Finals and The Holidays

The holiday season is supposed to be the most fun time of year. A time for family and friends to get together and enjoy each other’s company. However, if you are in college or graduate school, most likely you despise this time of the year mainly because of final exams. Most of us are stressed because we may have procrastinated on certain assignments or our minds have not fully prepared for the mental strength required to get through this season. Personally, I am going through the same motions as everyone else. I honestly do not want to finish any assignments nor do I feel like studying. Plus, it does not help when your Master’s program is one year, which means next semester is my last semester. I am basically a senior getting a major dose of senioritis.
However, I am not blind to the fact that many students, including myself, are battling internal battles. Some are worried about failing a course, if they will graduate, where they will go after the semester is over, the depression coming at sometimes the worst times and so much more than I can possibly list. I just want to say to the people going through more than one challenge during this season, just know that I understand that you spend many nights crying about what to do next. I know that your pray and hope for guidance as you try to figure this part of your life out. Don’t believe that this is end, rather give yourself another chance to begin. Learn from the things that have gone bad and prepare for the good that will come. Anytime something bad happens I always tell myself, for every bad thing that happens a good thing follows. But to see the next best thing that’s coming, I must be willing to keep going past the bad that is happening at this moment.
To everyone reading this post, even though this can be one of the not so jolly times of the year, please remember that you are awesome in your own way and your light is needed. I have spent a little time trying to make sure I fully understand this concept as well. Give the semester one last shot and afterwards you can relax. I know I am. Just remember when one door closes, another door opens.

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A Graduate School and Mental Health Story

Earlier this week, I suffered a grave mental break down. I had a paper due and I had not finished it. However, I had no desire to want to finish the paper. I cried and even curled up in a ball and at one point I was rocking back and forth. I honestly was so over whelmed that I wanted to drop out. I cried for most of the night and barely submitted my paper. I know someone reading this is thinking how could she turn in her paper when she seemed so scattered? Well it was not easy. First, I thought of all the people I could call and decided not to call anyone because I knew that many people in my circle would not understand how I felt or they would tell me “I got this” when in reality, I did not. Secondly, I called a depression and anxiety hotline (Note: this is not a paid promotion and the phone number is 1 877-968-8454). I spoke with a woman and she was very kind. I let everything that I was feeling out and I was still crying. I told her I wanted to drop out and she said now was not the time to do that. I must fight the good fight. After she said that I felt a huge relief off my shoulder. Third, I called my old therapist because she told me that I could I just vent on her voicemail and I did. After that phone call, I took a shower and went to bed. Following that phone call, I still did not feel a 100%, and I honestly thought about not going to class the next day.
The next day I went to class and everything was normal. However, I then sat in the bathroom for 45 minutes and just allowed the rain clouds to hoover over me. Following those 45 minutes I decided that I would take it one step at a time and just give my best. I am not saying that I will not have rain clouds over me ever again, however I am not willing to stay that way forever. I want to enjoy life and smile. But from this experience I learned to seek help. No matter if it’s a friend, a hotline your pet and even sitting in the mirror talking through your pain do so. If you’re not ready to talk, as I have not wanted to in the past, I would go for a walk and sit in nature. I know from experience that graduate school is stressful, overwhelming and can cause you to want to quit, but you should push through if the program is a passion of yours. If the program does not fit you nor makes you happy, I would advise taking a break or leaving. My story does end better though, I am taking it one day at a time and not forgetting to smile. I hope you can do so as well and if you need to talk to someone please reach out. We need you here!

Back Home Blues

I know I was supposed to publish this blog entry two days ago, but I really had a lot on my mind. Since I moved back home, in May, I honestly believed that things would go back to the way they were with one of my friends. I knew that she had made other friends, but I was sure that she would try to include me. And she did, however some of the things she wanted to do was not my cup of tea. For the past two weeks, since starting grad school and being home, it appears that she does not have the time. So, I tried to hang with some of my other friends, however that did not work either. For the past two days I have been trying to understand why I feel the way I do. Trying to understand why I felt unmotivated and had the feeling that I was in a padded room where everyone would check on me occasionally and just do a basic care check. Finally, I admitted to myself that I was feeling lonely. Being in graduate school, not being close to your cohorts (which happens), and not having your close friends with you can make you feel as though you are alone. Earlier this week, I cried myself to sleep. I do not know why I did. All I knew was that I was alone. Very few people in my immediate circle understand the emotional toll it has on someone, especially when that person does not have one person to vent to about it because it’s hard to get the words out. I rarely have the words to express how I’m feeling. I’m like Issa in Insecure, I can rap in the mirror and create scenarios in my mind but when it comes to actually telling people, I am not good at that part.

