Thursday, July 10, 2008

Indecision 2008

I gchatted (is that a verb? it is now. woo branding) with one of my college friends a few days ago. He's worked a really awesome-sounding non-evil consulting gig for the past year but has been making eyes at law school for as long as I can remember. He took the LSAT last month and got an appropriately fantastic score for a guy who made it his mission to be an overachiever among overachievers in college. And I know from Type A--the two of us actually "met" online the summer before freshman year via the circle-jerk that is the Princeton Review college admissions boards. (My tool roots run deep.)

Anyway, given said fantastic score and fantastic college GPA, he has as good a shot as anyone at getting in to one or more of the top law schools. When we chatted it turns out I caught him on a day that he, glowing with the shallow yet undeniably warm and pleasant affirmation bestowed by a decent standardized test score, was slacking at work in favor of looking up the strengths and weaknesses of various law schools. I contributed what I know, since I briefly considered law school though did not end up taking the dread LSAT. Hearing him so excited and excited in particular about programs with a strong social justice/social responsibility orientation, well--it didn't make me jealous, exactly, but it did sorta make me want to run off and buy an LSAT prep book and start reading law school guides and plan to audit a law school class or two this semester. To keep my options open. Or something.

I'm having the occasional moment,
particularly after conversations with friends like the aforementioned, when I think of how, with very little real-world experience, I'm embarking on a commitment of upwards of six years with few employment options aside from the professoriate waiting for me on the other side (that is, if I can get a job, knock wood)--and it makes me feel like I'm looking into the abyss. Law school seems so much more practical, and a shorter commitment with more options at the end if I turn out to really despise it. And I may not despise it! How do I know! I could just love it to pieces and I'm not giving myself the chance to find out! Fool!!

And then I think of the debt, and I'm back to thinking the doctorate isn't such a bad idea, after all.

Anyway. I doubt this feeling will ever go away completely, at least until I take and subsequently hate a law school class. And I sort of doubt I'll be doing that any time soon. I know it's my natural impulse to want to learn everything about every potential life path before I commit to anything, and of course that's impossible. But still, it seems like graduate school is a particularly harsh mistress in terms of what you give of yourself and what you potentially get back, or where you can turn if you end up not liking it or if you don't get a steady job. Maybe that's just how it looks from inside the fishbowl, or rather, when you're getting ready to dive into the fishbowl.

Given that I will be second-guessing myself no matter what I do, it seems that the best way to go from here is to just shut up the doomsaying voices for awhile and keep my eyes and ears open. I have a tendency to live anywhere but the present, and I'm not going to learn anything about myself or what I want unless I commit to experiencing the situation first. Maybe then I'll start thinking about law school again. But maybe I won't.

No comments:

Reductionism who in the what now?