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Thoughts

Law Student, Mass Comm. Mind

October 23, 2017

From Pilot to Lawyer

I first was attracted to the idea of being a lawyer when I was in high school. Prior to that moment of discovery, I’d considered a variety of options for a humble career. Like any normal person, I wanted to be a writer, then a teacher, a dancer, a painter, a model, the most beautiful girl in Nigeria (MBGN)… you name it!

Eventually, I found myself applying for the Aviation program at my high school. Yes, that’s right, folks. This girl was studying that course that would enable her to fly planes. Just imagine If I’d done it to the very end, and even took it up in university! I’d probably run to Emirates. Well, things didn’t really work out.

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As we neared the final 2 years of high school, aviation got a bit tough. There was more math crawling in each week, and I was feeling a bit stifled. As I knew I had a poor grasp of math, my confidence fluttered away, leaving me in despair. I decided I didn’t want to be a pilot again – too much stress. I wanted to be an airhostess instead. I had vivid daydreams of myself dressed from top to bottom in Emirates attire, and I loved it. 

P.S. Emirates will forever be the most stylish airline. Their airhostesses look absolutely stunning! From the first time I entered a plane at like 9 or something, I always noticed the way they would strut together like the ultimate clique. They were always on point. I remember doing a whole assignment on the role of an air hostess. I was so passionate about it, especially working for Emirates. Who would say no to accommodation in Dubai, and travelling all around the world? I wouldn’t mind working with them for a year or two. Emirates, I’m ready! I meet the height requirements!

I don’t really like math, and since one had to do subjects like physics and other science-y/math stuff in addition to the aviation program when it got to the final years, I decided it was time to port.

That was how I found myself picking a completely different route. I’d entered high school for the aviation program, and was now changing completely. My teacher, one of the most supportive men I’d ever met, was disappointed, of course. He stopped talking to me after that change, and I felt so sad.

I was joining the ATAR program, which was meant to grant me direct entry into university, pending the fulfillment of the course ATAR requirement. When I was picking the courses I would battle for the next 2 years, I didn’t really have being a lawyer in mind, until one day. While moving through YouTube, I stumbled upon a documentary, which focused on human trafficking. In particular, it was Nigerian ladies being trafficked from Benin to Italy, lured there by promises of a better future, only to be forced into prostitution. I felt so much for them, and really wanted to help them out. Somehow, that led to me wanting to become a lawyer.

This dream was further solidified by the ongoing discussion about refugees. I wanted to become an immigration lawyer, helping people who desperately needed safety and protection, and a chance at a better life, to get visas. I also was going through some immigration issues, and I felt for the many that had been in my shoes. So, I began to work towards this dream.

Mock Trials & Discoveries

One of my new courses was Politics & Law. It was quite an interesting course, because the class was completely female. The teacher was female, and all my classmates were also females. It was such an interesting class makeup, and It is one of the coolest experiences I ever had. We did all sorts, learning cases and whatnot, then also attending mock trials (heavy preparation, long days and closing late) but it was always fun!

I loved when we would walk through Perth city in a group, heading towards the Supreme Court for an interesting few hours of pretending to be lawyers. We had to learn witness statements, come up with objections, and write opening and closing statements. However, I was once given the role of barrister, and I was so shaky during my performance that I told myself I would just rather be a solicitor. I wanted to be in the background, doing the research.

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Fast forward to 2015, I returned to Nigeria. I hadn’t even made the cut off mark for the law programs at West Australian universities, which was 90. Anyway, I was quite sad by my performance, as I’d gotten 87.85. I said that law was not for me, and when I wanted to apply to other universities, I leaned towards English/Media/Creative Writing Courses. However, I ended up starting the law program here in Nigeria. I guess God wanted me to have another shot at it.

And so, my friends… that was how I became a law student.

Law Student, Mass Comm. Mind

I gave up on my dream of becoming a lawyer when I didn’t make the cut off mark, and moved back to Nigeria. I was leaning towards more English/Literature type of courses. When I applied for universities, I would choose anything to do with mass communications and media, just basically stuff that would involve a lot of creativity. I got accepted into these courses, but then the finance was the issue. Faced with the effects of the dollar rate, I had to look at other options. It didn’t matter anyway, because I ended up as a law student in Nigeria.