Life is always about how you react to things. So, I had two choices of how to deal with my loneliness. Either lay in bed and finish binge watching a TV series or go and enjoy life. I choose to go and enjoy life. While being alone sucks, I understand how important it is to do something that truly makes me happy and sometimes while doing those things I will be alone. Even if I start alone and meet someone in this new place that’s good. If I don’t then that’s ok too. But, it has been my experience that sometimes being alone is required for someone to take their lives to the next level, which I agree with. One thing you always hear from people is that true happiness comes from you and if your happy alone then you can be happy with others. I do not disagree with that thought, however its always ok to be sad while being alone. Take the time you need to build yourself back up. It’s a part of life to have things/emotions die inside, but the rebirth of those emotions are always beautiful.

Taking a Break

Prior to me starting graduate school, I had decided that I would take a break because I needed it. I had worked at my job up until the Friday before me starting school on Monday. I had planned a nice relaxing Saturday of doing nothing. Sunday I had planned to go to a festival with my boyfriend. However, my boyfriend at that time decided on Saturday to have a big argument (which to me was over nothing, however his feelings were valid to him and I respect them) and we broke up that day. Also on that Saturday I spent the day with my little brother, which was not too bad. Then Sunday, which is the day I planned to do nothing I needed up running errands and cooking dinner. Not really leaving me much time to relax and think about things. Most importantly not giving myself enough time to get back in the mindset of school. Even though I had just finished school in May, one still needs time to get back into the mindset of school, especially when starting a new program. I started classes on Monday, and I thought I was ready, but was I wrong. I was not motivated what so ever.  I knew I had not thought things through because while I was in school I felt unmotivated, kept thinking “why am I here”, and kept watching random YouTube videos. I even watched the Elle Woods scene in Legally Blonde to try and motivate myself. Even Elle Woods could not help me want to do work. It was during my night class this week that I decided to give myself a break. So, for a day and a half I took the break I needed. I had the chance to just breathe, not worry about errands, or others needs just focused on me. I think the best part was, I took a break from social media (except for YouTube because of TEDx Talks). By practicing self-care, I had the opportunity to rethink what my goals are, my ambitions, listen to TEDx Talks and even practice self-forgiveness, which is always important. By taking a break I realized how tired I was and that I had a little heart work to do. Now that my break is over I feel more prepared to tackle grad school. My message to anyone who is reading this post: Take a break if you need it and if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, tell them to take their stress somewhere else.

Last Road to Law School

So I have been struggling to write this entry because how does one truly cope with their failures. This is my last road to law school blog. Not because I am completely giving up on the idea of law school, rather my life just took a different path. I was rejected by all the law schools that I had applied to expect for one. That one that I had been accepted to required that I complete a pre-law program, however that would have prevented me from going on a family vacation and would require that I shell out more money. Plus, having more debt was not appealing to me. I did what many of fellow seniors where doing at the time, apply for jobs and hope for a miracle. Once I graduated, I had so much lined up for me. Conferences that had inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and a very relaxing vacation to the Caribbean. It was while on that vacation, that I had met a woman who told me to just take the opportunity. The opportunity she was speaking of was going to graduate school. Some people may seem confused about this, thinking “where did the idea of graduate school come from”. After being rejected by one of my schools, their legal department offered me admission into their masters program. I did not know what to do because I had not even considered doing a masters program. However, I considered this program to be a part of fate because a few months prior (before I even was accepted to the master’s program) someone had told me about rather than only considering law schools try some of the masters programs. Then the woman on the cruise told me to just take the chance and get it done. So on my vacation after putting a lot of money towards the trip, I  paid a little bit more for my commitment to graduate school.

I had not believed that I fully committed to graduate school until it was time to register for classes. The main reason was that I had barely believed that I just graduated from undergrad. Describing my emotions prior to that moment would be: surreal. Graduating from college and not knowing what comes next leaves one in a position where they are unsure about certain things. That purgatory feeling was what I felt leading up to graduation. That I was in this constant state of what happens next. From being in a purgatory mindset, I have come to learn that, sometimes one has to walk through an uncomfortable stage in life to get to be where they are supposed to be. That space will be uncomfortable and when one arrives at the destination the person may be confused, but if they go with the flow incredible things begins to happen. To the person reading this who may not know what to do in life, just know when one door closes another one will open.

 

Note: I will now begin to post more consistently. Every Friday I will post about my life and experiences.

