I sat in my room waiting to hear a decision. The last three months had been spent working hard and studying to prepare myself for when it mattered. At that moment I realized that a good portion of my future rested in the balance and if I failed to get the nod I would be back to the drawing board and have no idea what to do. I heard from downstairs my Father answer his phone and listen to the voice on the other line. My pulse quickens, my thoughts start racing, and I realize that this is it. He thanks the lady on the phone and ends the call. By this point I was downstairs and standing next to him. He does not even have to utter a word for me to know what happened. I didn’t get the job, and I was back to square one.
That was where things were for me around the first week of August. After three months of interviews and studying I thought I had a dream job lined up. A job which I thought I was perfectly cut out for, a sales position at a fairly large company in the Midwest. The position was great, six months of training and the company covered all of my living cost, after that I would be shipped out to a territory where I would begin my career as a salesman. If all had gone according to plan I would be house shopping and trying to figure out what sort of car I want to buy. Things simply didn’t pan out however and I did not get the job. I was left in a spot that so many of my peers were in, I was out of luck and there really was not much I could do about it.
After putting in four years of hard work at my undergraduate institution there was always a sense that you would be rewarded. From a young age I was told that the key to getting a good job was going to college. For the first 2.5 years of my college career that seemed like that would hold true. Unfortunately the biggest economic downturn just happened to occur right around the time I was due for graduation. Fingers crossed I still pushed forward with the hopes of landing a good job. I was determined to make sure that all of my hard work was not going to be for granted and I would not have to move back home for an extended period of time. Despite my best efforts I could not find a job and I ended up back home. Even with this setback I continued to keep my spirits up and determination keen. After failing to land the sales job I had been working towards reality truly began to dawn on me: I might be screwed. As pessimistic as it sounds it was around that point that I realized that I may not be finding a job for quite some time. Mind you this realization didn’t slow down the rate at which I was tossing out resumes and applications and hoping that something will stick, but it was always in the back of my head.
By mid September I still had nothing to show for my efforts. After one fruitless interview my mother mentioned that perhaps I could make a good lawyer. The legal profession is one I had never considered but I figured given my interest in technology and videogames, Intellectual Property law could be a good path for me. Knowing nothing of what it took to get into law school I went to UT’s law school and sought out more information. Needless to say I had my work cut out for me, as I had to prepare for the LSAT, get letters of recommendation and fill out applications, and best it was early October and law schools had been accepting applications for nearly two weeks. Knowing this I buckled down and studied and prepared myself for the what would be arguably the most important test I would take in a long time. The work itself was fairly dull but I did find satisfaction in knowing that all of this was up to me. Unlike applying for college there was no mom or dad to tell me when it was time to study or to pay for SAT classes , getting into law school would be from the sweat of my brow.
January eventually rolled around, and after three months of studying, test taking, and application filling I found myself in the same spot I was in this summer, waiting to hear back. Numerous failings in the job market had reigned in any optimism I had for my chances of getting in. My thought process was: “I gave it my all but don’t be too surprised if I don’t get in.” Although this mindset may seem awful pessimistic, and depressing it was necessary as I could not let myself get my hopes up as I had six months ago. Even with my mindset I still knew I would be terribly depressed if I did not get into any of the schools I had applied to.
So there I sat in my car, it was February 9th. After over a month of habitually checking the status of my application, I felt that a decision was near. Just a day before I had received a letter from the University of Cincinnati that I had been waitlisted, so I feared that I may suffer the same outcome at the University of Tennessee. I had been keeping tabs on what other applicants had been hearing via a forum for law school hopefuls. All indications told me that if I get a phone call from the university today it would be news that I had been accepted, if there was no phone call I could pretty much expect a thin letter in my mailbox later that week. I had a dentist appointment to go to, so reluctantly I placed my phone on silent and tried to push my nervousness out of thought. On a whim I checked my phone to see if I had missed any calls, the phone showed on the screen: 1 missed call, 1 new voicemail. My heart began racing as I listened to the message and heard the voice tell me that I was to call the UT admissions office at once. At that moment I nearly began crying, as I felt all of my hard work was about to repaid with one quick phone call. I dialed the number and spoke to the admissions staff member, and heard the greatest word I had heard since graduation: Congratulations.
Thanks to the Bruhs and all my friends for their help and encouragement through all of this. Although the work I put towards making this happen came from my own desires and drive, I always felt like I had a strong group of people behind me, cheering me on.