Last week I was really inspired by the Forbes article about Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. Not only did she create a brand that I love, but the story of how she became a billionaire is pretty inspiring. The one thing that I found particularly motivating was that she found all of this success after she found frustration in her first career path. She bombed the LSAT (the law school admissions exam) twice and gave up on her dreams of becoming a lawyer. She persevered after her dreams of law school didn’t come to fruition and now she’s making millions a year selling Power Panties and my favorite bra, the Bra-llelujah.
I don’t have grand visions of becoming a billionaire one day, but her story demonstrates that sometimes life turns out much better when it doesn’t follow a clear path. I graduated college and hesitantly went to law school because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I hated it so much that my left eye would twitch whenever my foot hit the stairs of the law school building. I’m not sure how much I learned about the law during that year and a summer, but I did learn that I didn’t want to become an attorney and that law school made me miserable.
I’m frustrated that I’m stuck with a student loan from the experience, but I’m grateful that I had the forethought to choose to go to one of the most affordable law schools in the country. I could be paying off a $25,000 loan from a private school (and that included a scholarship), but my state school tuition was only $6,500. An even scarier scenario is that I could be a really depressed law school graduate with a mountain of debt and no job. As this article points out, attorneys aren’t immune to the effects of the recession. There are a lot of young attorneys out there working as baristas to make student loan payments while they look for work in the legal field. It’s scary.
Two weeks after leaving law school I was working for a nonprofit and immediately became a happier person. Sure, the income potential isn’t huge, but I love having the opportunity to help others every day. Plus, my eye doesn’t twitch when I get to work. I’m also working hard to pay off the $3,972 left on my student loan and then I’ll truly be glad to have any memories of law school behind me.