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Lost another couple of hours of sleep last night, thinking about the position I am in, about to be thrown into the gaping maw of the job market. Only 11 weeks now until it is put up or shut up time. Another 11 weeks and I find out if a full five years of my life has been worth the trouble, time, and money that I invested in my own future. Its a scary thought, the culmination of literally years of your life. The apex of your education. Everything that I have done over these many long weeks and months hangs in the balance of the next couple of months. I will be either deemed worthy by the market, or rejected by it and cast into a pit of poverty that I cannot escape.

In 11 weeks, I graduate from Western Oregon University.

A lot has been said about my generation -- we're lazy, good-for-nothing, and entitled. We're the lost generation, the ones doomed to repeat the missteps and mistakes of our forefathers, doomed to repeat the horrible past to our future's ruination. We are the least prepared for the challenges the future has presented to us, or so the common wisdom goes. In essence, we have been deemed as failures, before we had a chance to fail or succeed on our own.

Every one of us feels that pressure. The pressure to succeed, even though we face the longest odds of success in a generation. To pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, even though our feet were cut off long ago, by forces we, or anyone, could barely understand. Told from a young age that hard work and effort would get us everywhere that we wanted to go, anywhere we desired; and then loaded with debt and sent on our merry way, not told of true reality of the long odds that we actually face.

I have a great deal of anxiety about my future, a future that looks dimmer and dimmer as the days slip by until end of my days at the University. We are living with my fiancee's parents, I am taking 24 credits, giving a senior presentation on a year's long sociology research paper, and planning to start looking for a job, most likely tomorrow.

A great deal of my time and effort gone into this education, not to mention money. As I mentioned I attend WOU, an affordable and small University in the state of Oregon. Even though you can get one of the most affordable educations in the United States at Western, I have racked up nearly 60,000 dollars worth of debt both at my local community college and at the University. When I read that number, I can feel the hairs on my head going grey. I can feel the butterflies in my stomach. I can feel the regret -- "I should have gotten a job. I should have done something to avoid all of these loans"

Fact of the matter is, I didn't. My goals were noble in quitting my job before going to school -- I wanted to focus on my grades, and I think it has paid off. I have a 3.8 institutional GPA/3.6 accumulative GPA, and I am graduating Summa Cum Laude. By all accounts, this is an incredible success. And yet, after all of this hard work and effort, all I feel is trepidation.

My goal at the end of all this was to go to law school, at Willamette University in Salem Oregon. Its all I have ever really wanted to do with my life, but after months of studying I bombed the LSAT -- 143 (21 percentile). Nothing was more embarrassing or mortifying that receiving that score. It made me feel as if I was a complete failure, it also made me feel as if this whole time the professors who told me I was too smart to stop at the undergraduate level were just blowing smoke up my ass. Even if I were to get in (my application is fairly solid besides the low LSAT score), there is absolutely no way I can pay 30,000-40,000 dollars a year just to attend. Loans will cover about half, I have terrible credit and no cosigner and absolutely no hope for a scholarship. So funding my future is a lawyer is just as distant as being admitted into a law school in the first place.

I applied anyway, still waiting on word from Willamette and a few other schools I applied for, but I am not holding my breath. I am jumping into the job market now. And I can't help but feel anxious, nervous and absolutely depressed at my prospects.

And maybe a little betrayed by the people who said that if you work hard, you can do anything you want. I know, its a petty emotion, and perhaps the entitled millennial coming out in me. Even if I do get a job that pays around 30,000 dollars a year (which is about what I am looking at), I will be buried under a mountain of debt for a very long time. Its not as if I didn't try to find a job and pay my way through school, its just that getting a full time job, sacrificing my grades and paying for about half my college costs did not seem like a good deal to me. Back then, I calculated that if I did get grades, if I did work hard, that I could get through school without racking up debt I could get into law school no problem. I didn't count on choking at the LSAT and getting a terrible score even though I practiced for about 80 hours and took about twenty practice tests.

