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Ask Mom & Spawn: Help! I Dropped Out Of Law School And Now I Don’t Know What I Want To Do With My Life!

This week, Cara wrote in because she dropped out of law school after it took a toll on her mental health, and decided to switch her area of study. She’s still feeling super lost, and is looking for ways to get her confidence back. What should she do? 

“I’m writing you, because I’m currently in my bed crying instead of sitting at my desk studying for exams. The reason why requires a little background information. I always knew I wanted to go to law school, so after high school I went abroad for two years, because I needed some time  away from home and new experiences, but law school was always my goal. Once I got accepted at my number one choice, I was the happiest person, everything worked out as planned. Until it didn’t. After almost two years, I had to admit to myself that it was nothing like I thought it would be, and that I’m not the kind of person one must be to be good in law school (competitive, not friendly etc.).  I developed trust issues because of fake friends and anxiety. So I quit, because my mental health was more important to me. I’m still in University doing something law related in combination with business and economics which I find very interesting, but at the same time, I feel so lost and as if I have no idea what I’m doing with myself, because it’s like I lost my life goal. How do I get my confidence back so that I can find a new goal that I’m passionate about and willing to work for? I apologize for any grammar or spelling mistakes, English is not my native language.Thank you so much and greetings from Germany” – Cara

@KateFriedmanSiegel: First of all, your English is just fine. Second, please please do not cry. I promise you, everything is going to be okay.
@CrazyJewishMom:Cara, it already is okay! You are doing all the right things, and you clearly have a solid head on your shoulders. You’re pursuing your education, and you’re thinking about what you want your career to look like, which is way more than most people your age are doing. Hell, my spawn was going to parties and singing show tunes for the first three years of college.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Okay, that’s not accurate, but moving on. I do actually think my mom makes a good point – even though it’s incredibly stressful for you right now, the mere fact that you are taking your professional future so seriously bodes well for you overall. Now, to your specific question about feeling lost, I really think it’s important for you to take a step back and realize that you’re being really hard on yourself. The world isn’t falling apart.
@CrazyJewishMom: Well….
@KateFriedmanSiegel:  Okay, Cara’s world isn’t falling apart. On top of that, it’s not like you quit school altogether and are lying around waiting for some new passion to strike. No, you’re transitioning to a related area of study that you yourself said you find interesting! That is quite practical, and it’s frankly how the world works sometimes. Sure, some people know what they want to do from a very young age and end up actually pursuing that when they grow up. The vast majority of people however, DO NOT. For instance. I wanted to be a pop star when I was in high school. Yeah.
@CrazyJewishMom: It’s true. Sometimes, things don’t work out. It’s time to get out of bed, and get your head back in the game. You’re feeling a little lost? NEWSFLASH! We all do sometimes. You feel like you have no idea what you’re  doing with your life? Guess what! No one does! It’s unrealistic to think you can plan out everything perfectly.

@KateFriedmanSiegel: I totally agree with that. It’s incredibly important to be driven and to work toward something, but I think it’s equally important to not implode when something doesn’t work out the way you think it will. Life is long and weird, and sometimes you’ll realize something you thought you wanted is terrible, sometimes you’ll even fail…it doesn’t mean your life is over. Even though you don’t want to be a lawyer, you can still have a successful, fulfilling career. You need to give yourself time to figure out exactly what that looks like for you. You’re studying (and again, enjoying) subjects that make you highly employable, so you have a ton of options in front of you. Try interning at companies you think are doing interesting work, and that will help you find a new direction.
@CrazyJewishMom:  And at last, my spawn is giving great advice. ABSOLUTELY INTERN AT DIFFERENT COMPANIES. That way you can get to know the culture of different industries. You could also consider academia – teaching students about the subjects you love! Cara, you’re going to be just fine.

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