. Now the only thing that’s left is to implement what we learnt in our own lives back home and in our life, both in the university and outside of it.

The past few years have been very difficult for Europe. Now, with the result of the british referendum pointing to “Brexit”, it’s more than evident that we have to focus in the principles of the Union, both us and our leaders. And if there is anyone that thinks that maybe Erasmus doesn’t do enough for Europe, I can tell you that it does enough for a person than a year of high school. And if we want to change Europe, we need to start from exactly that.

Till next time,

Kleanthi

Films worth watching, Vol 3

Hello there!

Since everyone seems to like films worth watching and I enjoy writing it, I thought I’d give it another go. All the previous films were much more serious and maybe a little bit difficult to follow, so this time we’re going taking it down a notch. Let’s call it the summer edition, shall we?

Two musicians have to flee from Chicago after witnessing some pretty brutal gang scenes. They join an all girls band and the story goes from there. All the characters are very well thought, the script is funny and the music and songs entertaining. But the best reason to watch this film is because Marilyn Monroe stars in it. It’s her most well-known role, so if you’re not familiar with her work, this is a great place to start.

A well made musical. Gene Kelly at his best. The film itself is about a film production company and the cast that struggle to transition to sound. It’s very upbeat, ideal for a hot summer night (so that you can see the rain and miss winter).

Can’t believe that the king’s speech went out 6 years ago. I remember going to the cinema with my sister. I ended up loving it while my sister was sleeping in the next seat. The king’s speech is the story of how King Henry the VI ascended to the throne and started seeing a speech therapist in order to make himself worthy of the throne.

Skeeter Phelan wants to write an audacious book on the African-American maids’ point of view of the rich white families they work for. This film is all about the hardships and the racial-discrimination that dates back to the days of slavery.

Very funny and entertaining overall. Gustave H and Zero, the lobby boy, make a lovely duo. The dark humour and the rapid dialogue dominate the film. The Grand Budapest hotel has a lovely pace and a lighthearted atmosphere, even when it’s violent. It’s a perfect choice for a summer evening. One thing is certain: the cinematography is simply brilliant!

That is all from me, for now.

Let me know if you’ve watched the films and what you thought of them. Any film suggestions for the summer?

‘Til next time,

Kleanthi

 

Paris on a budget!

You can’t do an Erasmus in France without visiting Paris. It’a a given that you’ll spend some days in “The city of light”. Even though Paris might be beautiful (I wasn’t THAT impressed by the city to be honest), it is at the same time very expensive. Since I did the number one thing you have to do, I’d like to pass on the information to everyone’s that’s looking into going there in the near future.

What to do: 

If you’re a european citizen and you’re 26 or younger, you can visit all the museums for free. So make the most of it! The Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay are absolutely brilliant. Don’t even think about skipping them. If you love painting and art in general you will be mesmerized. If Monet is one of your favorite painters go to Musée de l’Orangerie and take a look at the incredible Water Lilies cycle. Maybe three museums is too much for you. For those who are even braver than that, there is always Centre Pompidou. Right in the centre of the city, on the yellow metro line, Centre Pompidou has a museum(that is free), a library and temporary expositions that will blow your mind away.

Take a stroll along the Seine and in the city centre. Le Marais is a very trendy quartier (had to show of my french, didn’t I) full of hipster boutiques, coffee places and restaurants. On the other side of the river, you should definitely see the quartier Latin, the Sorbonne and Pantheon on foot. And the Jardins de Luxembourg are right around the corner, if you have enough time (we didn’t unfortunately). The Jardin des Tuilleries is, also, beautiful, especially if the weather is nice. Basically, if you’re in Paris and thirsty for adventure, just walk around and find where the city takes you. There’s millions of things to do and see in Paris so don’t get too caught up in seeing all the sights. Explore.

What to eat:

If you want to eat well and not in a tourist trap, don’t rely on the restaurants next to the big sights. Walk a bit more in the city centre and find those small falafel shops, L’As du Fallafel is a very well known one in Le Marais. Get in those boulangeries and grab a pain au chocolat, a croissant or a sandwhich. You can always look up for a traditionnal bistrot on Tripadvisor or Google Maps wherever you go. Ah! And keep in mind that getting water from a street shop or a coffee house will cost you a fortune.

Where to stay:

This depends on you, but if you’re on a budget, hotels won’t do the trick. They’re too expensive and if you find something less pricey, it’s going to be too far from the city centre. Airbnb and hostels are the way to go! There aren’t a lot of hostels in Paris but there are surely a few choices that are more than great for a five-day trip. We stayed at Les Piaules at Belleville, a new hostel in a lively, animated neighborhood (with a great bar scene!). It was the coolest hostel we could find and the best if you take in account the price, the distance from the city centre and the amenities. I would gladly extend the trip just to stay there a tad bit longer! So, if you’re looking into hostels for Paris, definitely check it out.

Paris has something for everyone. Even on a budget you can have a great time and see a big part of the city. I had a great time there with my friend and I hope that you do too!!

Till next time,

Kleanthi