I am scared guys. I honestly don't know what to expect out there. All of a sudden this Sociology degree is looking more and more useless. And all I can do is write it out.

Thanks for listening.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nothing you have written about will kill you (9+ / 0-)

    you will see the sun rise and sun set for many more years ,
    you will eat , sleep , think , write , for years to come .
    Do the best you can with your days
    and it will work out one way or the other .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 08:35:22 PM PDT

  •  What I don't know about this stuff is a lot, but (12+ / 0-)

    can you re-take the LSAT?  Seems to me that if you are adept and smart enough for that GPA and honors, your initial LSAT score may be an anomaly.  I was one of those people who excelled at standardized tests; but I know that a few misplaced answers or a few ambiguous questions can be enough to waste your overall score.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 08:38:02 PM PDT

    •  LSAT rewards studying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      at least that was true when I took it a very long time ago. The wording of the questions is difficult to grasp on first reading, but once you get the hang of how the questions work, it gets easier. There are also prep courses (cost money, but when it's for your dream, why not?).

  •  I wish I could say something calming, but I'm not (12+ / 0-)

    sure what it would be. Are there any legal clerk type jobs that might be available? That way you might get a bigger taste of what law practice might entail. Can you retake the LSAT at a later date? Please don't think of yourself as a failure. I have no idea what the LSAT is like, but maybe it is designed to ferret out people who think differently. Practice pretending not to be depressed about it, so it won't show in the interview. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck.

  •  Congratulations (18+ / 0-)

    on graduating and having high grades.  That is really great!!!  

    Get someone to help you with your resume.  It needs to list all your skills that you used while in school.  A top notch resume is a must and then get it out there.  Don't say that it will be a bare one because it should not be.  Start with team work and the ability to work with people.  Add the ability to follow through on assignments and projects and know how to write.

    Try every company.  

    I really think you can find a job that you will do well at and then later can try again for law school.

    I am rooting for you!!!!!!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 08:45:45 PM PDT

  •  We need you (14+ / 0-)

    Many thoughts on reading your diary....

    1.  Take a moment to congratulate yourself.  You have worked long and hard toward a goal, and you are on the verge of achieving it.  Set the trepidation aside for a little while at least, and celebrate your accomplishment.

    2.  You plainly know how to write.  My experience (as a long-time-ago English major) is that writing skills win out over the long run in so many ways.

    3.  Give thanks for your low LSAT score.  It will save you from the fate of being a lawyer.  I won't bash lawyers -- we need good ones -- but there so many other pathways that bright young people who are not in the sciences, medicine, engineering, etc. can turn to.  Open yourself to the other possibilities.

    4.  It is criminal what we have allowed to happen to college costs in the last generation.  It is one of the baby boomers' most shameful legacies.  Sooner or later there will have to be some sort of movement to control costs and reduce the burden on those like yourself who were not given all the information they should have had.

    5.  The job market is dynamic.  Boomers are retiring.  Things will open up.  They have to.

    6.  Take this opportunity to think about what might really give you meaning, satisfaction, fulfillment in work.  "Your vocation is where your greatest passion meets the world's greatest need."

    7.  Take any job to start with.  The beauty of being young:  You can try lots of things, and change.  And you'll  have health insurance until you are 26 thanks to Obamacare.

    8.  We need you.  We need all young people of your age to step up, to devote a portion of your lives to your communities, your democracy, your world.  Be active in that change at the local level.  That commitment will lead to other windows opening -- guaranteed.

  •  You are going to be fine. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, WakeUpNeo, Creosote, NotGeorgeWill
  •  You don't know what the future will hold for you, (8+ / 0-)

    but then, neither does anybody else. Your ability to express yourself in writing is an incredible asset as you enter the workforce. Capitalize on it.

    And in your job search, don't forget the public sector, local, state and federal.

