When all my peers were getting their grad school acceptances or job offers during my senior spring, I felt pressured and overwhelmed because I did not know what I wanted to do. I almost took a job in an industry that I found uninteresting just so I could have something waiting for me after graduation. Instead, I dedicated my summer to figuring out what it was I wanted to do. I stopped being consumed with what other people were doing and I quit obsessing about needing to have an answer when people asked me what I was doing with my life.
It is now February, and I am now laughing about how many times I called my mom during this time last spring freaking out about my life. A little over a week ago, I was accepted to Penn Law, my top law school choice. If I didn’t take the summer to figure out my life, I never would have chosen law because it was not even on my radar last spring. There were times during the fall, while I was studying for the LSAT and feeling uncertain about the strength of my applications, that I questioned if I made the right choice. This was mainly because I allowed myself to be affected, once again, by my friends who were making money, living in cool new cities, or loving grad school. Looking back, I am glad I stayed committed to my path because in the end everything fell into place and feels right, like it was meant to be all along.
Yet, as cliché as it sounds, that is how I think life works. We face difficult times and things go wrong in order to lead us to greater things. This is why I believe that it is important to focus on the things we can control. If you want to go to grad school, but don’t feel confident in your resume, then take a gap year, and add more experience. Don’t make a serious life decision in a moment of desperation. Not everything has to be rushed.
In twenty years it really won’t matter if you started on your career path at 22 or 25. Personally, I am so grateful for my gap year. It allowed me to figure out what I wanted to do and I had time to do things I never would have been able to had I rushed into a job. Stop trying to force things and instead focus on what you can control, you will be surprised at the new opportunities life rewards you. Be confident in your abilities, work hard, and trust the timing of your life.