It was exactly 10am on a rainy, but blustery day in May 2010. It was awfully cold for a day in the month of May, but happiness was in the air. I was finally walking across the stage to get my B.S. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Computer Forensics. It had been a long journey in the four years I have been in college and have faced a lot of difficulties that almost derailed my plans in life. There were the issues of switching majors three times, getting an underage violation a month before I turned 21 and the ups and downs of being a college student, but finally the day has come. My parents who almost never come to visit me in college were there, and so was my girlfriend’s family who had supported me and treated me like their own son ever since she and I started dating. I feel as if I had finally accomplished a goal in life and I was finally on the path of success.
As I was walking across the stage, I looked over at the crowd of almost 8,000 people and instantly observed my supporters in the crowd (friends and family), cheering my name and making what some in the crowd would thought were obnoxious noises. I was astonished to be able to make them out, especially with amount of attendants at the ceremony. As soon as I had my degree in hand, my mind raced to just one question, what does this piece of paper mean to me and what do I want to do after I leave this place? In a way, I was scared that even though I went to college and graduated, I could still be considered a failure if I didn’t contribute anything to society with my college degree.
After graduation was over, I was having a talk with a friend of mine who was also graduating and he asked me a simple question that I was surprisingly asking myself. What’s next? It was a very short and concise question and I could not offer an answer in return. In that moment, while mulling an answer to this important question, he says, “You should become a lawyer. You talk a lot anyways and you like confrontations. I am sure there will be a lot of people in law school who would appreciate you running your mouth.”
I at-first shrugged at the comment, but at dinner that night, I gave it a thought. “Why not law school?” I muttered to myself. I know that I had always been the student who was interested in current affairs and government. I knew the names of all 100 Senators in the U.S. Senate, most of the Supreme Court Justices than all my friends on FaceBook combined could name, and was active politically than anyone else I grew up with. I was always interested in the law and how it affects not just me, but everyone else around me. I was the one who counsels friends when they are making mistakes that could not only land them in trouble morally, but illegally. I was the one who was always called up on in my Oral Communication class, when it comes to politics and law, just because the Professor knew that I probably know the answer.
Making a decision to go to law school caught everyone around me by surprise. Friends thought that I was crazy for thinking about law school, family members thought it was a waste of money and time, and I even doubted if it was a good idea since I was frankly burnt out by the four years in college. I needed some time off, but I knew that I could go down the lazy path and discourage myself later on. So I thought of how much I could get done while preparing myself for law school and the answer was getting a M.L.S. degree (concentration in Law and Public Policy) within that timespan. It was probably the best idea I ever came up with, because not only did it further my interest in the law, it pushed me to keep my eye on the ball and know that I am making the right decision.
I came to college as a risk, to take risks, and figure out how to correct risks. Going to law school will be the biggest risk ever, BUT will come with the biggest reward also. I go back to that cold, rainy day in May 2010 and am amazed with how the growth, maturity, confidence that I have gone though and it shows in my relationship with friends, peers and family. I was a confused college graduate but in a year and a half, I developed a life plan that surprises everyone who knows me.
My dad ended my graduation day with one comment that I will never forget. He looked at me and probably in the happiest tone that I have ever heard from him, “Thanks for not disappointing us”. To this day, that comment is my driving force in life and I realize that disappointment is no longer an option for me. Law school is another chapter in my life story and it will be one that will be signed, sealed and delivered.
Thanks for reading this personal statement. I wanted this to be a reflection of that day in my life and how important and happy I was to get over the college hump.