  •  And here I am, 34 years old... (11+ / 0-)

    ...and thinking of going back to college. :\

    Life shouldn't feel so damn scary all the time.

    •  do it. (8+ / 0-)

      Its very scary, but everything I have learned was so worth it. Best, most enlightening experience of my admittedly short life.

      •  Having not finished college... (6+ / 0-)

        ...really feels like there's something missing in me. I had always thought I would go back, but the longer I've waited, the harder it's been to convince myself to do it. It also didn't help that when I was in college (granted, community college) back at a regular college age, I thought I was going to become a music teacher; but then I finally accepted that I didn't have enough of a fundamental understanding to do it, and my thinking I'd do music was mostly built out of not really knowing what else I would be interested in enough to study. I was in the middle of trying to figure out a replacement area of interest when I stopped going.

        I'm currently thinking that I'll initially go back to the community college and grab the handful of classes I still need there to finish up what I'd need to transfer to (probably/hopefully) UVA and do something, not really sure yet for an Bachelor's that would be appealing enough to get me into the public policy Master's program.

        I'd like to focus on LGBT youth issues. I'd really like to try to help kids avoid and/or deal with the bad experience I had trying to come to terms with my sexuality back when I was a teen. The public policy would be a more practical side of that goal, but I'd also like to, if I can ever get over my weird inertial problems, and write young adult fiction for LGBT youth to also come at the issue from an artistic side, write stories I wish I had growing up.

        Maybe I'm just dreaming, but it feels like helping make life better for LGBT youth is something my life experiences have charged me to do. Still, the thought of going back to school scares me crazy with all the doubts about my ability to do it (I've pretty much always got good grades way back when, I don't know why I think now would be any different) and dumb self-judgment about my age.

        •  Do it (7+ / 0-)

          My mother got her bachelor's when she was 51.

        •  I'm no expert, but from watching (4+ / 0-)

          others around me, it seems they do best when they have a plan worked out down to details.  

          So, for example, you might want to find out what the best ways to complete your Associates degree would be, in order to transfer to UVA.  

          Then you could look up the UVA course catalogue, and get into the nitty gritty -- what do you want to major in, what are the specific requirements for that major, how often are the needed courses offered and what years, etc.  Basically, build a schedule to see if you can finish a bachelors degree in two years full time, or three years part time, or whatever your goal is.

          And then look at their Masters in public policy program, and what it requires, both as prerequisites as well as coursework.  See if all this leads you towards where you want to go.  See if you can do it in the time you're willing to take.  See if the programs (undergrad and grad) match your goals.  Find out what kind of financial aid you can get, and decide whether you are comfortable taking it on with what you hope to earn afterwards.

          This is not to dissuade you!  Rather, it's because planning seriously, researching seriously, and then adjusting plans according to what you find out -- e.g., you might want to take more community college classes before you apply for a bachelors program, or you might decide you want to apply somewhere else -- will make it more likely that you'll get what you want out of your education... even if, especially today, there are no guarantees of employment at the end of it.

          Good luck.

          © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 11:42:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  P.S. -- Don't forget, when researching (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Naniboujou, Oh Mary Oh, vacantlook

            requirements, to include the general requirements for any bachelors.  As in, they may require proficiency in a foreign language, or a given number of courses in science and math, or the like.

            You could also investigate where there are any programs for older students in terms of academic advising, part-time study, peer support, etc.

            © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

            by cai on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 11:49:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I actually went in and talked... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

   the academic advisor at PVCC (the community college) that specifically deals with transfer issues last week. So I know which of the two transfer degrees PVCC has that UVA likes more. I had wanted to know what of my old classes from way back when were still good (almost all of them), what I had to retake (one, which is some basic technology class, since tech has changed so drastically since back then, and another if I want a grade better than the F I got in it back then (only F I've ever gotten in my life) to factor into my GPA), and what I have left to take period. I've figured out everything I need to take at PVCC to finish the transfer degree, but I can't sign up for summer classes until April 14 since I'm not taking anything this semester (I took an unrelated class last semester just out of personal interest). Since regardless of what I end up doing for my Bachelors I've got a number of things I have to get done for the transfer Associates, I'll go back to meet with the advisor again sometime once I'm back into the thick of it to begin to detail out some of the next stage of the plan. PVCC has a super close working relationship with UVA in terms of transfers. So, for now, my goal is to just get as much done as quickly as the schedule at PVCC will let me.

