In this series of essays, Lawyers Update helps you to get into world's top law schools.
An Intellectual Desire
It's almost impossible to encapsulate any dynamic entity with a single word, description, or characteristic. The struggle to define oneself is no exception, so instead of focusing on a single aspect of my overall character, I think an examination of a few themes that persist across many aspects paints a clearer picture.
In many ways, you can truly learn about a person only when you determine how he or she deals with the challenges of life. The behavior is even more telling when someone seeks out these challenges, as I seem to. While applying for an undergraduate education, I was faced with a decision between an upscale university that offered great academic challenge and opportunity with a fairly huge price tag, and a smaller school with less of a name and reputation, yet accompanied by a full scholarship and stipend. Though the decision to be a small fish swimming in a big pond left me in the waters of deeper debt, I feel that the struggles I've had to face as a result of my choice have given me an intellectual and social maturity beyond what I would have otherwise attained. Following my decision to attend Northwestern University, I had to choose whether to stay in their honors program in engineering and law with a guarantee of admission to Northwestern Law School or to transfer into Northwestern's Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS) program and study economics. In following the latter course, I may have made my future a little less secure, but I did get the chance to study something that I found truly intriguing, along with experiences that have brought me much closer to the position I wanted to be in after four years. My pursuit of barriers to overcome continued in my third year at Northwestern when I chose to study abroad in a program with classes taught in Italian by Italian professors. Studying in a completely different academic atmosphere and linguistic world started as a struggle but ended as a unique means of proving my ability to adapt to demanding situations and develop new perspectives. My penchant for seeking out challenges endures in my current decision to follow my original dream of applying to law school rather than seeking employment in the banking or consulting fields like so many of my peers in MMSS.
Part of what has propelled me through the challenges I chose to undertake is the intensity and dedication I bring to my academic endeavors as well as other facets of my life. Perhaps the best example of this is my dedication to improving myself physically. Though not a natural athlete, perseverance in athletic and mental training allowed me to become an all-conference athlete in high school. Currently, I go to the gym to run or lift weights almost as regularly as anyone I know or have seen there, and [I] have become a valued member of Northwestern's rugby football club. In my experience, it is easier to maintain a healthy and active mind if one also keeps a healthy and active body. I also firmly believe in the doctrine of self-improvement, partly out of a continual desire to face the challenge of bettering myself and partly because I feel that with only a limited time to do so, we should always strive to be the best we can be. This is why I have always sought to challenge myself and those around me and why I will try to continue to do so.
Another pervasive theme of my story that drives, yet at times hinders, the aforementioned trends is my inquisitive and contemplative nature. I constantly question myself and the world around me. I see the world as more interesting because of the because. I am fascinated by how and why things happen, from the technology of the computer I'm typing on-to the physiology of the hands I'm using to do it-to the workings of the mind that drive the whole scenario and especially the society one lives in. At times, my tendency to question myself-my motives, goals, and thought processes-has led me to be indecisive and capricious. Truly, the thinking man is often the last to act. But the ability to intellectually question ourselves and others is what makes us human and what drives our growth as individuals and as a race. This is definitely the case for me individually, as my questioning nature is a major reason why I am who I am today, and at the very least, I'm proud of that.
As I seek admission to Harvard Law School, I am preparing to undertake one of the greater challenges I will have had the prospect of facing. I hope to embrace the opportunity with the same intensity of character with which I approach all things I do, and to glean all I can from a community of academically like-minded but experientially diverse individuals.