August 3, 2018, I had a huge decision to make. The owner of the dance studio I taught at was retiring and looking to close down shop. Not only would I be left without a job, but kids would lose their second homes, and my dance career would officially come to an end. At that moment, I was left with a choice. Take the studio into my own hands and continue the legacy of YDE or let the studio close and keep only the memories. The reason I say all of this is because I didn’t think it was possible. I didn’t think I could sustain a dance studio with the future I had planned for myself. That future was law school. The many attorneys I turned to for advice said there would be no time for extracurriculars, “law school was going to be hard enough without distractions, let alone a whole dance studio to take care of.” Well, I am here to say it is possible. It is possible to be in law school full-time with a part-time job. Are there days where I wish I wouldn’t have taken on a dance studio while furthering my education? Of course. But in the end, it is worth it.
The responsibility of working while in law school is no easy task, but having a part-time job has taught me some extremly important lessons. The first is that time management is essential. The readings we are assigned can pile up if you don’t stay on top of it, so keeping a schedule and sticking to it is critical. The second thing is communication. Being open and honest with my professors and the faculty about my other commitments has been a massive part of staying successful during this first year. The last thing I learned is how to prioritize. Sometimes I can’t get everything done. I add too many things to my schedule and am overly ambitious. Once I take a realistic look at the list and start prioritizing what needs to be done immediately and what can wait a few days, I instantly feel better. With dedication, hard work, and perseverance, what once seemed impossible has become my daily routine. I thought that having a part-time job during my first year of law school was going to be the most challenging thing I have ever done. While there are days that feel like years, I can honestly say it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Law School is a whirlwind. One minute you are laughing with one of your classmates about your epic fail during your first cold call of the semester, and the next, you’re studying for finals. To say it goes by fast is not an exaggeration. I blinked, and I was here, studying for finals that will be over in 10 days. This semester has been like no other: zoom classes, remote testing, online study groups, and a whole bunch of facetime calls. But I wouldn’t change it for a thing. Widener Commonwealth has done everything it could to set its students up for success this year, and I have nothing but great things to say about my first year. To anyone who is considering law school but still wants to work, I encourage you to take the leap and do it. While it may seem impossible at first, it is not. With the supportive environment Widener has created for its students, you can be successful inside and outside the classroom. This first year in law school has been immensely more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined, and I have Widener to thank for that.