        •  Given the way electronic publishing is going at (0+ / 0-)

          the moment, I'd seriously look into joining a writer's group and start polishing your writing on your own. It's a niche market and word of mouth is huge. If you write what you know, and get help with style and technical stuff, you might be able to make a genuine difference to kids who really need it at a vulnerable time in their lives.

          There is a writer's group here, 'Write On'. Monday nights, I think, led by Sensible Shoes. You might want to lurk and check it out.

          Best of luck with whichever way you decide to go.

          Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
          ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

          by FarWestGirl on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:16:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure if this is helpful, but my grad degree (6+ / 0-)

    was paid for by a work-study grant, one which I was lucky to obtain by visiting the campus when applying and specifically going to the department chairperson for advice.  We somehow hit it off and he mentioned the work-study opportunity, and that was the end of my decision-making process on which school on my shortlist to attend.

    Good luck with whichever direction you go - LSATs are not the be-all, end-all, of course: I crushed the MCAT and my grades were only OK due to two classes that I completely bombed in my first two years of college (one was due to taking my final exam while in the throes of mono and the other was due to a Sociology professor who had a personal issue with my, well, male whitebreadedness).  Yet, I still had a decent pick of medical schools and - like you - found myself wondering about how to pay for them.

    Opening up the view a bit, I decided to investigate a different route - one in another long-term, personal interest area.  I quickly found some reputable, combined MS/MBA degrees in my search and visited schools.  That's how I ended up with the interview mentioned above.

    My Mom never told me she had bought a stethoscope for college graduation, though - my goal since before high school was to become a doctor some day.

    So, your personal drive might have you ending up in a complementary career path to what you've envisioned thus far, or you might find inspiration from the current college experience to try out something else you found interesting.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 09:25:31 PM PDT

    •  Having had to drop a German class... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, Naniboujou, Oh Mary Oh

      ...due to getting mono and being unable to be awake more hours in the day than I slept and the German class being an 8am 4-day-a-week class, I sympathize on that. I still haven't a clue from where/whom I got mono; what with it being nicknamed the kissing sickness or whatever, I think I should at least have gotten to have the kissing that went along with it, but there was no such person in my life then.

      I'm now faced with, if I do go back to college, having to do a ton of language that I didn't get done back then. I'm thinking either Japanese or American Sign Language. There is something very intriguing about ASL being such a different form of communication, and I probably have a bigger chance of ever needing it than ever needing Japanese.

      •  Likewise: no kissing benefit contracting the mono (4+ / 0-)

        I had basic ASL to help tutoring deaf students, and it formally introduced us to aspects of deaf culture, as well.  It certainly helped when working near magnets of deaf and otherwise hearing-impaired people (e.g., the National Technical Institute of the Deaf) and yes: there have been times where it was useful since graduating.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 10:08:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I bombed on the LSAT as well. (6+ / 0-)

    So, don't worry about that. It taught me that being a lawyer wasn't in my career aspirations, so I started looking inward at what else I could do well and then I found the health care reform movement and it's led to my current work as a business owner.

    So my advice for you is to look at what you can do that fits in your wheelhouse. It may not be your ideal dream job, but if it can lead you to a better job, do it.

  •  It's still tough out there (6+ / 0-)

    My brother and I get into arguments with some members here (remember, the average age of a Daily Kos member is over 50) who say that our generation is too entitled and all that and how we have it easy.

    When the 50+ year olds here attended college, tuition was $250 a semester (and I believe that's in real dollars, so inflation adjusted).  Now it's in the high 4 digits, and at private schools well into 5 digits.

