It’s Your Choice!

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This article has been submitted by Mohit Raj for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.

Here’s my story of taking CLAT, failing to achieve what I had set out for, and then making my own choice. I hope someone finds value in what I write.

Late April 2014. Board exams are over for me now, and to say that I screwed up my exams would be an understatement. But, there’s a competitive exam coming up, CLAT, and something I am excited for. An exam, where I feel, I can prove myself to the world that I am something more than a failure.

Mid June 2014. The last couple of months have been exhausting, and all the labour has not yielded any positive results. The rank list for CLAT and AILET is out. Having not done well in either, with ranks of 2338 and 906 respectively, I have no chance of making it into a NLU now. Thoughts of dropping for a year and giving it another shot are doing rounds in my head.

Mid June 2014. With the National Law Universities out of my options, for this year, at least, I am left with a decision to make, should I enrol into Symbiosis Law School, Pune, or, Symbiosis Law School, Noida? As any inexperienced 18 year old does, I go around asking people, more knowledgeable people about which law school I should choose to attend? The score tally for Pune v. Noida was 21-1 (Yes, I kept a score. Yes, I am that silly!). That one vote for SLS, Noida was mine and, that is the only vote that matters.

Late June 2014. My admission process at SLS, Noida is complete. I am still being told by my well-wishers how SLS, Pune is a much better college to place my bets on, to ‘secure’ my future. My decision hasn’t changed, I am leaving Vadodara for Noida now. Still, thoughts of what would it have been like had I done better in CLAT are doing rounds in my head on the journey.

It’s been a year to all this now, and telling you that I have had a great year would be the easiest thing to say. Currently, many of you would be thinking about whether the preference of law schools you put in was correct. There’ll be uncles and aunties, who are mostly misinformed, who will tell you how your 4th Preference is way better than your 2nd Preference, how that law school will, in 5 years, topple others ranked above it. The career counsellors would tell you how Placements and Alumni matter, which college is above the other because their students won one extra moot.

You’ll talk to alumni of every college you get into and try to get a sense of which college is better off. Some will tell you how College A is bad because of an incident three years ago, and how College B is better because of a VC. Then, you’ll also check rankings by various media houses, who’ll use all these metrics to rank colleges. To be clear, the advice given by all these sources will be for your well-being.

It is important to understand that at the end of the day, it is YOUR choice. And, this choice should not be based on factors which the world values most, it should be based on what you value the most. For someone, placements might be the biggest factor to choose a college, for you, it could just be the well-stocked library with a canteen nearby which serves the best Hot Dog in the world. It could be the industry connect of a law school for someone, and could just be great hostels for others. The point I am trying to get across using this post is that the choice which is to be made is a choice you should be making for yourself, and while making the said choice it is important that you don’t give unnecessary attention to what everyone else values.

When you have made the choice, stick with it, and stand by it for you’ll spend 5 years at the place of your choice and your life’s best memories will come from these years.

P.S.: Food places nearby may have been an important factor for me. 😛

Note to self: Start working on your writing skills, if you ever want to be a lawyer.

Mohit Raj

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