So CLAT is less than three months away. Do you randomly think about not making it to the league of national law schools and is this accompanied with thoughts of an afterlife? If it is a Yes, breathe! You are not alone. Almost each one of us here has been through this phase and the real achievement lies in crossing this line you draw for yourself subconsciously in the midst of endless study circles! This line is about a million times darker for a ‘second timer’ as people like me are termed. I looked for encouragement and browsed and read through a plethora of articles to understand what it is like to face a life if I did not make it the second time. And this is precisely why I am writing this, not as a run for sympathy or blatant boasting, but only to warm certain hearts I can very easily relate to.
The thought of law as a career struck me late in my 11th standard when science proved to be way beyond my standards. While my chemistry teacher derived organic compounds, I tried to derive logical conclusions and legal reasoning. In the process, I began to be different too. I refused to give JEE, AIEEE or CET unlike my friends who worked their backsides off. All I wanted was a seat in one of the premier law schools. But the thought of shutting all my options, invited a never ending series of advises from everyone around, mostly Amma and Appa. I remember skipping a heartbeat now and then, but I believed in myself, even when my ranks were no where close to what it would take to even stand out of a law school gate, though there were momentary phases of eccentricity! I slogged for almost ten hours a day or more depending on my level of concentration. The second Sunday of May.. I was well ahead in time, simply to admire the college. Before going into the exam hall, I whispered into my dad’s ears, “NLS or NALSAR, Appa.. I shall make you proud.” My paper did go well, but I knew for a fact that if the paper was easy for me, it would have been easy for all. And that is how it turned out, the results were messed. Same marks, at least thirty people. I then realised, that my preference list was messed up to and it gradually began to dawn on me that I could not kept the promise I made to dad. On a larger picture, it was a dream I thought, I could never live. I felt I had let down everyone who stood by me when I chose law as a career, particularly my brother. I somehow wanted to do law and joined a college, not a national law school, but pretty much a good college, doing very well in the mooting arena today. It was extremely tough for me to accept the college because I had my expectation levels set at a different level. I loathed going to college, yet I made some of the best kind of friends. The college was so traumatising to go to because of nothing other than my mindset that I chose to quit after two months and get back home. Yes, I quit! I gave up. I packed my bags and I was home. My parents never gave up on me; neither did my relatives or friends. But people did question and speak about my decision, loud enough for me to lock myself inside my room for days! I was under depression and nothing helped; advises words, music, movies, and food. Nothing! And when I say if felt like the end of world, trust me! It did. But one day, my dad spoke to me about considering CA, more so because that was the only viable option left in the middle of the year and since it was his field also. Being a science student, I had my own qualms about clearing CPT (common proficiency test- the first level of CA). But I had no option and the more I studied, the more I began to like the subject. I did clear the exam with distinction. I went on to study for the next level and I was very determined to give CLAT a try. I studied side by side, but my preparation was no where close to the previous time and after having given CLAT, I had given up on making it. I was satisfied with CA as a career, but I wanted law! Rank 107, the college list came up the next day. I knew I would miss NALSAR by a few ranks and yes, I landed in NUJS. Mum wouldn’t let me go I knew. It affected me so much, that I needed a counsellor this time. The moment I came back from the counsellor, the second rank list was out. I had made it! To NALSAR! I saw my dad turn into a kid again when he was jumping along with me and my mum had tears, of joy, of sadness because for her it meant, I would leave home. All is well and for her, I go home every month!
I am sure as you are reading this, you have this thought that luck ruled my world. But take my word; it took a lot for me to be where I stand today. Perseverance, most importantly. Work hard and trust me it is worth it! I know how much this place means to me and there are times when I sit in class and think of how much I yearned for this. It is definitely worth it to live your dream. It is an achievement in itself. But one thing, law school is not easy either. It is filled with project, presentations and academics and staying away from home is no fun especially in the middle of the night before project deadline, when sleep is killing you and you don’t have your mum to make you a cup of coffee! So, even if you don’t make it, trust me, you won’t lose on anything big because the world is big and who knows, your true talent may lie elsewhere. Discover yourself like how I did when I chose CA. Keep your options open; don’t be prejudiced in choosing them. Had I written CET, my life would have been much simpler. Don’t ever give up. Though I don’t regret quitting that college, I regret wasting my time and dad’s money. Don’t dream that your life is settled if you make it to a National law school; it is a myth, life has a different side when you enter a law school. And most importantly, believe in yourself and don’t think the world will end if you fail. Your parents will not disown you, your relatives will not look down upon you and your friends will not detest you. And if others do all that I mentioned, who gives a damn? And remember, “The wound is where the light enters” – Rumi.
Keep dreaming and working!
Can’t wait to read your story! =)
All the best!
Class of 2015 – NALSAR University of Law.