What do you do when you are in love with two things and have to choose one to commit to for the rest of your life? And polygamy isn’t an option because each task comes with the price tag of a lifetime. No, this is not a Twilight fan-fiction blog post. It’s more like a mid-life crisis. I want to be an international human rights lawyer—that’s what I used to tell my parents to avoid giving them a real answer about my future. That label seemed to have everything I wanted; at least physically in its usage of words. I want to help humans, I want to travel the world and I want to be a lawyer. So for the last 3 years, my parents thought that I’ve been faithful to Law as a career path.
But in 2nd year, I fell in love with political theory—literally. I was infatuated, absolutely consumed and excited, like never before. You know that feeling when you really like someone, like a lot, because they make you a better person and bring out the best in you? That’s how I feel when I write political theory papers. It just comes to me organically. Ever since I got an A for my first experimental reading of Machiavelli in POL200, I realized that there’s a place for me in this world. This world doesn’t tell me I need to be a certain way to belong because I feel like I already do; whereas, the world of law makes me feel stupid, naïvely optimistic and disadvantaged as a minority.
Political theory helped me unlock my ability to wake people up, to stir their souls and inspire them to actualize their potential to build a better world. It’s a natural fit. It may even be my calling. I want to start revolutions, create revolutionaries and be revolutionary. My purpose in life is to change the way the world works by committing myself to something greater than our immediate existence. Problem is, my parents have absolutely no idea about my affair. They wouldn’t understand. I always get in trouble for reading too much, studying too much or caring too much about the human condition.
You’re probably thinking the answer is so clear: do what you love. But I love law too. Its reliable, safe and parent-proof. And worst of all, I am so good at it too, that to not do it would be a waste of my potential. The law is Hillary Clinton and Political theory is well, Monica Lewinsky—making me Bill Clinton? The way I sped through cases in TRN305, my field trip to the International Criminal Court and International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for TRN304 and the amazing Professor Miedema, all helped me see that I was built for that world too. This identity crisis is mostly rooted mostly in my decision to double major in Ethics, Society and Law and Political Science. But then, I had a mini anxiety attack during the LSAT (which I am not scared of anymore and will ACE in October) and suddenly this world turned into a big “you’re stupid, we don’t want you” sign. Plus, the thought of living life as a Suit terrifies me—Ill leave that to Harvey Specter. I know that I would make a great judge one day and that could be my avenue to change the world. But, do I have to sacrifice my love for political theory, my free spirit and my non-conformist ideals, just so I can have a stable job and income?
So indecisive, stubborn and in love, I have decided to pursue a joint JD/PhD after my undergrad–(have yet to tell my parents about the PhD part.) My secret dream is to end up at UChicago but that is all dependent on a high LSAT/GRE score and an admission into their prestigious Committee on Social Thought (all of which seems impossible). I’m going to shoot for the moon, and hope to land on stars, if I miss. I have no idea about grad school applications, what I can do with political theory or even where I can go. I just know that I have to find a way to reconcile the two. So I will be spending the next week talking to old professors and mentors, researching, frequenting Career Centre resources and soul searching. I am a fighter, always have been.
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