It's sometimes hard to believe this experience is going by so quickly. It's a lot of things, actually. It's scary, sad, and relieving. It's scary to realize the prospect of leaving behind the comfort of this home I've created for myself is approaching all too soon, sad to think of all the friendships I've made that will soon be spread out all over the country, and also relieving to know that what can sometimes be a hellish academic experience will ultimately give me what I came here for: to become a lawyer.
Coming into this semester, I knew there were changes I wanted to make. I wanted to do better in school, both academically and personally. I wanted the effort I made reflected in my grades, and I wanted to distance myself from any and all unnecessary distractions that were detracting from my overall experience being here. Looking back at this semester, I'm happy about it. I worked hard, and I stayed in my lane.
Going to such a small school, it's easy to get wrapped in the minutia of the law school bubble. Friends and not-so-friends alike have told me in the past that I care way too much about what others think of me. Now, halfway through with my three years here, I can say that there were definitely some ups and downs this semester. But when I stumbled, I got back up, regardless of how hard I fell. And now, I know I am walking out of this semester and into the next without a falter, past or present, detracting my stride. The thing is, people are going to say or do, what they're going to say or do, really no matter what you say or do. I have no control over the actions of others, but the only thing I truly do have control over are my own actions and the way I react to the actions of others.
So, what else did I learn this semester? I learned there is a difference between being passive and even-tempered. There is a difference between being a doormat and choosing which battles to fight wisely. There is a difference between making mistakes only to repeat them time and time again and making choices – whether informed or blind – to realize they are mistakes that needed to be made in order to learn from them. And most importantly, there is a difference between caring what others think and caring what the right people in my life think.
As Coco Chanel said regarding the former, "I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all."
As of this past Saturday, I have finished a year and a half of my time here. I now have a year and a half left here, and I can say that I am without a doubt absolutely thrilled to continue forward to make the most out of it by staying dedicated to what I have learned thus far. You see, I can be scared and sad and relieved about the rest of my time here, or I could be excited. I choose to be all of these things. Because I would have never gotten to the point where I am at now otherwise.