I've known what I wanted to do in life since the end of my junior year of high school. Professionally, my goal is to finish undergrad, go to law school, and ideally work in some kind of international or human rights-based legal setting. These are really high goals to set for myself, I know, but I haven't really strayed too far from them or even wanted to in my first two years of college. However, just because I'm set in what I want to do does not mean I'm any more certain than any other college student. Here's why I'm okay with that.
I think one of the toughest parts of setting a goal such as getting into a good grad school or another professional school like medical school or law school is how hard you can be on yourself regarding grades. If I get anything below what I would deem ideal in a class, I sometimes beat myself up and question whether I can even consider law school a viable option anymore. There's this added pressure when you want to get into such a selective academic field that what you are bringing to the table isn't enough. I've started accepting my weaknesses when it comes to academics and working on overcoming them instead of letting them overwhelm me.
A more positive aspect of me questioning my future plans is my interest in other topics, as well as other lines of work. I've taken a wide variety of classes, and I think a lot of the experiences and things I have learned in these classes have made me consider future career plans beyond law. While law is still my number one choice, knowing that there are plenty of equally interesting options for me should law school not work out is a nice thought to have.
There is always uncertainty with the future, and with that is the fact that my plans, like all other plans, just might not work out. Setting goals for yourself is something that you have to do with a grain of salt, with the knowledge that just because you want it or work for it does not necessarily mean things will work out the way you want them to. Whenever I consider the goals I made almost three years ago, I have to also consider my other options should law not work out. We, undergrad students, are lucky to have the flexibility to decide what we want to pursue and have the ability to change it if we really want to. I still haven't exercised that option yet because I feel somewhat comfortable in my plan, but you never know how quickly things can change.
I still have plenty of time to figure out what I want to do, but I feel somewhat certain in law thanks to an internship where I'm able to gain some experience in a legal environment day to day. Opportunities like the one I have, to anyone considering jobs in fields like medicine or law, are often overhyped and overdramatized on TV. Being able to live and experience what actually working in a legal setting can show you if that is really the environment you want to be in.
I want to leave with some advice for anyone considering a job of any kind. Whether you're in high school or halfway through college, it can really help. If you get the opportunity of any kind to experience real life in the field you want, whether it be job shadowing or just a chance to talk to someone in that field one on one, take it. I think experiences like those, especially long term ones, can definitely help you decide if that's the life you want professionally and beyond what you may see on TV or online. You should always choose a profession that you love and look forward to, even if it may not be what you wanted to do initially. Plans can change just as quickly as the weather. Always consider what is best for you, and find a field that not only interests you but that you genuinely love.