In exactly a month from today I will finish my second year of law school. To be completely honest, I am anxious to be done. I know, I know! Everyone tells me, “Enjoy the process,” “You’re going to miss this once you graduate!” Maybe I will miss this in a few years. But for now, I just want to finish strong and enjoy the California sun.
The reality is that this school year has been the most challenging year of my entire education, and the challenge hasn’t necessarily been academic. Last year, my mentor who is also a law student, shared some of the transitions she went through as a second year law student. I was thoughtful when she shared her experiences. I didn’t think I could undergo anymore change after going through a very transformative first year of law school. I thought I had learned what I needed to learn to read cases and manage my time. What I failed to realize is that although I had undergone an academic and critical thinking transformation my first year of law school, I needed to undergo a personal and emotional transformation as well.
The details of what I went through are no longer important. What is important is that although it was a tough year, I can feel a literal change in myself. I am more confident and more secure in myself to tackle challenges. I am also so much happier. I have found a balance between my academics and the things that are important to me, like family and friends. I am no longer afraid of walking in to the unknown because I believe in myself and my abilities. In short, I have learned that if I want to be a public servant, I need to make sure I am able to first help myself. And that is a powerful realization.
Looking back, I am grateful for what I had to go through. Although it was challenging because I had to balance academics with my own personal growth, I am thankful for professors, friends, mentors and my family who kept me grounded on what is important.
To all prospective students, my message is simple: law school will challenge who you are and then it will change you. Don’t be scared of it. Don’t try to run away from it. Although painful at first, it is a beautiful transformation. Embrace it. Before you know it you will flourish as an individual, as a student, and as a soon-to-be lawyer.