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An estimated 4-minute read

Rejecting a Law School

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You check your phone again to see if it’s time. A minute later, you do it again, just for the screen to tell you it’s been only sixty seconds. But you’re sixty seconds closer to leaving your house, sitting in the car and driving off to the test centre to finally write the exam and fill in those circles the correct way with a black HB pencil (particulars with a blue/black ball point, please) as your parents and teachers have reminded you time and again. You’ve checked your watch, your sharpened pencils, your admit card, which was laminated as soon as it was delivered under the watchful eye of a paranoid father and you’re all set to leave. You’ve even prayed to the statues of Ganesha, Laxmi and Saraswati, albeit surreptitiously, and dutifully cringed when mom applies the vibhuti on your neck and forehead (“Just a little dot, don’t overreact”).   

After the bell rings, your mind does a quick recap of the happenings of the past two hours. Making conversation with the candidate sitting next to you, she always wanted to do English Honours and the law entrance is for the sake of her parents, realizing mid-way through the logical reasoning question that Abha walked ten kilometres turning east  and  you’ve mixed up your directions again, reprimanding yourself mentally about not going through that General Knowledge booklet one last time because you’re sure it had the answer to the question you’re completely lost about and finally, handing over the answer booklet, feeling content and almost proud. Wait. Backtrack for a minute there. It actually went well. Not the well that you tell your parents because you don’t want them knowing the truth but the kind of well you would tell everyone about because it is the truth. The next couple of weeks are spent on meeting friends, answering calls, finishing your internet megabytes (“Facebook changed again”?) and subconsciously, waiting for your results. It’s bittersweet, this wait.

The website can’t handle thousands of restless children and parents logging in simultaneously and after roughly fifteen minutes of the result being published, it crashes. Your dad calls you, tells you your result. You’re a bit unsure; you didn’t exactly research on what a good score could be with fourteen colleges up for grabs. He simplifies it for you. Congratulations, you’re part of the 1% of the population that made it to the top 150 out of twenty thousand. Besides, he’s called the coaching institute and validated, they’re ecstatic for you. You’re going to get one of the best law colleges in the country. Freeze. That precise moment when the realization hits you, that moment when you inform your family, blatantly anxious, that moment when you squeal loud enough for all the pigeons in the world to go flying about in panic, that’s what it’s all for.

As you may have guessed with the title giving you a hint, I didn’t join. It was a tough choice between two options and if the latter one didn’t exist, I would’ve been a law school student right now, ready to take on the world in another four years. What I have come to realize and what I feel is critical to share is that whether career choices prove to be simple or confusing, is entirely and incontrovertibly dependent on YOU. You could either mull over viable options for hours and days on end or take the opinion of every possible living being on this earth, which is the route that I took, or you could composedly weigh the pros and cons. Now, the latter is the accepted advice career coaching websites will give you, isn’t it? So, here’s what I tell you; do what you want to undertake at that moment. Don’t think about what you’ll do five years from then or how one college could ‘change your life forever’. No college, law or otherwise, can do that simply because whatever you decide to do, your life will change. This argument also applies when you’re deciding between two law colleges. Note here that I’m not discounting career websites or opinions of people you value but that these things can fog your decision-making ability. Personally, I’m a particularly practical person and going to a law school gives you job security and a strong foundation for your life ahead, things that I considered heavily before making my decision. But the bottom line is, I made a choice.

So, how has it been rejecting a law school? I couldn’t possibly do justice to what the past year has been for me by simply penning (re: typing) my feelings down. There were instances of doubt, only propelled by the aghast looks on people’s faces upon hearing of my resolution. But I can tell you with all certainty that there was never any regret and for that I’m immensely proud. We don’t know what the future holds for us, we really don’t. Our predictions and plans can only take us so far. We might find ourselves deviating from the path we always wanted to walk on and at the end of the day, that’s alright. It’s all alright.

 

 

 

Anushka Kaushik

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