How I Paid for Law School |

Incoming from St.Thomas I stared at the burgundy building. “Faculty of Law”, the bold white letters pierce through me like they fully intend to push me to my limit. It is like they know that I do not belong here. The lobby is pristine. The lecture theater is breathtaking. Even the walls are immaculate. This must cost a fortune, a passing student said. Well I guess this is what we pay for another replied. I said nothing. How am I going to pay for it? I stared down at my worn high school shoes wondering. We can register because we are new students but how long will it take them to figure out I couldn’t pay. The odds were not in my favor. Mother had lost her job this past April and Father was sick. There was no college fund. No savings. The medical bills took it all. But my dream, My dream of being an attorney what happens to it now? What was I supposed to do? I applied to the Students Loan Bureau but nothing was guaranteed. Weeks go by I crawl into lectures, sitting in the shadows. Maybe they got a memo. Maybe I am de-registered. The tutor calls my name. I am listed on the register. It is okay for now. Just for now.

Everyone is talking about this Program. The JAMVAT Program. They pay a portion of your school fee if you volunteer. They will only give $300,000 but it is a welcomed start. I apply immediately, hoping for the best but always prepared for the worst. Days turned into weeks. With each passing day my hope was weakened. But all was not lost just yet. My phone flashes green. It is an email. Jamvat is in the heading. I am accepted. My eyes widen. I scream with joy. This was my start. It is not over. There is a chance. I began to plan. Plan everything. I needed an income. Could I manage a part time job with all this stress from school? I didn’t have a choice really. I make the journey to Kingston to do my volunteer work, hours at the hospital. They are long and draining. In between breaks I searched the old newspapers in the lobby for the classifieds. Scanning each black and white square, I hunted for a job. Possible ones were circled red, the rest ignored. I board the bus back to St.Thomas weary and drunk with fatigue.

Megamart needs a cashier. I will call and ask if I can work part time, I mutter to myself hitting the pen gently on the newspaper. Can I really handle all of this. Will the stress be too much. This was the price I had to pay. This is my pound of flesh. I want my LLB. Being a lawyer was all I ever wanted to be. It does not rain forever. Somewhere the clouds will clear. I apply to MegaMart and the interview approaches. They accept me for part time but the feeling is mixed. Yes I need the money but the nightly shifts will surely take a toll on me. While at MegaMart, I noticed that their cookies were quite cheap. Everyone likes a sweet treat every now and then and there was no rule that forbade us from selling. I bought a couple boxes and brought them to school the next morning. I unveiled the cookies from my knapsack stealthily and quietly asked passing students if they wanted to purchase one. Being only fifty dollars, the cookies were soon finished at the hands of hungry students. I made a huge profit and I was excited. At the end of every shift I would buy two boxes and sell them at the school the following day. Things went on like this for a while. However the ugly truth surfaced. All the cookies I sold and the pay I received could never amount to 1.28 million dollars. Then it happened. The last piece of the puzzle. Student Loan paid the money. The fraction remaining was paid. I had paid. I was on my journey. I needed to ace my examinations nonetheless. Scholarships are needed for next year. 

Hope never dies. It lives forever and though the road may appear rocky , it will all be worth it in the end. Through this struggle, the trajectory of my life has been altered. Life is what you make it and I will be an attorney because I can. Perseverance is born from every defeat and with it comes survival.
Success belongs to those who believe in it the most and believe in it the longest. Law School is very expensive. Some are lucky to have it paid by their guardians, others receive a scholarship but what happens to everyone else? They work hard. They do not give up because there is a way. The path to success is not a narrow and straight. It has sharp turns and treacherous passages but the reward is always sweet and it is everlasting.

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