LSAT II and II Rejections

Happy New Year to You! If you are reading this, I hope that everything you desire comes true in this New Year. I want to first start off by saying that despite what’s going on the United States, remember not everyone is like the current commander in chief. Rather many people in this country can be kind, generous and accepting of others. However, when the media fuels someone’s hate by constantly broadcasting it, that very reporting can bring out the bad side of a nation. Remember that is only a small few and many of us here in the United States support those seeking safety.

This blog in my road to law school entry is about rejection and preparing for something you know you suck at. First, I’ll discuss what I suck at. I am a horrible test taker, especially standardized test. I think the reason why it is not my strong suit has to do with the fact that I always believed that if I failed this test, then that meant I was a failure in other aspects of my life. I realized it in elementary school when they told me that if you did not do well on standardized test, then you would not get in to the best high schools. So I remember being panicked out of my mind and very well I did not do as well as I could have. In high school, it was the SAT which I panicked with both and took a prep class and still did not do as well as I could have. But that did not stop me from going to college and trying my best. Now that I am in college, it is the LSAT. The test that can determine how much financial aid from the school that I am given. The first time I took the LSAT I was calm, yet deep down I was still very anxious. I was worried about that if I did not do well, then I would not be able to accomplish my goals of helping people. I just have to remember that one number does not and will not dictate how far I will go in life on Saturday.

That idea of making sure I do not put too much pressure on this score does not always ease the mind when it comes to rejections. Even though I am taking the LSAT for the second time, I have applied to all of the law schools I have a strong interest in attending, but I am still uneasy. Even though I feel greatly accomplished by applying to all of the schools, I received two rejection emails. I was sad because I thought that even though I had a low LSAT score I still had a great resume and pretty ok GPA. In no way shape or form am I perfect nor do I pretend to be, but it still hurts on the inside when you do not get into a specific school. These particular schools were not my number one which gives me hope. But there will always be that idea of doubt. However, as I continue down my road to law school I know that for one door that closes, anther and better door will open. So to the person reading this who feels rejected and do not want to take a graduate school exam, keep going, life always seems to get better when everything goes wrong, but you have to keep going to see the better.

LSAT Blues

Back in September of 2016 I took the LSAT for the first time. I prepared the best way that I could through practice. I was not nervous nor was I panicked while taking the exam. I went in and left knowing that I had tried my best. The best feeling was walking away knowing that I just did something major. I then went home and took a nap before starting my school work. Then the real game began… waiting.

The weeks following me taking the LSAT, I focused on school and went on about life. However, when the day came that received my scores were posted I was nervous and excited. But I did not check the second they were posted because I was nervous. Finally, after a few days I went to my email to check the score and I was expecting the email to contain a link to see my scores, however it had my actual score in there. When I saw the score, I thought it was pretty good, until I looked at the score ranges. Sad to say I scored below the national average. Like many people, I was sad then I had to think of an important question, do I want to continue on with law school? I actually struggled with the decision for well over a month because I thought that I would not get in to any law school.

I had even heard of how many schools take everything into account other than your scores, but my GPA is not the highest and to me it felt as though I had not done much in my four years to gain acceptance to these schools. There would be times when I would have no motivation to do my work. Even when I was getting hundreds of emails to apply to law school I was still not encouraged to apply. However, I was talking to someone and they talked me through why I even wanted to go to law school in the first place, but I was not convinced I should still try. Even when my professor mentioned that standardized test did not determine my success in the future or even how well students would do in graduate school, still did not motivate me as much. Hearing a particular song by Jhene Aiko actually did. The lines of the song that randomly popped into my head were:

If there’s one thing that I learned
While in those county lines
It’s that everything takes time
You have gotta lose your pride
You have gotta lose your mind
Just to find your peace of mind
You have got to trust the signs
Everything will turn out fine

So why aren’t you smiling? Why aren’t you smiling?
Life can get wild when, you caught in the whirl wind
Lost in the whirl wind, you’re chasing the wind.

That’s when I refocused myself and began to put my all into it. I realized that not getting a high score was not something that defines who I am and that this was just one of many road bumps that I would be encountering throughout law school. Unfortunately, when I decided to refocus on law school, undergraduate classes began to pick up so I have to prioritize a bit. But I have begun to narrow down my school list and have begun the fun process of applying to schools, having my resume looked over, and personal statement reviewed. Even though I still, have a lot of work to do because its nearing finals, I am very confident that I will be able to finish all of my applications before the New Year is out. Even though my first LSAT did not go as well as it could’ve, I know that I can still do great things.

So my tip for escaping the LSAT blues is to remember it may seem bad now but it gets better. Sometimes you have to fail to be where you want to be. When you fail you learn, then improve and finally kick major butt in accomplishing your goals.

Lyrics came from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jheneaiko/ways.html