Our Summer Series is coming to a close! This series highlights different Latina students and law grads as they embark in their summer jobs and/or bar prep all across the country. We hope to provide a variety of work experiences, options for a healthy work-life balance, and general motivation through different guest contributors to help you to take charge of your summer and professional goals! Today we hear from Yadilsa, a soon to be law student who decided that rather than worry about the stress and hardship of law school–she’s going to enjoy life and made the most of her prelaw summer:
When people ask me who I am, it can be difficult to encompass all of it in one sentence, but I settle for, a first-generation U.S. born, college educated, Dominicana, from the “hood.” Yeah, a lot to take in. This past spring I graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice. This upcoming fall I will begin my 1L year at Rutgers University School of Law.
Am I excited? That is a word that I am hearing more and more as the semester approaches. The word “excitement” does not begin to describe my feelings. I feel more enthusiasm and fear than anything else. My fear comes from the longtime insecurity about my academic abilities. Although I have begun to address these unwarranted beliefs, thoughts still tend to creep back in. Many of you out there might have these unsettling thoughts, but just make sure to acknowledge how far you have come, and have enough self-confidence to know how far you will go.
Last summer, a wise professor spoke about some of the mistakes he committed the summer between undergrad and law school. In hindsight, he wishes that he would have enjoyed himself more, instead of working all summer. After many years of working hard in college it is difficult to jump back into three more years of even harder work. For this reason, I needed a break, I needed a getaway.
One week after my graduation I left the states to explore the other side of the world. I spent forty days in some of the most majestic places in Cambodia and Thailand. I was one of ten participants who wanted to travel as well as immerse ourselves in other cultures. We helped local NGOs with their projects and had fun while doing it. One organization that really stood out to me was 1Love Cambodia. This organization is an extension of the 1LoveMovement, based in Philadelphia. It formed due to the deportation crisis that was affecting the Cambodian-American people. The organization is trying to stop the deportation of Cambodian refugees due to a crime(s). Many of these people were living productively in the U.S. after being released from prison. Furthermore, some had never even stepped foot in Cambodia because they were born in refugee camps in Thailand.
I have always been aware that the United States has a broken immigration system, but I did not know the extent of the dysfunction until this trip. If I would not have traveled I might have never learned this and thus would have become passionate about immigration and the way it affects our world. This experience has allowed me to explore the idea of becoming an immigration attorney.
For those of you thinking about law school and are like me, a low-income, woman of color with big dreams, do not be discouraged and intimidated due to the fact that you do not have the same social and economic privileges as others. Remember that the obstacles you have overcome give you the ambition and grit that are necessary in order to succeed. We were supposed to fail a long time ago, but look at us now, striving for greatness.