Yesterday, I received an email from Eden. She wanted to share her story about why she decided not to go to law school. Since bailing on law school, she’s been writing a blog about following her own career path with freelancing and traveling the world.
Here is her story.
My name is Eden, I’m 23 years old, and I spent two years of my life convincing myself that I wanted to go to law school.
I swear, it really did sound like a good idea at the time. Work wasn’t satisfying me quite the way I expected it would and I wanted more. My gravitation to legal clubs in high school and college made law school seem like a good fit for me. So, my instincts said to apply, and that I did. Fast-forward a few months – my seat deposit was paid, my apartment in Brooklyn was secured, and I was set to begin classes the next semester
Plot twist: I never went.
It’s not that I feared I wouldn’t be successful as an attorney. On the contrary, I really believed I could have been great in a courtroom. Rather, my worry stemmed from the uncertainty of whether the profession would really bring me happiness, or if it would simply disrupt the balanced lifestyle I try to maintain… whether it’s what I really wanted for myself, or if I pursued if for all the wrong reasons.
At the time this all happened, I was working for my Dad. It was a great job with even greater opportunities, but it wasn’t the greatest for me. I later realized I applied to law school on a whim, all because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings that working for him just wasn’t working out.
Don’t get me wrong, I was so grateful for the job. But it wasn’t where I wanted to be and it was the last place I needed to be. I needed to be doing my own thing, traveling, taking risks, and enjoying my youth. Instead, I was spending my days behind a desk that was too large, in an office that was too nice, with responsibilities that were too real doing I job I really didn’t like.
I nearly shit my pants when my decision finally slipped through my quivering lips: I’m not going to law school – I’m leaving my job. It was the scariest sentence ever and it left me in a completely confusing place with absolutely no direction, no point of reference, no goal and, in some cases, no friends.
I received sharp criticism from many people who viewed the uncertainty in my professional life as a sign of the type of person I was as if my indecision had seriously inconvenienced them in some way. Perhaps they judged me because they remember that this wasn’t the first time I drastically changed my plans at the last minute. Whatever their reasons, they coined me rather harshly as indecisive and privileged – just the sort of criticism I needed to hear at that particular juncture of my life.
My response to those people: I am privileged, absolutely. It’s a reality I do not take lightly. Indecisive, correct there, too… I also call it my 20s.
I can’t help but wonder why it’s so taboo to change plans and make mistakes. Our 20s are supposed to be the years we royally screw up, take irrational risks and explore the world. Yet, instead, many of us feel lured into our unforgiving go to school, get a job, get married, have a family, and do it in that order society. At 23, we should really know which direction we’re headed in, right?
I broke the silence then and I continue to do so now. I had no idea where life was about to take me and I still have no idea now. But, at least I know I won’t be going $200,000.00 into debt trying to figure it out.
Sure, law school might have been a great adventure. Who knows, maybe somewhere down the line I’ll apply again and actually show up on the first day of class.
Then again, maybe I won’t.
The point is… I just don’t know and that should be okay. To be young and confused should be okay.
I’ll wrap this up since I could go on forever. I’m dedicating this post to all of my 20-something-year-old friends, acquaintances, and random readers (if ever I’m lucky enough to have random people reading my blog). This is to us and to our years of complete and utter confusion. Let’s enjoy the journey and hope we figure it out… eventually, but no rush.
If you want to follow my journey to a full-time salary working for myself online, visit my website!
Eden Fried is a book nerd, an exercise junkie, and a freelance writer. She recently quit her job and bailed on grad school to pursue a career as a freelancer online. Since then, she’s spent her time learning how to earn a full-time salary off of freelancing, all while traveling the world and working from her laptop. You can follow her journeys at EdenFried.com.