    The thing that pisses me off the most is the notion that the older people chastising our generation were the same ones that told all of us all along to attend college or else we'd be nothing in life.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 09:45:31 PM PDT

    •  I'm one of those oldsters and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NotGeorgeWill, Naniboujou, Oh Mary Oh

      am graduating this semester, with a grad degree (PhD).  I've been working in my field for 22 years now, but I will still get a boost from having this degree, both in salary (very small boost) and job security (and at my age, that's a huge boost - I'll be able to do what I want to do, to make a living for the rest of my working life).

      I still believe that everyone needs a college degree (and the education too, it's not just for the certificate).

      If you consider the economic outlook for those with high school diplomas (or less), you will realize it is as true as ever: people need college degrees. Even then the competition for jobs will be fierce. People without the degrees are not even contenders.

      And like young students, I also have been paying those huge tuitions. I don't think these young grads have it easy ... it's a scary job market, but it is still better to face it with a degree.

    •  Not a 50 year old (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, Oh Mary Oh

      Late 30s.  But based on my experience I would say that a college degree, or at least some college are very helpful.  The earnings premium attached to the degree may not be what it was 30 years ago, and degree costs are have increased beyond the point of ridiculousness, but the education has value, the friendships are invaluable, and the credentials help.  There are some trades and professional fields where it isn't necessary, but for most it is, for better or worse.

      Agree for the most part about the challenges facing younger workers.  In some respects things are better in terms of access to education and employment than in the past, but the debt to wage part of the equation after graduation is unprecedented.

  •  My advice, (7+ / 0-)

    for what it's worth, is to put off law school for a couple of years and try to get a job in the legal field.  The legal market continues to be in a slump, so putting off your year of entry into the market likely would help you get a job upon graduation.  Also, working in the law (preferably in a law firm) will give you exposure to the field, providing the opportunity for you to assess whether this would be a good skill and quality of life fit for you.  

    Additionally, I would encourage you to try to minimize the additional educational debt you take on.  I would consider part-time law school study to minimize your expenses.  

    On the personal side, your anxieties are quite natural.  Probably for the first time in your life, there is no obvious next step.  Pondering the questions about what to do next, what are my opportunities, etc. are going through most college seniors' minds.  I do appreciate that these are tough times in which to be "entering the world," but don't underestimate the value of your skills, eagerness, and energy in helping you find your way.  Once last unsolicited bit of advice, don't your worries subtract from the joy and pride and having completed your college education.  

    Best wishes and congratulations on your impending graduation.  

    •  that is most likely what will happen. (5+ / 0-)

      And who knows, perhaps I will continue on in sociology. I would love to teach. Or I could do something different entirely. Its treading into the unknown that is the cause of the anxiety, of course, but I have no doubt that I will find something.

    •  Completely agree -- many options (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was out of college for four years before going to law school, and it was incredibly valuable.

      Other ideas for law-related jobs: paralegal or even low-level clerical at a law firm, public defender, prosecutor's office, or legal assistance (if it still exists where you are). Government work of any kind. Customer service of any kind -- banking, whatever. If nothing else comes through, or while waiting, sign up with at least one of the temp agencies like Manpower or Kelly -- it brings in some money, gets you into circulation and sometimes leads to a longer-term job.

      You write well, which is a huge plus, and with that GPA, and some creativity and energy and pulling every contact you have, you should be able to find a solid entry-level job. It's not forever; it's the next step in your education. And pay down those loans as quickly as you can; you'll feel a lot better.

      If you are geographically mobile, I would look hard at moving across the border into California and then (after establishing residency) aiming at one of the state law schools -- Boalt (Berkeley) is excellent. But it's better to go to law school in the state where you plan to practice, so that might argue for staying in Oregon.

