*This is an assignment I wanted to share with you. This assignment was given in my Honors Creative Writing Course at Monroe College (my undergrad). I hope it inspires someone 🙂
Tiffany J. Chase
My Journey Through The LSAT
For the most part, I pretty much aspired to be an attorney since my high school days. When I moved to New York, I focused intensely on my schoolwork, in efforts to achieve high marks. However, I did not realize that I miscalculated one entire year. I thought I had more time than I actually did which unfortunately, took a toll on my preparation for law school. When I sat down to review all my undergraduate work and finally prepare for the transition to grad school in December, I realized I wasted a lot of time and I had to get things moving quickly if I wanted to achieve my dream. I took the first step by deciding to take the June 2010 LSATs. However, because of finances, I also made the decision to study on my own (huge risk) and to purchase some materials. I eventually was able to buy a Princeton Review LSAT book in February. I began the preparations and the journey to what would be a memorable experience.
I listened to the advice of my professors as well as searched for tips and tricks of the LSAT. Understanding the material was way harder than I could ever imagine because you literally had to rearrange your thinking to understand and grasp the concepts. Many times, I opened the book with high hopes of conquering the material, only to close it several minutes later with tears in my eyes and a mindset of defeat. This is the first time in my life I have ever experienced what an anxiety attack is. Learning about it in my psychology classes was one thing, but actually being the victim of several was a heavy burden. Studying for the test took a toll on my self-esteem as well as my schoolwork. Around the time I was prepping, I was not able to give ample time to my studies. Therefore, I ended the Winter 2010 semester pretty badly and started off the Spring semester pretty rocky. This experience by itself was horrific in itself but unfortunately, outside factors and personal unfavorable situations landed me in a state of depression. I though the worst was over when Sunday, June 6th, 2010 rolled around. Simply because I faced the fact that there was nothing more I could learn at that point for it was the day before the test. I was joyful and actually looking forward to the test, more so, the end of the test. However, just like life is unexpected, so was the day of my test.
June 7th, 2010. This was probably one of the most exhausting and painful days of my life. My classmate and friend, Jessica Orozco, took the test with me. There were so many complications with the test on that day. When I arrived on site, (by the way, when I visited the testing site a few days earlier, they showed me the wrong building) the proctor was so rude and aggressive towards me. I was about 2 hours early. I’m thankful to God I did because I had to use that time to figure out multiple issues and calm my emotions down. Firstly, I had to figure out where the correct location of my site was supposed to be. The address on my ticket did not match up to the actual location of the June 2010 LSAT examination. Even though it was one building away, I was still uneasy. When I found the correct floor, the proctor would not let me come in because of my bag. On the directions, it said that I was to have a clear plastic bag filled with certain items that I would be allowed to take into the testing site. I had that bag. However, I was coming from Westchester all the way to Manhattan to the Metropolitan Pavilion. I kindly asked the man if I could put it in the corner. In a rough aggressive voice he said, “No, go find some place to put it. I don’t know where you can put it.” He then turned his back and went on his merry way. I almost burst into tears because I just traveled for about an hour and if I went back home there was no way I would be able to make it in time. I called several people and I finally decided to suck it up and ask one of the people in the offices to hold my bag. I would have to put my utmost faith in God to guard my stuff since I did not know who these people were. I found someone about 20 minutes before the test who I believe was my angel that day. I was fingerprinted and sent into the test.
According to all the advice I had received about the LSAT I was supposed to spend my morning warming up my brain with some practice problems. I was not even able to do that because I was completely stressed out. This was certainly NOT a good way to start a test that I paid over a hundred dollars for. When Jessica finally arrived (because I warned her of everything that I went through beforehand so she could take the necessary precautions), she motioned to me that there were bags in the corner of the room! I marched up to the proctor and asked him why I was supposed to leave my stuff with a random person and he was allowing other students after me to keep their bags in the corner of the testing room. He did not have an answer but told me if I wanted, I have one minute to run up 3 flights of stairs, retrieve my things, and make it back down for the test. If I was not back before the test began, I was going to be shut out of it. I did not want to risk it, even though the woman with my stuff was only going to be there until 5pm (and this test stretched until approximately 6pm). I cursed the man under my breath and went to sit back down. Another proctor came after me and we made a deal that during my 15-minute break I would go retrieve my belongings and come back for the test. It was a better deal. I took it. I prayed and started my test. With all the practicing I did, I reached my one and only goal – which was to fill in every bubble (there are no lost points for guesses or wrong answers). I burnt out emotionally, physically, and mentally by the second section.
After the third section, I finally went to retrieve my bag. I took the ancient elevator up to the sixth floor. Now, I had to figure out how to get someone to open the door, since it was closed…..my luck! I finally decided to take the phone located outside the door and just ask for help. I was able to get inside, thank my angel of the day, and return to the testing site. The decision making process was at work yet again. This time I was faced with using the last seven minutes of my break to either eat my lunch and then rush to the bathroom or rush to the bathroom and then eat my lunch. I ended up choosing neither option. The line to the women’s bathroom was about 15 girls long, while the line to the men’s bathroom was four people long. I wish I could have exchanged bodies at the moment. I decided to eat my lunch on the bathroom line. I was the only one to do so but desperate times call for desperate measures. I ended up using the men’s bathroom and returning to my lemonade, which I drank in thirty seconds flat. I was ready to call it quits but decided against it. I would toughen up and finish the rest of the test. I went back to work on a test that became foreign to me. Unfortunately, I felt that the writing sample was the part of the test I did the best on and of course was the part of the test that was unscored. The test ended and while I was disappointed with myself, I was happy to have fought this dragon. I walked out of there with a little smile on my face. I realized that I was stronger than I thought and could endure more than I imagined. That was a good thought to end the day with.
I received my LSAT test results and they were nothing close to my targeted goal. I did poorly on the test. However, I have always wondered if law was the right field for me. The experience opened my eyes to what my heart was trying to tell me all along. I should not pursue a career that I “think” I should go into. Rather, I should go into a career that I love passionately. My newfound truth has helped me to abide by the following quote by a very smart man:
“If you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life”
This past Saturday, I graduated from Monroe College with a 3.91 GPA, Honors diploma, and a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice. This September, I will be pursuing my passion – Public Administration, concentrating on Non Profit Management at Pace University. Sometimes, out of confusion, God can pull out direction, vision, and a purpose out of nowhere.I am happy to say that I have found mine. Now I am dedicated to helping you find yours :)
Wonder how the gap was bridged between the story and the epilogue? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