To live in a country where anyone who has enough drive and determination, regardless of their socioeconomic background, can advance their career and education. To be surrounded by a community of support where I am not the only one who cares about my success. For all of the gifts I have received throughout my life and for the present and future opportunities to give the same to others.
Sometimes I find myself falling into the same trap that many law students do…trying to press the “fast-forward” button. Night after night, semester after semester……the grind is real! How lucky I am, however, that the fast-forward button doesn’t exist. How much of life would I simply skip through because of its difficulty? To find ground again, I often remind myself of just how thankful I am to be where I am. Sitting in a law school lecture, studying and reading from home with a supportive family, or fighting the hourly urge to see if grades have been released after finals. All of it… I am thankful for. All of it… a gift.
So I’ll continue to fight the urge to fast-forward, lean into the grind, and try to be thankful for every moment. Like all chapters in life, this too will be over in a blink of an eye.
During this holiday season I find myself in a great in-between. As a law student I have a few weeks between fall and spring semester and as a high school teacher I have a week off for Christmas and New Years. I am enjoying my break from….everything. Hopefully you could hear the sigh of relief as you read that!
As I prepare to enter the spring semester of my 2L year as an extended division student, I think it’s important for myself to refocus on why it is I (as well as my wife!) am dedicating the time, resources, finances, and energy towards my law school education.
In the 1920’s George Mallory, who took part in several of the first attempts at climbing Mt. Everest, was famously quoted in response to the question why he wants to climb the mountain. He responded “Because it’s there.”
Law school is an avenue to a career field. It’s a globally recognized challenge. It’s a means to an end. It’s a body of knowledge being taught. It’s a way of thinking only mastered through an institution. It’s a crucible. Law school is many things to many people, but when I find myself searching for that last bit of energy to continue studying, reading, or keeping my eyes open at 10pm in class, I find myself always coming back to one thing.
Law school is “there.” It is this huge beast of a mountain that is only accomplished one way. There is no way to go around, to take the easy route, or to coast your way through. And the experience of climbing it, not the view from the summit, is what gives me focus to continue.
This is an amazing experience. Often times I find myself sitting in class and reflecting to myself, “I’m in law school right now…this is awesome!” The knowledge I’m soaking in, the way my brain thinks differently now, and the universally acknowledged challenge of it all is reason enough to go to law school. Regardless of one’s intentions after a law school education, there is nothing else like it in the world. I recommend to anyone who is capable to undertake this challenge not for the career prospects, salary, or some millennial desire for “fulfillment,” but instead…simply “because it’s there.”