Monday, May 14, 2007

Law Graduate

So I officially graduated from law school. I suppose you think I'm happy. Actually, I'm quite the opposite. I'm sad. And not the good sad. Not the college sad. Not the "Weren't these some good days that have come to an end, alas!" sad. My sadness was the real thing. I looked around on graduation day at all my classmates who were so happy, so proud to be graduating. And I just didn't feel it. I was pretty neutral about the whole experience of graduating. And the fact that I could identify with everyone else's happiness made me sad. It made me feel like I was missing out on something. Obviously I was experience some variant of the "misery loves company" syndrome.

Graduating from law school, for me, was sort of like losing your virginity to a girl you don't really like. You should be happy. You did it! You just had sex! This is an important milestone! But something about you just doesn't feel right. You feel like it could have been more special if you'd waited longer or thought it out better. You feel empty because you feel like you should be entitled to feel happier. Law school, for me, is that girl you don't really like.

This may sound arrogant, but I think part of the reason I wasn't as excited as some of my classmates is because I have parents who are more successful than most. I'm the first J.D. in my family, true, but my parents are both significantly educated, and obviously all there education and success rubbed off on me. So there was never really any doubt I'd be able to do it, and it's not all that impressive compared to the accolades of my family. I think if this was some first-generation stuff I'd have felt more proud.

I suppose I should be proud that I stuck out all three years even though I hated them; that's what my dad tried to tell me. Now I know I'm not a quitter. Sort of an expensive lesson, if you ask me. To say nothing of the fact that one might question the logic of doing something you hate for three years just to prove you're not a quitter.

Still, as the memory of my misery fades and the line on my resume stays the same, I suppose ultimately this experience will have been worth it. At least it got me to move to Minneapolis, which is probably one of the coolest cities I've ever been to. Perfect mix of culture, livability, and Midwest charm.

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