After the somewhat turbulent year that was 2013, unfortunately 2014 hasn’t started off the way I would have liked. I’ve experienced a low point recently; I spent the holidays feeling extremely depressed with a constant stream of negative thoughts running through my mind. I’m not like many other people. I prefer being at work; it provides me with a purpose and keeps me busy. If I have too much free time my mind ventures into dark places. I used to think there was an effective treatment to completely eradicate anxiety and depression but now I know that’s not the case. I have to be open to the fact that there will be difficult times and I’ll have to pick myself up again. This post is different from usual; on a personal level it’s meaningful and reflective. Here is my main goal for 2014:
Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice-this year I'm attempting to conquer my biggest fear by going to The College of Law and completing the professional qualifications required to be admitted as a practicing solicitor. As many of you know I do have a law degree which I completed at the end of 2012. The natural progression is often to undertake the 4 month (or 8 month part time equivalent) postgraduate course to be a lawyer. A reasonable person is likely to assume that after surviving five years at university, one would have the competence required to get through The College of Law. Unfortunately that wasn't my belief. From the start of my law degree I was convinced that I wasn't smart enough to be there. I felt continually inferior to the other law students which, in turn, made me really depressed. I lost the motivation to study or put in the required effort because I believed I didn't belong. It seems like a miracle that I made it through These feelings of failure which have been present for my entire life are so strong that for years I ruled out The College of Law. It was a qualification that genius, confident people complete and it's not for people like me. I told myself that having a law degree was beyond what I ever imagined for myself so I should be happy and leave it at that. I was so against law college that I continually got angry at anyone who'd suggest it. No one understood.
The above photo is from my university graduation: Bachelor of Commerce- Accounting with Bachelor of Laws (2012)
It's momentous that I am now enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Legal practice to start on 20 January 2014. My anxiety is through the roof even thinking about it. My fears still remain but I'm pushing myself to try. What has changed? My current full time job gave me the motivation. I have a legal job, two of my colleagues have recently completed equivalent qualifications and I work directly with a solicitor. I don't feel out of place. I am not a failure and I fit in there. Maybe there's a small chance I can do this. My greatest fear is of being a student again. My time at university was extremely miserable. My anxiety and depression controlled my life to an unprecedented level. I hate the person I became. My life felt completely out of control and most of the time I didn't know how I'd make it through even one more day. I did most of my study online and felt isolated from the world, rarely making it out of bed before 1pm. There are no words to explain how terrible it was. I am scared of feeling like that again and part of me feels like I'm jumping right back into the fire. However, I'm attempting to think positively and believe this time will be different. I'm looking at it rationally. For the first time ever I'll be a part time student while maintaining my full time job. It's just a course I'm completing on the side and won't be my main focus. My primary role will still be work. That will provide me with frequent social interaction and a reason to get out of bed. Also, the consequences of failing are not as serious as failing a law degree, they wouldn't ruin my life. At the end of the day, if the worst case scenario occurs, I already have qualifications and I still have my job which I enjoy greatly. I'm going to give it a go and see where it takes me. In summary, my goal is to be a fully qualified solicitor by the end of 2014.