Two Steps Back

One step forward, two steps back. That’s what it felt like when I had one foot on the finish line of graduation and subsequently started sprinting in the opposite direction. Many have called me crazy and believe me, I echo their sentiments, but this time I chose to act on a what-if.

A perk of being a non-STEM major is the possibility of graduating early. That’s not to say I was slacking. I was double majoring, had internships, a job, even e-board positions. Safe to say, I’ve tried to make the most out of undergrad. And truly, I thought myself ready for the adult world (or at least as ready as I’d ever be). I took my LSATs, I had my recs, my resume, all I was missing was my personal statement.

That was when the doubt started setting in. Don’t get me wrong, I fully plan on going to graduate school and my dream has been and always will be to be a lawyer, but when I sat down to write… I just couldn’t. It was like that movie moment before death when you cycle through all of the major events in your life. Not a single one leaped onto a page. So it got me thinking, maybe it’s time to write a new chapter.

I had two options: a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, I could graduate a year early. With a gap year and nothing else but to keep preparing for the LSATs, I’d finally have time to do whatever, whenever. To have an entire year of freedom, though, -I wouldn’t know where to begin. On the other hand, I could be guaranteed a summer internship, plus the chance to live in a country I had only ever dreamt of: England. But to do so I would be dropping an entire major. To be so close to finishing a major and not having a single course counted for anything at all while throwing yourself into the unknown, was it worth it?

It happened so fast that I couldn’t tell if I made the decision or fate did. After visiting an advisor, everything followed in a 1-2-3 fashion. She changed my schedule, I switched my major, and then suddenly I was meeting a girl who had studied at Sussex; all within the span of two hours. In all honesty, I hadn’t been ready and I think a part of me never will be. And yet, I can say with conviction that I will not regret my decision because I was tired of saying what if.

The reminder that I hadn’t chosen NYU three years ago still leaves a bitter taste on my tongue and despite being proud of my achievements here at Stony Brook I will always be left wondering how different my life would have been. Studying a new field, living in a new continent, making choices for me and only me -it’s all part of growing up. Is it uncharted territory? Is it terrifying? Will I have a few meltdowns along the way? I think the answer is a resounding yes.

But will I be asking what if? Absolutely not.

I will be living it.