Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Day I Got Into Law School

Yesterday started off like an ordinary day. Our students have a major essay due tomorrow, so I expected a whole slew of students to drop by my office hours yesterday morning. What possessed me to hold office hours at 9:00 am? Really? And indeed, my students did show up at that hour. It was pre-essay deadline mayhem, actually.

I wasn't expecting it to be a remarkable day. I was really tired. Exhausted. Sleep deprived. I had a presentation for Elections that I was writing and, honestly, I was counting down the days until I would leave Kingston for Reading Week. And yet, just like the old saying goes, when you least expect it, something remarkable does happen. Clutching my thermos full of caffeinated Chocolate Chili Chai tea (it sounds gross, but it really isn't), I flipped open my laptop, logged into my email, and paused in stunned silence.

I found an email with the subject line "(University Name) Offer Letter."

What. What. What. What.

I think I actually stopped breathing for a moment.

Cautiously, I opened the email, and the feeling that came after reading the first two paragraphs was indescribable. When you have worked towards something for almost a decade, when you have dreamed of a certain moment since you were twelve years old, when you decisively wrote in your eighth grade yearbook that you wanted to go to law school, the feeling of achieving that goal years and years later is initially one of numbing shock. And then absolute, utter delight. The kind of delight you feel when something so seemingly out of reach suddenly becomes yours. Twenty four hours later, I still can't describe it. All I know is that I was so incredibly happy.

Grabbing my keys, I rushed to Dianne's office, cautiously opened her door, and, stunned, I blurted out the words, "I got into law school." In absolute delight, we jumped up and down in her office for more than a few minutes. I absolutely could not believe it. Side Note: it was, of course, also the moment that my student arrived (very) early for her appointment and witnessed me giggling like a fool. Ah well.

The rest of the day was a blur. And just when I thought the day could not get better, I checked my email again that afternoon. And, lo and behold, I found a second Offer of Admission to yet another school of choice in the United States. I couldn't believe it. Another school I thought was so out of reach for me wasn't as unattainable as I believed it would be.

Twenty four hours later, I'm still in shock. After spending the last five hours at the QP celebrating, I'm now sitting here applying to the last two law schools on my list. I'm so excited that I can't concentrate on anything else. It's been such a fabulous week full of more surprises than I could have imagined.

Good things happen when we least expect it, yea? I began the week exhausted. Really, I was in a crummy crummy crummy mood. I thought Reading Week would never come. And yet, two days later, I'm elated. As grad students, we tend to get into a routine that leaves us exhausted, defeated, uncertain about the work we are doing. Let this blog post serve to encourage all of us that great surprises and opportunities are waiting for us just around the corner. So take heart!

I think we all have dreams of some sort. We may not all know what we want as a career, but I think we would all agree that we want to be happy with whatever we choose to do. As I went through middle school, high school, and university, I always knew what career would make me happy. Lawyers get a bad rep, but I don't have any doubts that this is something I would love to do for the rest of my life. I've watched and volunteered for enough lawyers to know that it's a job I want to have. I love the work, I love the reading, I love everything about it. And yet, the only obstacle always in my way was the extremely competitive process to enter law school. Last year, I'll admit that I was devastated when I wasn't accepted into the school of my choice. And yet, in the last two days, something that seemed so unattainable was suddenly handed to me.

For the rest of my life, I will never forget the day I got into law school. I've always thought about the moment when I would receive an acceptance letter. And it finally happened. I have no doubt that yesterday was a day that changed my life. Law school is still months away and there are still decisions to be made. And yet I can't wait for all of it to start!

And so, learning a lesson from my own uncertainties, I wish you, dear readers, all the best with finding and attaining that career, job, or program that will make you happy. Things may seem uncertain right now, but you never know what surprises are waiting for you around the corner. Let this blog post encourage all of you to pursue the career or program you want to get involved with. You are all capable of greatness. Of doing wonderful things for the country and the world we live in. And I have absolute faith in all of you.

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible."
- Doug Larson

"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love."
- Mother Teresa


  1. Wow, I can't believe I read all that. Congrats Barb, I'm really proud of you! You're a good example of someone who can accomplish anything they put their mind to ;)