In the next few weeks, I’ll begin my first semester studying at UF’s Levin School of Law. I finally became a Gator after all.
It’s an exciting moment for me, and it will change the rest of my life. It’s also a strange moment. This morning, I left Philadelphia, where I received my higher education, and lived with my girlfriend, Monica, for years. In many ways, Philadelphia had become more familiar to me than my hometown of Orlando.
The decision to attend law school was not an easy one to make. Even with the scholarship I’ve received from UF, I’ll need to take on additional debt to pay for room and board. This exacerbates my existing debt problem, at a time when my girlfriend and I felt we were on the verge of being able to get that problem under control.
Besides, most of the lawyers I’ve spoken to say the job market in the profession is as bad as they’ve ever seen it. So why take this risk?
There were many reasons:
- I wanted to do something I’d be good at and enjoy doing;
- My family wanted to see me go for it;
- I can almost certainly make more money as a lawyer than I have been so far;
- Law school represents a second chance at studying hard and networking well, which I failed to do in college;
- The amount of debt I’ll be taking on is a fraction of the debt I already had;
- And I didn’t see a whole lot of direction where I was. At least as a lawyer, I’ll know where I stand, and have some idea of future career options.
Are these reasons foolish or ill considered? Perhaps.
Am I in for disappointment when I get to where I’m going? Maybe.
But this I know to be true: I’m ready. I’m ten times as prepared for academic challenge as I was when I graduated high school. I’ve seen the lawyer movies, I’ve read up on the legal world, I’ve spoken with numerous lawyers, and I know what I’m getting into. Ultimately, the main X-factor in my decision is me, and my sense of my own preparation for this situation.
There’s never been a better moment, and this moment will never come again.