Shalane Bharath

It took years of so much struggle and hardship to bring me to this point, and I know it was never easy getting here yet I overcame. From the panic attacks during the all-night study sessions for that exam I thought I would absolutely fail to the nights downtown with friends celebrating being young and being alive. Even in the night I was drowning in the tears from my own stress but I always had someone there to help me if I needed them..

Now here I am, at the edge of the cliff about to jump off into the next phase of life that I have been preparing to face on my own. Now society recognizes me as a person old enough and smart enough to function as an individual. For every breakdown, I came back and pushed forward. For every assignment I failed, I got a better grade to make up for it. For every time a professor made me feel inferior, I proved them wrong. All those times I thought I wouldn’t make it in the past, mean nothing anymore. I am not defined by the mistakes I made, not by that LAW test I failed. I made up for it twice as hard. I know that the world won’t always be nice. 

Maybe I have a job lined up already by now, or maybe it’ll take you a few more months. Don’t think that every second of the last few years leading up to this very moment didn’t matter. It all shaped me it all brought you here. It’s time to celebrate that now. This is my day. This is my moment. I proved that by making it through these last few years. Deep down, under all of this fear I am facing, I know that I am capable of accomplishing incredible things. My legal journey was indeed a marathon and not a sprint. 

Lawyers are constantly challenged to carry on their abilities and stretching themselves intellectually. So I share my story with you as I hope it will inspire you to never give up on your dreams. This is only the beginning.