This is only the beginning.

So it has been a while since I talked about my law school adventures. Finals/midterms was… just unexplainable. I wrote some exams and I think I may have disassociated from myself during that entire traumatic experience. I know that the last time I wrote about my law school experiences, it wasn’t exactly the best experience.

Since then, this is what I have been up too…

After finals/midterms, I was having doubts. I really had no idea what I was doing here. I just felt like a zombie: going to school, walking to school, attending classes, doing my readings (and trying to understand what the fuck the ratio was), reviewing readings, studying, going to bed, waking up and doing it all over again. It felt like I wasn’t really learning anything. I just felt like I was not really progressing.

Then over the winter break, I realized that the end goal isn’t always the end goal. What the… did I just say?!? You know, obtaining passing grades (‘cause lord knows if you will ever see an “A” in your first year). The end goal: trying to get that job that hundreds of others are vying for at the same time.

Screw the jobs! Screw the “A”s! Screw law school!

No really, I lost sight to the reasons why I applied to law school in the first place: I want to help my communities that I belong too. Indigenous communities. Sex working (fabulous) communities![1]

The first term of law school really got to me. It really brought me down. I wasn’t happy to be where I was anymore. I was losing sight of the bigger picture.

Then I remember a conversation I had with one of the key people at the pre-law program I attended during this past summer. I had the same doubts there too: did I really want to be here? I felt like I didn’t belong. I cried in her office. It was really brutal. She proceeded to ask me, “What is it that you want to do with law school?” And I told her, “I want to help the communities I belong too.” She help to reframe the problems I was having. Ultimately, my problem was looking at the small picture as opposed to the long-term/larger picture. Law school is only a short (yet both long and hard at the same time) road to accomplishing the larger, long-term goals that I want to accomplish.

If you want to know what law school is like, it’s hard. But I know that I have overcome many more obstacles when I was younger. Like moving away from home for the first time or graduating high school on the honour roll two years sooner than the doctors said I would complete my high school education. When I was 15, I was in a car accident and the doctors said I should expect lower grades and a longer high school education plan—I said screw them! Then actually moving away from home (for real this time) to a new city with no family and no friends.

I know it’s really hard for some of my peers and for some people thinking about applying to law school. But if there is only one thing that I can say it is this: It will be hard but if you made it this far, then I know you can accomplish anything you set your mind too!

This past month has been a real eye opener; I am trying to be a better student. I don’t know if I can try to be better but I mean personally…looking at the bigger picture. I am trying to take steps to visit with professors. They have a lot to share when it comes to their passion for law, learning and teaching. It wasn’t until this past month that I actually started to enjoy going to school.

But in the end, I really wish all Indigenous students could be introduced to an education system and people in that system that care about how well they do in school and that want to see them achieve their goals–kind of like how my law school supports its students. Because the reality is that yes, sometimes you will fail and that yes, sometimes you will feel shitty. Just don’t give up. Everyone is waiting for another Indigenous student to fail and another Indigenous person to end up on the streets and end up in jail. I’ve been there done that and that’s where the rest of the world expects to find you, me… us! They don’t expect us to be in the courtroom unless we are in the prisoner’s box. [2] We can change that. I want to change that.

And yes, you will want to feel like you want to give it all up but…Don’t give up. This is only the beginning. 

[1] Not that I wasn’t doing anything for the past few years 😉
[2] Note: I don’t want to shit on other Indigenous peoples who do have their own struggles. Those problems are real and I understand and appreciate them. I am speaking strictly from my own lived experiences both inside and outside the systems.

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