Being interviewed by a lawyer presented me with several new aspects of my major. Erin Berger, attorney at law, was able to help me fully realize how much I didn’t want to obtain a legal major. Although my interests are sparked by law and its different entities, it is not something I can see myself pursuing with zeal or any desire whatsoever. Before I met with Erin, I was told by her paralegal that she was young; it would be painless. Little did I know how casual or effortless it would be. We started with a firm handshake, the only formal thing about the hour, and began to talk. “I’m not even too sure if I want to stick with a pre-law major,” I stated.
“Well, then I guess it would be a little more appropriate if you asked me the questions. What do you want to know?” Erin seemed very understanding and easy going from the beginning. I was able to completely desert my feelings of anxiety and what little amount of professionalism a freshman could have in order to open up and talk. I confronted her with the infamous question, “Do you truly enjoy what you are doing right now?” without realizing how significant it was to either one of us. I was to learn that if encountered with that exact question 5 months ago, Erin would have replied with “No, I absolutely hate what I’m doing and I advise you not to do it.” Of course, with gained experience and getting a little more settled with her field of law, she has been able to tolerate her occupation if not enjoy it. Yet, listening to her telling a complete stranger how she hated her job and that she tolerated it seemed so unreal to me.
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How could a person “tolerate” their job for the rest of their life? Shouldn’t one enjoy if not love their occupation? At least the first if not the latter of the two. So, the conversation continued to draw out points in both of our lives that would on a normal basis be hidden from the normal world. For example, Erin informed me that the only reason she became a lawyer was the fact she ran out of options. She had been a sixth-year senior without enough credits to major in anything, obviously preventing her from attending graduate school. Therefore, when her adviser started to pressure her towards graduating with a General Studies Major, she opted to take the LSAT. She received high scores and with a GPA of 3.1, Erin was able to attend law school at IU Bloomington. Now, about a year and a half into her legal career, she struggles to find enjoyment in what she does every day, 50-60 hours a week.
A reality check was what this conversation gave me. Even the times when you, Dr Howard, would tell me how I wasn’t required to obtain a legal major in order to be accepted into law school, it didn’t subdue my pains of feeling, “I don’t want to go to law school.” Talking with Erin made me realize that this was something that I chose to do at the last minute for the sake of my parents rather than for myself. Law is not something I want to pursue; in fact, it is a trial every day for me to force myself to try to keep up with my classes that I don’t enjoy taking. I would rather throw everything away for the sake of music and the arts, it’s just a matter of actually doing just that…I’m terrified of where music will take me; do I really want to give everything up for music?
Erin assured me that I needed to pursue something that was my passion, such as music. She was extremely helpful, even as far as giving me the number for the director of the Philharmonic Orchestra/Choir, someone she knows personally. She suggested that I try an internship or even just stop by for an hour just to observe. This way, I could decide for myself if music is a career interest or in fact, just a hobby. Before I left, I asked Erin if my resume was appealing, if it was decent for what I had to work with. She approved and complimented it, saying that it was neat and put together very well nicely. I thanked her for her time and wished her luck with her career and she did the same. Although I wasn’t able to find comfort about Pre-Law, I left that office feeling refreshed and relieved. I am not going to continue my current major, but this experience has clarified what my real major should be. I thank you for giving me this opportunity, something I would have never experience on my own.
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