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If there’s one thing that college has taught me, it’s that life moves fast. When I graduated high school three years ago, I thought the next four years of my life would feel like a lifetime – it ended up being three years, and that was my first mistake. I already knew what I wanted to study in college and that I wanted to go to law school afterward. But, I thought I had eons before I needed to figure out anything in between or think about what would come after graduation. My first year in college felt more like a few months, and the second year passed even quicker with the onset of the pandemic. Now, after a year of Zoom university, I find myself looking at my graduation date circled in my calendar and wondering how in the heck did I get here so fast.

I came to college with several credits from dual enrollment programs and Advanced Placement classes. By the time I started my second year, I was a senior by credit. My advisors told me that I could take less than 15 credit hours to slow down my pace, but I refused. I hovered around the 15-credit mark for all of my semesters and took classes for two summers in a row. It didn’t hit me until the beginning of this school year that I would have to graduate and move on to whatever came next. I hadn’t even begun to prepare for the Law School Administration Test (LSAT). I ruled out law school within the next year. Instead, I turned my attention toward a master’s degree. I rushed to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) so that I could apply for one-year programs. I hoped this would give me the time I needed to prepare for law school, and I could earn another degree along the way.

I achieved the score I wanted on the GRE and submitted my application for the master’s program I chose. I thought my new plan was perfect until someone told me it wasn’t. After talking with a professor about the program I intended to be a part of, they told me that I should expand my horizons and look into other opportunities. According to them, I was setting the bar too low for myself. The conversation made me question everything I had planned out for my life. I spent the day crying, researching and trying to figure out what I wanted to do not only after graduation but for the rest of my life.

Eventually, I resolved to apply for a few more programs to give myself options in the future. I decided to look into other professions, and I am now considering getting a Ph.D. along with a law degree. My mother agreed with my professor that I shouldn’t commit to my plans so early on in life. Sometimes new opportunities or situations arise, and we have to adapt.

I still dread not knowing what the future holds. I love planning things out because they make me feel like I have a purpose and that I am making my way towards my goals. I still believe in planning, but I am learning that I should not pour my plans in cement. However, I didn’t throw away my blueprints completely. I still want to attend law school. I’m just exploring what I will do after that. In a way, it’s exciting to be on the cusp of new possibilities.

As we grow, we learn new things about ourselves, our talents and the possibilities for our lives. I shouldn’t have expected that my plans would stay the same. My dad used to tell me that time waits for no one, and he was right. It feels like just yesterday, I was graduating high school and excited for the next chapter of my life. Now, that chapter is coming to a close, and I am yet again about to flip the page into a new beginning. I remember being threatened at the possibilities of college. But when I see how much I have grown over the last three years, I have faith that my next chapter, and the ones that come after that, are going to work out the way they’re supposed to.

Growing up I attended three elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. I moved a total of six times altogether: I have lived in Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida (twice), Missouri and Indiana. Each move taught me to love the new experiences that the world has to offer. It was the constant moving that sparked my interest in travel. Ever since I was young, I enjoyed spending hours in new places, trying new foods and collecting new stories to tell. Besides my six moves, much of my time is spent traveling to other cities within the United States. So far, my favorites have been New York City and New Orleans. The beignets from Café Du Monde made me want to cry tears of joy. My ultimate travel goal is to one day visit France. I desperately want to see the Palace of Versailles and walk through the Hall of Mirrors. While experiencing the world thus far, my taste buds have developed an affinity for coffee. Since the age of five, I have been an avid drinker. My body calls for coffee first thing in the morning and sometimes at night. I am a firm believer that all coffee needs caffeine. I also have a wicked sweet tooth and am willing to try any number of milkshakes, ice cream and doughnuts. My great loves are traveling, coffee and sweets; I also love to write. I hope to one day use my degree in journalism to tell other people’s stories in an entertaining and informative manner. It is also a part of my plan to attend law school. I look forward to experiencing all the adventures (sweets and coffee included) that life has to offer!
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