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Why I Should Have Followed the Best Advise I’ve Ever Received

Pride and stubbornness can be your worst advisers, and your worst enemies. Sadly, this is a lesson I learned the hard way. And I’m still paying for it.

Many, many years ago, I was a college student. For several reasons that are not important right now, it took me a crazy amount of time to get my crap together, and graduate. That is a long story, and better left for another day. However, a few details are crucial to this story.

First, I had managed to go from being an honor student, to merely passing my classes in the first few years of my college education. That was entirely my fault. But after I became a mother, I finally got my big girl panties on, and my performance improved significantly. I didn’t have enough time left to go back to honor-worthy grades, but I was much, much better.

That’s when it popped into my head. I wanted to be a lawyer!

In all honesty, I had to continue my education, no matter what. I was about to graduate with a BA in Forensic Psychology, which meant I had very limited career choices without grad school. But I was suddenly sooo pumped for law school.

See, for years, I had read, no, devoured tons of legal thrillers. I loved them enough to feel like I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.

Boy, was I wrong!

What closed the deal (in my mind, at least) was when my internship academic adviser advised against it. Her reasoning? My GPA was not in the greatest shape, and she felt like my chances of being accepted into law school were slim. She was not counting on the greed of all private school, of course.

To say I was slightly insulted is an understatement. How dare she question my capabilities? How dare she tell me what to do?

I was always very mature in many ways. But my pride, and stubbornness made me childish, and stupid sometimes. This was one of those times.

And so, I applied to law school. To my delight (and mild surprise), I got an acceptance letter. I did not go rub it in the academic adviser’s face, but I made sure I told enough people to make the news get to her. Triumphant is what best describes how I felt. I had done it. I was going to law school.

Except…

Law school was not where I was supposed to be. It took me a couple years of classes, and a short break from it to start grasping this truth. Not like I would have admitted this to anyone, but in my heart of hearts, I knew.

I hated law school.

Don’t get me wrong. I made some good friends, and got closer to already existing friends from college. The connections are probably what made me stick it out longer than a semester. But I was miserable. Instead of looking forward to a long, fruitful career in law, I dreaded it.There are many reasons why I was so miserable during my time there, but the following sum it up nicely.

Why I Should have Followed the Best Advise I’ve Ever Received

Books did not reflect reality

Of course, those books I read told fictional stories that could be true. However, the work life of a lawyer in real life has little to do with them, and more to do with everyday, even boring, and routine cases.

The triviality of a law career was more often than not lost in the middle of the plot twists that made my fiction books so interesting to me. Although I could have asked a number of lawyers I knew personally, I chose to go for the fantasy of high profile cases, and life or world-changing situations portrayed in the books.

Law school was too boring

Nothing, not even my Humanities courses in college, which I took with an extremely boring professor, prepared me for how boring my classes would be in law school. My time was mostly spent reading cases from long ago, that, although somewhat relevant, held little to no interest to me.

Because of the nature of the law (in general), many things tend to be repetitive for the sake of thoroughness. Therefore, I, the avid reader, found reading the cases, laws, regulations, etc. the most boring reading material there is. I can only compare it to reading a contract before signing it. And yes, we also read contracts. Boring.

I hated most of my classes

Even though I definitely learned from them, I found that (with very few exceptions) I hated my classes. Not only because they bored me to tears, but also because there is no space for creativity when it comes to the law. Unless you are actually writing the law, but even that sounds like a complete drag.

Unfortunately, when it comes to actually studying the law, you have to stick to the facts, which makes sense. The thing is, I love creating, from dancing, to making things, or writing. All my life I have been a dreamer, someone who enjoys the possibilities of improving things, and my classes while in law school felt stiff, and stagnant.

Wasted too much time best spent elsewhere

Coursework can be daunting while in law school. Even while doing my bachelors in Psyc I still had a life, could do other things. Going to law school turned into the biggest time-waster of my life. I always had too much to read and study, and I always felt like it was all leading nowhere.

Sadly, when I felt I was about to lose it I just procrastinated more and more, which meant I was often behind on my studying.

Did not finish

After 2 horrible (and horribly long) years of law school, I was offered a job. It was not my dream job by any means, but I had to take it. Up to that point, it was only my Mom’s income that supported our home, and we were not doing so great.

I could have continued my studies, seeing as I was a night student anyway, but I did not want to be gone all day for work, and all night for school. I had my daughter to think about, and I really wanted to spend time with her, and my Godson. So I took a “break”. Little did I know at the time that that break would last forever.

Too shy and terrified of public speaking

Most, if not all lawyers have to present cases in front of judges, jurors, and others at some point. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I enrolled in law school , but certainly not about my public speaking fear at all.

I have always been a bit shy, especially when I don’t know the people I’m with. That means that every time I have had to do a presentation, I get super nervous. My hands shake, my throat gets very dry, and I sweat bullets. Not sure why I thought I would enjoy being a lawyer, considering public speaking is almost unavoidable.

Ridiculous amount of student loan debt

This is by far the worst consequence I have had to deal with as a result of my brief stint in law school. Up until that point, my Mom had paid for all of my college education. Yes, that’s right. Even though we were always hurting for money, somehow the Federal government felt like what she earned was plenty, and I never qualified for any financial aid.

In the spirit of spending as much time with my kiddo as possible, I decided to go to night school, and to accept the full amount of student loans awarded to me. I made this decision so that I could technically live off of the extra while doing school. I still lived with my Mom, but having that extra cash meant I could cover as many of my own expenses as possible.

I’m still paying the price for that.

My family had zero experience with student loans. We saw the loans as life savers, allowing me to study the career I wanted but couldn’t afford. And because the idea that I could quit it half way thru was not in my mind, I did not consider how that would affect the rest of my life.

As of right now, I have almost $50,000 in student loan debt. And nothing to show for it.

Why I Should have Followed the Best Advise I’ve Ever Received

See? Even after all these years, I am paying a high price for my stupidity. I didn’t see it that way at the time, but my academic adviser’s advise was actually sound advise. She might have been more concerned about my academic performance than anything else, but I realize now that she was right.

I should have never applied to law school. It was stupid. I was stupid. Even after becoming a mom, like a child, I was too stubborn to see, to listen. I have very few regrets in life, but this is definitely one of them.

I often wish I had listened to the best advise I’ve ever received. That I had not let my stupid pride get in the way, and instead done more soul searching. I am sure that my decision would have been different. And I would not have this crippling student debt as a result, which seems impossible to pay off.

But “should’ve”, “would’ve”, and “could’ve” are the Founding Fathers of the Land of Regret. Hindsight is 20/20, but in life, there is little room for do-overs.

Why I Should have Followed the Best Advise I’ve Ever Received

Can you think of any advise you received, didn’t take, and have paid a steep price as a result? What would you do, if you had the chance for a do-over? Please, share in the comments section below. Inquiring minds want to know. And maybe you could help someone with your experience.

Why I should have followed the best advise I've ever received

Why I should have followed the best advise I’ve ever received

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