Now, what inspired this post was one of my insecurities. I wrote in a post on my Instagram page, that one of my insecurities was my intelligence. When I first started out in law, I was focused on trying to do my best. I wanted to make good grades, come out on top and generally have things together. However, as I have been in school for a year, there are insecurities which are slowly rising to the surface, taking over my thoughts.

be kind to me, february. (6)

The Oddity

Everyone seems to have things figured out. Some people in my class want to go into politics, want to become Senior Advocates of Nigeria, and the likes. I feel like the odd one out. Looking at me, many people would believe I am an ‘efiko’ who is always bowing her head down to study. An absolutely serious student who aims for the highest. While this is true for the most part, I cannot help but feel inadequate. A lawyer, to me, is not just someone who goes to court and makes noise. Lawyers are respected people, and should be able to engage in fiery, intelligent conversations.

When I think of lawyers, I imagine a bunch of people, clad in black and white, sitting at a roundtable while throwing intelligent words around. It is at this point, that I feel I do not fit in. My class is dynamic, it has a mixture of way older students, and of course, the young ones like me. Sometimes, our class is thrown into heated discussion or argument about points of law and even current events. When this happens, I simply retreat into my mind. I feel lost, and I feel ignorant. I’m not current. I don’t keep up with news…I always feel lost, as I feel that to know the current, I need to have followed the news from the very start. Most of the things that make headlines are accumulated from the past, and if I do not know of the past, how can I connect?

I honestly sometimes feel like a Mass Communications Student in the body of a lawyer. Let’s get something down: mass communication students cop a lot of flack. They’re roasted for being unserious, and looked down upon. This is especially the case in my school, where some people that can’t continue with law switch to mass communications or international relations. They’re looked at as being a bunch of loud, crazy people. Clearly, that’s not true as they’re mostly awesome people, with awesome personalities.

I feel more like a mass communication student when I am quick to open magazines or gist websites, when I hop from blog to blog, when I make graphics for my blog and Instagram page. I spend minutes thinking up all sorts of things, imagining videos to go with the songs playing on shuffle on my phone. As the wind hits my face while I am seated in a keke napep, I even think of fashion designs. I imagine my designs on models who strut fiercely down a runway. I even imagine myself, clad in my designs, posing with confidence as I face a camera.

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I’m an introvert. I’ve always known I was shy, and I only recently found out the name for it. Crowded places terrify me, and I’m generally socially awkward, but this is improving. I feel like there needs to be more done. I slipped into blogging so easily, and it just is something that comes so easily for me. There are some people you look at, and can immediately assign a profession to them. Many of my classmates don’t just sound and behave like lawyers, but even look the part. When I look at myself, I don’t really see a lawyer. I lean towards a librarian, and people have continuously brought up this fact, assigning me the title of secretary. To be honest, secretary is not an insult. I actually like administrative activities.

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Law, on the other hand, is something I also like (nobody forced me to undertake it), but need to grasp more. I feel so behind in it. I’m getting quite good grades, and this is motivated by my need to do things well and also the fact that I don’t like wasting school fees. I will finish successfully, but what will happen next? Right now, I wish I could be more active. I feel like I’m doing well academically because book wise, I am good. When It comes to practice, however, how will I perform? I want to see the law in action, I feel scared. I fear that I will come out of school, and my relatives will bring their legal issues to me.

Of course, that is the point of the law degree, but I fear that I will have to reach for my books all the time. I read to pass my exams, but is anything truly sinking in? I want to get my hands on the practice of law itself. I want to know what it feels like to sit in front of somebody who tells me their story, being able to draw out principles of law with ease. Theory and practice are truly not the same thing.

Most of all, I want to feel in control of things. I want to be a lawyer by day, blogger by night, by all means. Then again, the beauty of law is that it does not start and end in the court room. There are many levels to it, and perhaps I can even insert myself there, because frankly, the thought of standing in front of a judge makes my legs shake. I need to visit the courts more, to see how things work.

