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My Roadmap to Law School
Written by: Megan Lee, an alumna of UNC 2020
What was your childhood dream job?
I remember hearing people shout out “police officer,” “astronaut,” “doctor,” all the occupations that fill you with excitement. The ones you see on TV and think: I want to be like them too! I want to save the world.
But as you grew older and the rose-colored glasses fell from your eyes, you began to realize that maybe becoming a police officer doesn’t pay so well and the hours are long and unpredictable. Maybe you have astigmatism and don’t qualify to be an astronaut. For whatever reason, a lot of us as teenagers end up, sometime around high school or college, unsure of what they want to do with their life.
I’m not going to harp on about how “you should choose a steady job that pays well” or “pick some job that you’re good at.”
No, I don’t believe those cliché lines work.
Why? Because I heard them myself, and at the age of 21, I still don’t know what I want to do in life.
But that’s okay. It’s normal.
It’s fine to still explore, no matter what society says.
My story is not that unique, and in fact, it’s a fine line between telling you about my life without boring you to death. But I’m not telling you about my life decisions for no good reason.
I’m telling you because I could be you. My choices could be an example for you one day or a relatable decision to reminiscence about ten years in the future.
What was my Career Choice?
It’s not a career that kindergarteners shout out when the teacher asks them about their dream job.
Lawyers are evil.
In shows, they arrive and destroy all the hard work those nice detectives did.
And in real life, I get jokes about how I’m going to perpetuate the cycle of financial and social abuse of the masses. I get jokes about how being a lawyer is EXPECTED of a Chinese woman. It’s either that or doctor after all.
But realistically, I grew up under a more-or-less traditional Chinese household. Of course, I was expected to be a straight “A” student. I made no trouble, and the idea of being a lawyer was introduced by my mother initially. Luckily, I also desired it for myself, and I was able to combine my parents’ wishes and mine to create a reasonable future that I wanted.
For some, it’s not so easy. For some, it’s a fight every step of the way with society and your family, and I admire you for it. It takes a certain kind of strength to have that courage.
Why did I choose law?
Because I liked to argue with people. In hindsight, not the best reason to choose a profession.
I now know that I don’t actually like the idea of being in court, trying to convince strangers about another stranger who I’ll never know is truly innocent or not.
Thus, the conundrum.
I spent two years in high school taking 8 Advanced Placement (AP) classes a day (at one point, skipping my lunch hour to squeeze in another AP class) so that I could graduate from UNC a year early.
I worked to the bone, and at some points, I was reading 50-100 pages a night to pass all my college classes for the semester.
Luckily, I’m a fast reader.
But graduation was looming, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. In fact, I wasn’t even sure that there was anything to do.
After all, I had a major in “Global Studies” (too broad for a specific job field) and “Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures” (long title, I know, essentially a fancy way to say Russian language major).
What does one do with that?
I was left at the classic crossroads of, dang, I’m not sure I can find a job with my college degree.
So, I took a leap of faith.
Maybe I no longer wanted to yell at people on the stand in the courtroom but I sure could do something, and something good, with a law degree.
So, I chose to enter law school.
I know, I know. That’s a classic maneuver of deflection. Push the problem away until you finish another degree. Procrastination has always been a loyal companion of mine throughout the years.
It may turn out fantastic. It may not. I may graduate in three years with a Juris Doctorate degree from a respected university and then still be jobless.
But I can be sure that with my decision to enter law school, I will be better off at the next crossroads in my life. I will still make mistakes. I will still wait until the last day to turn in essays and assignments, but I will be older. I will be more experienced in life. And when I’m standing at that crossroads with two degrees in hand, no matter what career I choose, I will know it was all worth it.
Thanks for reading,
Bloom Into Womanhood thanks Megan for collaborating with us!
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Meet the Author: Megan Lee
Photo Courtesy of Megan Lee
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