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April 27, 2010

Looking Back

Ever since I could remember I had wanted to go to the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. I loved all things Minnesota Golden Gophers, and just knew someday I wanted to attend college there. So of course I sent in an application my senior year of high school. I also applied to St. John's University in Collegeville, and the University of Minnesota - Duluth, but that was it. I knew I didn't want to stay in Eau Claire, and I knew UW-Madison was not for me. A little while after I sent in my application, the U of M - Twin Cities sent me a letter saying my application was under review, but that they could not accept me at that time. I was OK with that. But then, I went on to receive three - THREE- letters from them telling me, basically the following: "Applications are at an all-time high"; "It is unlikely you will get accepted"; "make alternate plans"; "We're not rejecting you, but basically, good luck trying to get in here." So, while I was bummed out (but still holding out hope), I got into UMD and so I made plans to go there, with the goal of transferring to the Twin Cities after one year. I put down a deposit; got assigned to a dorm room; began planning my schedule, and so on. But then, at the very end of May, I received a letter from the U of M - Twin Cities. We all know that letters are no good, and large envelopes are what to look for; so I was sure it was the final rejection letter. But then, I opened it, and it said "We have accepted your application for admission." I had a mere week to accept and pay the deposit. I was so happy I could hardly contain myself! I remember at my high school graduation party, people would ask me the usual "What are you doing next?" question, and I would say, "Going to the U of M, and then hopefully law school someday." I'm not really sure if I really believed that at the time, or if I was just saying that to impress. Ask me during my sophomore year in college, and I would have said that I could never hack it in law school, and that it probably wasn't an option. Then I spent the summer at Ft. Sill, OK. I remember vividly the moment in time when I was certain law school was in my future, and when I finally believed I could actually get through law school. During Week 4 of basic training, we spent a few days out on the grenade range, where I trained on fake grenades for a while, before actually throwing a few of the real thing (those things are way more powerful than I ever imagined, or how they are portrayed in the movies). But anyway, my squad was picked to go back to the barracks early to do some crap work or something, and so we basically had to run back to the barracks with all our gear on and our M16. It was at least 10 miles, very hot, and the Drill Sergeant in charge did not let up then entire time. I just remember thinking about two-thirds of the way through that hellish run back to the barracks through the fields of Oklahoma that if I can make it through this, I can make it through anything. I also remember thinking that I wish I were dead, but that's beside the point. So it was settled: I was going to law school. I barely made it through the LSAT, and only did well enough to get me by. I was rejected from the U of M obviously, but wait listed at St. Thomas, Hamline and William Mitchell. I thought at the time I really wanted to go to St. Thomas. I knew Hamline was only a last resort. I planned on not going to law school at all, and started to make alternate plans to attend a Masters program at St. Thomas for Public Policy, in hopes of transferring to their law school, or completing a dual Masters-J.D. degree. In the meantime, I was working for my uncle renting cars. It was a great summer job, but I hoped that it was not permanent. Then, one afternoon at the end of June, I received a text from Nicole saying that "there was a large envelope from William Mitchell College of Law in the mail." I was more than happy to accept, and I'm glad I did. Luckily, Nicole also got into William Mitchell. More on that later.

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