I finally forced a rejection out of Harvard. It felt like the end of a bad relationship; “Look, do you really love me or not?” Their rejection came without surprise, sadness, or regret. I half-assed and last-minuted the application. My lack of my confidence in the idea of Harvard probably deafened the room when my application arrived. NYU is a good fit for me, and maybe the best fit for me.
With that rejection, and a deposit in at NYU, I have a future and I have a path. I am going to New York and I will study law. Yet I can’t help but feel lost despite my clear direction. As I doubt myself, I have at least two good friends searching for the really big questions. These friends are not limited by a lack of options but rather, are limited by the sheer breadth of their options.
Although they both search an immediate path, in some ways I envy their lack of specific beginning or end. I have a short-term plan, and I have long-term goals, but the connection between the two gets real vague. I hope that I can get to law school and then figure it out. Like everything will just fall into place in some sort of obvious configuration.
Yet the path gets mighty hazy when you are spending absurd money that you don’t have. In a marathon day, I attacked law school loan applications. At the start of the day, I had spent three figures that I had on making law school official. At the end of the day, I had secured five digits that I didn’t have for actually going through a year of law school. That is just one year; another digit will arrive before the second year. The numbers are so absurd in comparison to the amounts that I currently worry about (do I deserve a $3 latté?).
Although annoying, the loan application had one feature. At one point I clicked a specific button that creates a five-figure debt. It then checks your credit history, and in about three minutes lets you know as to whether or not you get the honor of being far poorer than the average man living on the street.
It is so abstract; the numbers don’t really mean anything. The numbers remind me of Las Vegas poker chips. Not just in their detachment from reality, but their actual function. I am betting on my future. I am betting I won’t fail out. I am betting I won’t drop out. I am betting I can find a job, a heck of a generous job. I am betting a lot on my future; I am not aimless like many of my peers, my aim is exceptionally clear-cut.
Yet missing my target comes with so many new penalties. I locked myself onto a chosen direction; a sudden switch is not in the cards. I am amazed at the tenacity of a Demitri Martin who dropped out of NYU Law School on a full-ride for a path in comedy. I not only fear that I lack the tenacity to do something like that, but I am already aware that I lack the resources to get a full-ride scholarship from NYU law.
I think even the best of us were born with weakness; the really strong can critically review themselves and improve their perceived flaws. I hope to do the same, so I would like to have the tenacity to act with such freedom. Yet, at the same time, I realize that suddenly dropping the law school thing would not be me doing what I really want, but proving to myself that I have the strength to do it. Do I have self-doubt in the path I have chosen? Yes. But it is short-lived. When law school starts, I know me, and I know my strengths. I will focus and do fine. But for now, I suffer over the vagueness of a specific decision rather than my friends suffering over the specifics of a vague decision.