      Most of all, keep breathing and do whatever you need to for managing the anxiety.  (enough exercise, enough sleep. . . .) The job market is tight, but it's not as tight as reading the newspapers might lead to you believe, for people like you. Keep us posted.

  •  Congratulations! You'll be fine. Finish in style. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NotGeorgeWill, Naniboujou

    If your loans are federally-sponsored I strongly recommend that you check this:

    If you borrowed privately, check with your lender. Land that 30K per year job and focus on paying down your student loan debt for a few years. You'll be surprised that you can pay it down fast if you pay more than the minimum payments. If you get a public service job, you may qualify for loan forgiveness programs, if your loans were federal.

    If you decide down the road you want to go to grad school, take your time and take those practice courses to prepare for the entrance exams (GRE or LSAT). Anyone can bomb a test with the schedule you describe - 24 credits! - most people prepare for weeks or even months for entrance exams.

  •  You're the kind of person who'd make an (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, NotGeorgeWill, mikidee

    absolutely superb JAG officer -- investigate the Coast Guard, then Air Force, then Navy options for that. They may help get you thru law school.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 10:07:52 PM PDT

  •  there are many other options (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NotGeorgeWill, Naniboujou, Oh Mary Oh

    and of course you may have read that there are too many lawyers anyway - which may or may not be true, much like a surplus of physicians - it depends. Note also that many lawyers don't stay lawyers depending on wealth or disillusionment - they often wind up doing -shudder- "journalism".

    BTW, congratulations

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 11:13:32 PM PDT

  •  Congratulations on graduation! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh, vacantlook

    I can definitely understand the anxiety, especially if nothing is immediately lined up workwise.  It may take time to find work that is in line with your interests and pays well enough  to so that life isn't lived paycheck to paycheck, but you sound like you have a great work ethic and attitude, so you will land on your feet.  Some of this takes time and a little trial and error.

    As far as the law route goes, I strongly agree with those who recommend working first as a legal assistant or paralegal to get a sense about what options are available.  There are so many different specialties that it helps to know what is out there before committing to a particular course, or for that matter to a career in law.  I know many lawyers who love what they do, but there are many who also have strong regrets, then there are law school grads who have regrets in part because of the job market for the profession has been rough the past few years.  The administrative and staff support experience can help reduce some of the downside risk, especially if you find an area of practice that you like and establish some professional connections.  Even if you come to the conclusion that the profession is not for you, that experience is still valuable.  Part of the process for most folks is figuring out what you don't want to do first.  That's been my experience, it's taken years, but finally I'm doing work that interests me and pays pretty well.

    The only other bit would be to try to pay down as much debt as quickly as possible.  If living with family is an option for a year or two after graduation, so that you can pay off more debt, it'll help long term.  Same in terms of potentially putting money away as emergency savings.  Even if it's just a few thousand, cash for emergencies, it beats relying on credit and will save money long term.  

    In any event, good luck and take at least some time to celebrate this achievement, before worrying too much about the next step.

  •  Apply to as many law schools as possible. Don't (0+ / 0-)

    just apply to one.  It makes little sense to limit your chances to just one school, especially given your low LSAT score.

    If you really want to go to law school, try as many ways as possible to make it happen.  My father went to law school over a period of years at night, while he was working just out of college.  A friend of mine also attended classes at night, while she was teaching during the day.  Neither of them took on tremendous debt; they weren't full-time law school students, but by gum they did finally get their degrees.

    My father went on to a successful and long career in the law.  My friend took the bar exam several times and failed it every time.  After that, she gave up and stuck with teaching, a career in which she's won state awards and earned tenure.  

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:09:51 AM PDT

  •  Hello rexy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, Oh Mary Oh

    Exhaustion makes everything worse.  If you find your cant sleep because your mind is  spinning, try mettle fatigue's insomnia advice -  I found that it works.

    My best to you.  Keep us posted, ok?  

