Finding Myself

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

‘Decisions are the hardest things to make especially when it’s a choice between where you should be versus where you want to be.’

As I sat preparing for the GD-PI rounds for Symbiosis Law School, I came across a sure-shot question that would be definitely asked in the interview round. WHY LAW? For any other law school aspirant, it would be a pretty obvious question with a not-very challenging answer. But for me, the story is a little different: when someone asks me why law, irrespective of what I say or pretend to say, my mind retraces back to the night I made the decision myself.

December 21st 2015: The winters wrath made me feel dead cold as I stood in my house alone, trembling and holding on to a piece of paper that had completely shattered me, stabbing icicles into my soul.  It read out a meager 20/80 on a Mathematics Prelims paper. I had failed an exam. For the first time in my life. I looked around the room and my eyes glanced through the various accolades and achievements that my mother had so endearingly hung up on the walls. I had been a ranker in school, a head girl, an all rounder, the perfect student that everyone wishes to be and here I was standing, stagnated by my failure, shocked to see what I had become and what had become of me.  All this only because I didn’t have the courage to stand up and tell my parents that I didn’t want to pursue engineering, to tell them that every single class of Physics, Chemistry and Maths would feel like entering a maze that I knew held no exit for me, to tell them that I have completely lost myself in a quest to finding out the solutions of an equation.  I didn’t sleep the many nights after trying to figure out what to do at this stage in my life.

Having taken coaching for two whole years in a stream that I was so sure I didn’t want to pursue, with my board exams 2 months away and with no other backup plan, I was depressed, unsure and clueless about my future. I started thinking of the options that lay ahead of me. I felt like I was moping through a dark tunnel of despair where the light at the end of it was more of a hope and much less of a reality. The only thing that I had ever been good at, in my entire life, was writing and debating. I liked what lawyers did and that could have been partially because Suits and How To Get Away With Murder were my favourite TV shows. Nevertheless, I never gave law a serious thought because our society somehow still doesn’t give that much respect or acknowledgement to the humanities or arts stream. As I waited to receive some enlightenment, Steve Jobs’ words in his last speech at Stanford University came ringing to me, ‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle.’ And somehow, with that one statement, it all just felt right as I recalled my school teachers saying that I should become a lawyer cause I would repeatedly save myself out of messy arguments with the authorities with utmost ease, or the many debate winning and essay writing certificates that adorned my room or the speeches that I had loved making throughout school life as a representative. I was born to do this, it all seemed right, yet I was unsure. I was about to step into uncharted territories, no one in my family had a clue about law and I myself was unsure if I would like the subject or not. Nevertheless I told my parents about it and they were, surprisingly, extremely supportive of it. Once I was done with the boards, I joined a crash course for a month at Career Launcher and I worked the hardest that I had ever worked in my entire life, not once feeling wrong about the decision I had taken. Entrances were given and the results were published. I didn’t get into an NLU but I did get into the best private law School of the country: Symbiosis Pune.

Today, as I pack my bag to leave in a week, I just have one thing to take with me: wisdom to know that life is short enough to only do what you love. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. After all, life isn’t supposed to be long, it’s supposed to be big. It’s your life, make it matter.

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