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How I paid for Law School | Norris Troupe's Story

Monday, October 2, 2017


The commencement of the university experience may easily be one of the most exciting first steps in a person’s life. The anticipation of the unforeseen zing that is university life coupled with first day jitters are enough to overwhelm anyone, but for me, starting university was something very different.
Although I was excited, doubt had slinged uncharted catastrophe across my back, uncertainty had manifested into a hovering dark cloud and I was afflicted with the thought that I was overreaching. 

How was I supposed to pay for a Law degree? A boy from rural St. James of little means who had absolutely no idea what he was getting himself into; I had taken this first step entirely by faith and I was now in a state of frenzied panic.


I started first year with the help of the Student Loan Bureau, and although I was allowed to register for the first semester, I could not shake the feeling of an impending cataclysm because I had to source the second half of my tuition without a cent to my name and without a golden goose in sight. In retrospect, this process had helped me to discover a persistence I never knew I had. It also made me more aware of the blessing of supportive parents, who, even though were staring into the deep abyss of uncertainty with me, never failed to see the light that I was sometimes apparently blind to.
However, when it neared the end of first semester I remember discussing my financial options with my parents, and the anxiety I was experiencing at that time morphed into a stampede, probably it was the thought of my future hanging in the balance, it was as if I was cosmically taunted. I had never felt so defeated and when my parents saw the toll it took on me, they immediately motivated me and in that moment I felt driven and reassured by love and support.

This enlivened me and I went to the Bursar the following day. She made me aware of the different scholarships and bursaries that were available to Law students. I immediately started applying.  First was the Montego Bay City Run Scholarship and then the UWI Mona Law Bursary. At first I thought little of the applications, but I remained positive and trusted that all this was a learning experience; it could only get better throughout the process.

On the cusp of the second semester of first year, I was contacted by the Bursar’s office and was informed that I was one of the recipients of both grants. I was at a loss for words, I was totally overcome with joy, and this now made me believe even more that I was meant to walk this path.
These grants had shaved thousands from my tuition but there was still a hurdle of a few thousand dollars. It so happened that I was expressing my journey to a family friend, and, inspired by my persistence, he offered to pay the remaining amount of my tuition; and just like that, I was financially cleared for first year and I was now looking towards second year.

My second year was a re-occurrence of these blessings and again, I was financially cleared for the year. I am now entering the third year of my Law programme, and just like my previous years, it too is uncertain but I have learned to revel in the uncertainty and trust God as the author of my life. I am often asked by prospective Law students, “How do you do it? Where am I going to find the money?”
I expose them to the three (3) P’s: prayer, persistence and positivity. 
It may sound like a cliché, but the reason all clichés are classified as such may be because there is some amount of truth to them. Just exercise these three P’s and trust your process and you will be on your way to succeeding in all your endeavors.

Written By Norris Troupe
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