On the one hand, I had to deal with an intense and extremely demanding academic course – and on the other, I had to manage my life away from home. I had moved away from home for the very first time and it was quite a task managing such issues as cooking, laundry and cleaning, combined with studying by myself. Moreover, I was having social issues as well as I found it a little difficult getting accepted by the student body within the campus as my background was entirely different from most of my classmates. I observed that everyone participated in class discussions whereas I even struggled to understand the basic issues being discussed. However, I dealt with all these challenges as an incentive to improving myself. It helped that my parents had raised me to never give up in tough situations and always have faith. I knew that I would have to put in double the amount of hard work as compared to my classmates. I went on to spend long hours studying with a strong belief that one day my hard work would pay off.
Slowly, things began to get a little easier – or rather I became accustomed with absorbing the pressure. Time passed and my first year final exams approached, causing my nervousness to increase. I knew that I had given my best in preparing but I was still unsure whether it was enough. Fortunately, my hard work paid off and I passed all my exams with reasonably good marks and a qualification of CertHE in Common Law. This qualification was such a confidence booster for me, as achieving it strengthened my self-belief and made me explore my working style further. Second year LLB (Hons) was relatively easy in terms of adapting to the campus environment, but the studies just got tougher and more technical. Even more hard work was required, but the skills I developed in the first year aided me to pass my second year exams. To my surprise, my grades showed considerable improvement as compared to the first year results.
During my second year there came a time when everyone was trying to apply for internships in different law firms. I once again found myself lagging behind other students as I had no idea at all about the whole process and how to make an application that would be good enough to find me a placement at a law firm. In a very stressful state of mind I discussed this with my College’s International Programme Director who is also a senior member of faculty. She considered my issue and assisted me in applying for the University of London’s Summer Business Placement Programme. I was awarded an internship through this programme in one of the most respected law firms of the city, Ahmer Bilal Soofi & Co. Experience of this internship was very beneficial, as for the very first time in my life I experienced a professional environment in a law office. I got to meet highly respected lawyers and legal professionals and most importantly was exposed to professional skills. By the end of the internship I was more adamant about working as a professional lawyer.
I know that completing the law degree is just the beginning of the journey, but this whole process has given me lot.
My final year of LLB (Hons) has been relatively smooth as I was able to reach out to my teachers and found a network of peers who kept me steady. Surviving the grind of a law degree was not easy but the job was made more bearable through the support of my parents and family. My institution’s management and teachers had an equal part to play as they understood me as an individual and guided me throughout. The institution was firm but fair in supporting my journey. Through the environment and the opportunities I was provided in my teaching institution, I was selected for a paid internship at the highly reputed Axis Law Firm in Lahore this summer.
Now, as I await my final year results, when I look back it actually seems unreal how far I have come from where I started. I know that completing the law degree is just the beginning of the journey, but this whole process has given me lot. It has taught me how to survive outside my comfort zone and, most importantly, it has made me believe in myself and my abilities. The one thing I have developed in myself is the hunger to get better each day by acquiring the ability to embrace the challenges of life. My message for those who share my experiences is that all it requires is belief, hard work and consistency to achieve what seems impossible. You can do it: focus, and the path will open up before you.