This past spring, I applied to an Early Admission Program at my first choice law school.
Writing four drafts of my personal statement, and agonizing over word choice and sentence structure. Is this word too big? Does it sound like I’m showing off? Did I use the word ‘shaped’ too much? What about ‘morals’? Is this sounding repetitive? Does this have a good flow? It just doesn’t sound right. It paid off.
The actual interview came. I had previously bought a nice black suit for an alumni mentor banquet I attended, but it was about 90°F so I paired the jacket with a pencil skirt instead. I looked good, but law school isn’t just about looks. (Although I was recently informed that I would be surprised by just how much the field does depend on appearances) Sean drove me to the campus in Minneapolis. I told him to park on a side street because we were 30 minutes early and I would much rather sit and be nervous in my own car for half of an hour than sit and be nervous in the admissions office for an hour. (Sitting in an admissions office makes time slow down by a factor of 2, duh) Then I started freaking out. Just a little. Like maybe I can call and say I’m sick which wouldn’t really be an understatement because I’m pretty sure I’m going to vomit and do you think they’ll make exceptions and just do like texting interviews? Because then I wouldn’t freak out as much and I would be able to answer their questions without them seeing what a nervous wreck I looked like. Thank goodness Sean calmed me down enough to get me to walk in the door.
Sitting in the admissions office, realizing that my hands were getting clammy, and I still had another 10 minutes to go. Then the interview before mine went over time. Oh my goodness – they must really like whoever is in there. Ugh how am I supposed to follow someone they went over time with? Realizing I was going to need to shake hands. Frantically wiping them on my skirt, as nonchalantly as possible, in case they happened to walk out of the office and see me rubbing my legs like I was freezing in the middle of summer.
Then I shook all the negative thoughts from my head, walked into the office, and nailed it. Practising my ‘Why do you want to go to law school?’ answer only took me so far, but it gave me the confident start I needed to loosen up a bit and just be myself. I left the interview felling awesome.
2 weeks later, and a letter comes in the mail. A huge, full letter size mailer. They probably wouldn’t waste such a big envelope to mail a rejection, right? Happily, I was right. Inside, I found a letter admitting me to law school, along with awarding me an 80% tuition scholarship.
At this point, my mom says something like, “You can say I-told-you-so to anyone who doubted you, even do a dance if you want!” But that’s just not me. Besides, this was just getting in to law school – the real challenge isn’t until I actually start!