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

    by Joy of Fishes on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:47:06 AM PDT

  •  Congratulations! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh, vacantlook, cardinal

    Take some time to enjoy and celebrate the past and present--that is, all of your achievements to date--before worrying about the future. Remember that even in the best of times, the future is unknown. Most of the time, it plays out all right: usually not in complete accordance with our dreams, but well enough that we can call ourselves happy.

    I don't want to pile on with respect to what people have said above about law school, but your experience with the LSAT may work out for the best, because it gives you a chance to step back from a headlong rush to law school. The legal profession is not, by and large, a happy one. Lawyers rank at or close to the top among American professionals in their rates of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, depression and domestic violence. Most of us don't reach those extremes, but we do find ourselves mired in the drudgery that is most legal work, and incessantly contending with the egomaniacal douchebags who populate the profession. After seven years in law, I'm in a comparatively good place (financially, psychologically) compared to many of my law school classmates, and I can still say with some certainty that if I had it to do over again, I would not have become a lawyer.

    If you do feel drawn to a legal career, make sure you know why. That means, as many above have said, getting a first-hand look at the profession. Paralegal skills are something that a smart person like yourself can learn on the fly, and it will give you a chance to see legal practice close-up and work side-by-side with attorneys. Plus, the job pays fairly well depending on where you are, and it will give you some knowledge base that you can carry to law school (particularly an understanding of basic civil procedure--the most important class you'll take in your first year). It will likely help with admissions, too, as many schools value real-life experience. I was a soldier before I was a lawyer, and I know my experience helped my law school look beyond a less-than-stellar college transcript.

    When it comes time to apply to schools, be careful about where you go. Law is one of the few remaining professions that really cares where you went to school, meaning that it is a good idea to go to the very best school you can possibly get into. I have met many graduates of lower-tier law schools who have never worked a day in their lives as attorneys. So if you are not bound to a specific region or a specific school (typically because it offers a unique program--such as Marquette University, which is well-known for sports law), send applications to any school you think you could get into.

    Best of luck, rexy. I will be cheering for you :)

    Charity is no substitute for justice withheld. -- St. Augustine

    by 3idirish on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 04:47:36 AM PDT

  •  Law School? Later, if that. What's your Major now? (0+ / 0-)

    First, let me just tell you gently, if no one else has, that after 30 years of talking with all kinds of people, as I've always ended up working the front desk job, whether it was service desk, catalog desk, or library- most of the people I met ended up working in a field other than their college major, and that in retrospect it all didn't matter as much as it might have seemed to at the time.
        Yes, you are in big debt, but just go about remembering that and be frugal. (and since you mentioned fiancee, may I say politely birth control is imperative until you guys are ready...) I forget what it's called (someone here can tell you) but I know there is a personality/aptitude test that can help guide you to where you belong.
         Think outside the box: did you want to go to law school because you can't help but argue the points of every story you hear and you need to be the one to make the statements and prosecute or defend? Or do you see the law degree as a stepping stone to something else?
       Perhaps if you have difficulty with things like the LSAT you are not cut out for that world, but you might be someone who is on the one hand highly compassionate, and on the other hand smart enough and competent enough to wend your way through paperwork as a victim's advocate or some such thing using both personal and legal skills. Fresh out of college, applying to a hospital for that kind of job might get you started. And actually, that is where a degree in Sociology can take you. And at the University nearest me you can get a job at the dining hall that gets you into the system so when a job in the Sociology Department opens up you hear it first...
         Since I don't know you, that may be way far off the mark. But I like to brainstorm things which is how I landed as a writer and part time library worker even though I first went to college for Anthropology but then later finished in Journalism because I thought I was going to go to Law School...

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:50:30 AM PDT

  •  Your "career" isn't what you choose is to be (0+ / 0-)

    It's the culmination of the jobs and professions that you worked for pay. There's no higher authority that proclaims, "You graduated yesterday and you don't have a good paying job in your field yet? You wasted your life."

    Your chance to go to law school isn't finished, it's just started.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:29:12 AM PDT

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