There are those who throw off conventional professions and go searching for themselves in the unknown, but I don’t see myself doing that. I want to achieve some sort of balance.

I’m just trying to figure things out.


Don’t mind me, people! Just airing out my thoughts. Generally my posts have a humorous tone to them, but sometimes, It gets real. I’m just a young person, trying to figure out life. By the way, this is my 50th blog post! I honestly find that amazing. How was I able to write so many posts in such a short amount of time? It’s crazy! And we’re talking more than 1000 words in each post!

Have you figured out what you want to do in the future? Can you see yourself in a certain place in 5 years?

mind of amaka, blog signature

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  1. If it makes you feel better, I traveled similar paths. Started out wanting to be a doctor (I was totally obsessed with OBGYN) then I thought medical career would be at least 10 years and ain’t nobody got time for that so I switched to mass communication and journalism because I am too nosey and like FBI Work do investigative journalism seemed super cool. From then I changed to nursing, then public health and then graduated eith psychology. Years later, I’m realizing that I really can’t run from medicine so now I’m doing a masters in order to prepare me to apply to medical school. I think the path to finding what works for you can be smooth for some (like my friends) but tough for others like you and I. I noticed it’s particular hard for people who are good at a lot of things so we have so many ideas of what could be and end up confusing ourselves. Let me not write an epistle here, maybe I’ll do a post inspired by this and share my own experience one day. Haha. My own journey to medicine 🙂

    1. Girl! Wow that’s a lot of switching up lol! I just want to get things right the first time, you know? I hope I don’t end up regretting anything! Can’t wait to read your post. You honestly had a point especially with the “for people who are good at a lot of things” part of your comment! It can suck sometimes lol

  2. Oh wow! I love how you write. This particular post reminds me of myself. I almost dropped out of the university in my 2nd year, cause I wasn’t just getting law. I was failing so badly and it really affected my self esteem cause I know I was an intelligent kid. But I stuck at it and my grades got better.

    Law is definitely not a first love for me. I love the arts and would probably have studied theatre arts if I had a choice but I dunno if I’d still have been fufilled. There is a certain prestige and exposure that studying law gives you. It also helps in developing analytical mind and you can’t trade that for anything.

    So now I’m a Lawyer, and I still love the arts- poetry, acting, painting etc. I feel like I get to enjoy the best of both worlds . More importantly I get to inspire and encourage arty lawyers to do the same.

    My advice is stick with it, become the best lawyer you can be. Oh read the gossip blogs, but please also make time to keep up with the news. As a Lawyer, you need to be aware, be able to speak on every topic. Of course , you don’t have to have all the answers immediately, but you must know where to find them.

    I wish you all the best. Rooting for you and your exciting future!

    1. I love your comment, and I can definitely see the reflection of your love for art in the whole idea of your page ‘beyond my law degree’. What an awesome initiative! I failed pretty badly in 200 level, but came back with a quickness and snatched some good grades. Now, I feel that even with good grades, things just feel obsolete. Like the knowledge is entering only to depart from the other ear. I’ll try and keep up with the news! And definitely, we must know where to find the answers. God forbid that a lawyer know everything, lol!

  3. I can so relate to “Crowded places terrify me” I’m so shy, and really working on it! Lol. I love this post Amaka. So many confessions. I’m sure you will figure it all. : )

  4. Wow. An amazing post here. I get the indecisiveness when it comes to the course end up to read at school. I wanted to study mass comm since I was young. Growing up, a lot of my teachers were pushing me to study Law, because I was the smartest girl in class but that wasn’t what I wanted. It got to a point I was even ashamed to tell anyone I wanted to study mass comm. So last year, I applied for both mass comm and Law, two different universities. It didn’t work out. I’m staying a year at home and it really helped me. Because I’ve discovered a lot of things about myself. This year I applied for English and Literature. Why? A lot of reasons. One of them, because I’ve discovered how much I love books and live sharing them. And I don’t care what people want to say any more. I’m proud of it.

    1. A gap year can be good to sort out your thoughts and generally discover yourself. I’m glad you found a topic you feel would fit you best! I hope you make the most out of your English and Literature degree!

