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April 22, 2021, 10:00:15 am

Author Topic: Strawberrymilk's Journey Through Law + Commerce !!  (Read 398 times)

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strawberrymilk

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Strawberrymilk's Journey Through Law + Commerce !!
« on: January 18, 2021, 04:23:12 pm »
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Hi guys!

I've been a member of atarnotes since about year 9, so I've always been quite interested in starting a thread of my own. Hopefully I'll be able to maintain it regularly and that it won't bore you lol.

A bit about me!
- I'm a recent high school graduate who's about to start studying law & commerce

Reason why I chose law:

Actually, my reasons are a bit confusing. In primary school + my early high school years, I had my heart set on law. I felt like it worked really well with my interests, and that I was capable of doing well in it. However, when I entered year 9, my mindset slowly changed. I started becoming really self-conscious about myself, and low-key developed social anxiety due to such. I began feeling really discouraged about my motivation to pursue law, for there's always been that stereotype around law of someone who's a people's-person and someone who's really confident.

Under my career counsellor + family's encouragement, I began focusing on medicine. I thought it was quite a good career, with the extravagant pay, steady job market along with having the ability to help others in need (a desire that really strengthened during COVID last year!). However, what I didn't realise at that time was that over 90% of the people at my school had the same ambition as me.

Fast forward to year 10. This was a year where I really pushed myself and managed to completely step out of my bubble (yay!). Under my mum + best friend's encouragement, I decided to apply for a part time job at a fast food restaurant. After heaps of failed interviews, I finally landed myself a job, and surprisingly I was also stationed at the front counter. I think this experience truly changed me, for through daily interactions with customers, it made me heaps more confident + outgoing. I started doing weekly debates with the school debating team, signing up for captaincy roles, making new friends etc. It really made me reconsider whether I was more fit for law now.

Then year 11 arrived. The school I went to was a select-entry high school, meaning that there was a lot of pressure from students and staff to do well (the median atar was constantly in the high 97's). Every lunchtime, all the senior students would go to the library and study. Every day after school, all the senior students would go to the public library and study there until 6 or 7pm. Every morning, students tend to wake up before 6 am. Being someone who is highly competitive, the environment was too much for me. I developed anxiety, and with my best friend struggling with depression and being constantly away from school, I was in a really bad mental state. I still had my heart set on medicine, and therefore all that I could think of every day was the need to get a 99 atar and a 90th percentile UCAT.

Here comes year 12. During the summer holidays of year 11, I was struggling a lot. Although I did quite well in my 2 VCE subjects, I was still disappointed at the scores, for I aimed waaay too high for it to be realistic (lol). I was so scared to begin year 12, for I basically only chose hard subjects, and whenever I thought about school my mind always drifted to that toxic, unbreathable environment of academic competition. I literally woke up in shivers every morning, and cried consistently throughout a day, which got to a point that I asked my parents if I could stop for a year and do year 12 in 2021 instead. My parents actually allowed me to make my own decision, and told me if it was too difficult and too taxing on my health I could rest. I felt so relieved, yet, somehow, I couldn't bring myself to give up. I continued with year 12, however, this time, I told myself that my only goal was to successfully graduate. I didn't think about that 99 atar or 90th percentile required for medicine, nor did I think much about school.

Surprisingly, during the first half of year 12 I did much better than I would have expected. I didn't push myself much, and only did the bare minimum, yet I was so much more productive and performed so much better! Yet, things started to fall apart during the second semester.

I had the UCAT test during that time, and I actually started preparing for it much later than other people. As I was still struggling with anxiety, preparing for the UCAT whilst simultaneously doing VCE was too much for me to handle. I started breaking down again, and it began to escalate into panic attacks. Yet, somehow I still kept on going (thanks to the help of my parents + friends :D). However, the time I spent on the UCAT was extremely taxing on the time I could spent preparing for VCE, so even though I had finished the UCAT, I was still behind to my peers. I don't know, but I think this was already a red flag that medicine wasn't for me.

At the end of the year, I received interview offers for medicine. Strangely, I wasn't happy about it. I felt so drained from basically 'selling my soul' to finish VCE and to continuously aim for medicine, that I wasn't even that interested about it anymore. Whilst preparing for the interview, I just felt so brainwashed with the autonomous medical ethics and expectations that I didn't even feel like myself anymore. And it really led me to think about what I really wanted in life. Was medicine what I truly wanted? And to basically spend all of my youth doing medicine -- was medicine the only thing that I wanted? And here I began to realise that medicine, like pharmacy or science or engineering, was only a job to me. Discarding the wage + prestige side of things, I really couldn't care less what job I did. Yet I had proper dreams + desires that I knew medicine couldn't provide me with, and I knew that I probably wouldn't regret not getting into medicine, rather I would definitely regret not at least pursuing these dreams.

Thus, even though I was offered a place at a medical school at the end of the year, and achieved a surprisingly good atar, I didn't choose medicine. I decided to do law instead, for the flexibility with the course and the variety it could bring to my future appealed to me more (or maybe because I was just too scarred from my experience with medicine lol).

Future:

Even though I chose to pair law with commerce, I might eventually change it to law + arts, mainly because that's what I'm genuinely interested in and have a passion for (I'm still a bit apprehensive about job prospects, especially with such a saturated law job market, however I'll do more research about it once uni starts!). Other than that, I'm hoping to go on a semester exchange to an university in China and study law there for a bit, mainly to make more international friends and to enrich my understanding of the Chinese culture. I am also planning on studying a diploma in literature alongside my degree, so hopefully the workload isn't too massive! As for the future future, I am hoping to study a masters in law, so hopefully luck goes my way!!

I am still a bit scared about whether my choice is right or not, but I just feel like I need to at least try out law school. I guess if things don't work out I will switch to something else, but hopefully not.

I will try my best to keep you guys updated!

Strawberrymilk, signed out.

Joseph41

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Re: Strawberrymilk's Journey Through Law + Commerce !!
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2021, 05:02:14 pm »
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Hey strawberrymilk! Welcome to ATAR Notes (in a posting sense, at least!). :) Thanks for sharing your story!

Quote
Even though I chose to pair law with commerce, I might eventually change it to law + arts, mainly because that's what I'm genuinely interested in and have a passion for

With this bit (forgive me - I studied Arts haha), what area(s) specifically are you interested in? You mentioned literature - is that the sort of area you're referring to?

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SmartWorker

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Re: Strawberrymilk's Journey Through Law + Commerce !!
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2021, 05:09:36 pm »
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Hey Strawberrymilk! 🥤

Its great to hear about your experiences, looking forward to reading more!  :)

dutyfree

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Re: Strawberrymilk's Journey Through Law + Commerce !!
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2021, 06:16:27 pm »
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Hey strawberrymilk,
Thank you for sharing your rather inspiring journey. You eerily and accurately voiced the factory-like mindset of selective schools. Iím so glad you made it through despite all the hardships and chose something you have a genuine appeal to.
Iím looking forward to your entries!
 :)
2018: ATaR: 98.8
2019: quarter-life crisis
2020: Bachelor of Science @ Monash Uni

hel256

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Re: Strawberrymilk's Journey Through Law + Commerce !!
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2021, 10:22:28 pm »
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I really empathise with your early struggles with social and academic anxiety - self-consciousness and self-doubt about my worth and abilities plague me to this day.
I'm glad that despite the hardship you endured during the later years of high school, you've managed to reconnect with your true passions! I'm looking forward to future updates about your uni journey  ;D
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