Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Not all who wander are lost

Tolkein was a wise man and I am definitely a wanderer. Sometimes I might think I am lost, but I find my way back to some path and let it take me wherever. I am at the whimsy of the universe. It got me here via a constantly changing life plan that I had laid out for myself. And I am okay with that. I am okay with the fact that I entered college with no idea what my degree would be. Graduate school was never my intention, but once the idea was posed to me (and yes, with the encouragement of you would be very successful in it), it seemed like the only path for me. I abandoned my somewhat recent aspirations to be a broadcast meteorologist (and I will go on the record to say that I was pretty good at it) to pursue further education. It kind of makes sense.

Throughout my undergraduate work, I took more classes than required and took classes that were completely not related to any major I was considering pursuing just so that I could learn as much as possible. I did this in graduate school too, taking on more courses than required for the degree. I even took a couple of anthropology classes because they seemed interesting and totally relatable to meteorology and climatology. My meteorological peers were mostly confused and the department as a whole probably thought I was some sort of weirdo ("What do you mean you finished all of your required courses and have taken three electives when you only needed to take one?").

Really, it all comes down to my love of learning and gaining new information and stepping outside of the box. Luckily my professor at Florida State knew all of this and encouraged me to apply to the Climate and Society program. I had looked at this program for a couple years and dreamed of getting in. I never thought it would happen. It did. And it was amazing. It was everything I wanted. It was a mix of everything with a huge emphasis on seeing how different disciplines can be connected together. You know, exactly what I had done while I was at FSU. The most important thing that I wanted to take away from this program was what my next move should be.

I thought PhD. I applied. Rejected. I applied to a handful more schools the following year. Rejected. Seriously, people, I know I'm competent and can do this. They apparently don't think so. I start doubting myself. Maybe I'm not cut out to be a scientist. Maybe all of those years growing up and not liking science (not sure why, but I didn't) caught back up to me. Maybe they sensed that I couldn't actually do it. The time to consider applying again has arrived. Time to start looking at programs and research opportunities. And I felt myself not being able to do it. I also felt myself reconsidering something I had always had in the back of my mind but didn't really share with anyone because I thought people would think I was crazy.

So here it goes. I had always considered law school. Environmental Law, specifically. It was one of my "what should I do after Columbia" questions that I posed to myself. And really, it kind of makes sense. It's all logic and facts and puzzles and bringing that all together to tell a story of sorts. And if you ask me what I want to do with my life, it would be to make some sort of difference by being able to write about the environment and climate and climate change with some sort of authority. So law school seems like a possibility.

I start looking into it. I research the possible institutions and their course offerings. I even look at some job postings to see what kind of opportunities I could be presented with post graduation. I'm kind of a lot of excited. And for everyone thinking it's quite the deviation from my path, don't. I did always consider it, but wasn't sure it was for me. The more I think about it, the more I realize it's for me. I've started studying for the LSAT. I will take it next month. The score I get will determine when and where I apply. If I have to take another year off, I will. If I decide to apply to combo PhD/JD programs, I will. I have time. And it could be yet another great, spontaneous adventure in my life.


  1. oooooh my goodness!!! so exciting!!! I've always thought "law school?" in the deep dark corners of my mind as well!

    I'm soooo totally for it!!! I know you will excel at this as you do at all other things you try :D good for you!!

  2. That's awesome! As soon as I saw "law" I thought environmental, you hippie you ;) I'm so excited for you! Also, when did you get a new blog?!?! lol

  3. yayyy best of luck!!!