    1. Thanks for the push Des! I think now I’ve started a blog, I definitely have an outlet for my creative side, enabling me to achieve some sort of balance

  5. I could relate with the insecurity of not being smart enough. Well, sometimes we really get confused on what it is we want and if what we have or are pursuing is what we like. Unlike your case, I always wanted to do Medical Laboratory Science but my parents wanted me to go for medicine. I applied to school but didn’t get medicine and finally, they told me to do what I want and I got medical lab. Right now, I’m not sure to be a medical laboratory scientist is what I want. I am more interested in psychology and business administration. I might practice med lab, I might not, I still don’t know, still figuring out my life but I’m glad God has been with me through out and we’ll figure it out.

    Just keep trying your best dear, and as for not knowing if you can practice as a lawyer, who knows? you just might be a SAN and I believe with time, you will get the boldness to stand in front of a judge Lol.

    1. Girl I’m sorry I didn’t reply this before! I was meant to get back to it but life got in the way lol! I’m glad that God has been with you, and I only pray you’ll be able to wake up one day in the future, happy with the path you have chosen. Haha me as a SAN amen ooo if that is possible! I’m still trying to figure out my specific purpose sef! I need a truckload of boldness

  6. This post is for me😩😩😩. I’m also studying Law and lately, I feel so stupid. Can we talk about the fact that most Law students are big know-it-alls???? They know like everythinggg..or pretend too. I would have gone for Mass Comm too, considering I like writing and I’m not even all for the impromptu debates. Only thing that keeps me going is the fact that our steps are ordered and eventually, it will all work out for our good…or we could just leave Law and run to Dubai😂😂😂😂

    1. Exactly, that know-it-all thing can be so intimidating sometimes. I bet its mostly pretend lol, but they’re pretending well o! Run to Dubai ke? You’re on your own o, me I’m off to Cuba

  7. I totally relate with the ‘being an introvert’ and also finding what path to go. I don’t even relate well all cos I’m always to myself. Working on that though..
    Well dear I love this post…I actually wanted going for medicine after high school but I ended up in comp engr…i know right? medicine then comp engr? How come? Not been easy though I but thank God for the journey so far. I’m in my fourth year and all I can say is trust God and He will lead you. Seek counsel from people who have been through what you’re going through, pray dear,pray! Try to keep up with the news, work hard as to get good grades, who knows where you and how you might breakthrough. I’ll also say take things easy… Everything Will fall into place.
    Damn… That was long😫hope it helps

  8. It is alright not having your career path quite figured out yet. I started out wanting to be a doctor, then an economist before I decided to study law which I am currently pracitising. A law degree is an excellent foundation for many career paths so don’t think just because you studied law you must practise law.
    Don’t let your classmates intimidate you, many of them probably have the same thoughts you have shared in this post and don’t have life figured out either.

    http://www.savingwithoj.wordpress.com

    1. Wow, doctor and economist? Haha your parents and relatives (if they’re the stereotypical type) would’ve loved to hear those ideas! You’re in one of the safe, african parent approved professions, lol! That’s also another awesome thing, you must not practice it. I get the point about my other classmates, but I tell you, some people are so good at putting up that ‘I have it together’ show, it’s amazing

  9. Wow. Just wow. Your words totally inspiring me. I have been through the same situations like you. I was a law student. Successfully graduated as the holder of diploma in law. However, I can’t proceed with bachelor degree in law because my diploma marks was not that good and now, I’m end up continue my study in bachelor of international relations. Gotta study a lot of things about other countries. I never expected that my life would turn out this way. From a law student to an international relations student. If before, my dreams was to be a lawyer, but now, I don’t even know what is my dreams. I don’t even know what should I become in five years later. Hahahahaha yeahh.. BTW, nice to know you through your writings. I think I should think about my future later hehe.

  10. Let me say you are the only law student I know that is an introvert! I don’t like associating myself with law students; most of them are rude and one has practically poured sand inside my garri and ever since then, I swerved from law students. Nice write up tho. I wrote an article about my disclipline in school but I’m yet to publish it.

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