I’m writing the optional statement for my law school app. The question is “What is something you regret not doing?” I chose to write about my decision not to study music in college. A large part of the reason I chose not to study music is because I was in an abusive relationship that impacted me greatly and I’ve chosen instead to go to law school for international law focusing on human rights (women’s rights more specifically). I’m just not sure how appropriate it is to mention this in the statement? I wouldn’t go into detail but would just mention it briefly. Part of me still regrets not studying music but I chose to change to law based on my experiences.

Off hand (and before reading your statement), I don’t see any reason it would be inappropriate.  Any true regret is one that will make us feel some sort of hesitancy in sharing it.  That’s what makes it a regret – and that’s also why they asked the question.  Trust me – they’ve heard enough of B.S., self-serving answers like, “I regret studying too hard and not spending more time to stop & smell the roses.”  They would prefer real answers, like the one you have here.

Your regret seems honest, real and yet it’s not like you regret choosing to go to law school.  You could have still majored in music and then decided you wanted to be a lawyer.  People’s interests change as they grow older and have different life experiences.  I’ve mentioned this before, but my closest friend started out college as a biology major, finished college as a criminal justice major, never even considered being a lawyer until his senior year of college, went to law school & practiced law for 7 years – and has now been in marketing (and has not practiced law at all) for the past 8 years.

So, yeah – tell them the truth.  They understand that not everyone came out of the womb wanting to be a lawyer.

Here’s the statement:

I began playing the piano at the age of four and quickly progressed to taking lessons from a music professor at ******** University. During my childhood my parents saw playing the piano as a hobby that I would be able to enjoy my entire life, but as I moved into high school I began to consider applying to college as a music major.

After my senior recital in high school, I received a letter from the ******** College Conservatory of Music inviting me to audition. My piano teacher revealed that she had invited a friend to the performance to watch me play. I debated auditioning but applied to ********* University for International Studies, believing that government work offered more stable job prospects.

I went to college at seventeen and naively continued an abusive relationship. In the spring of my freshman year, my boyfriend sexually assaulted me. It took me a long time to regain confidence but in the process of recovery, I developed an interest in women’s rights. After pursuing this interest for the past two years, I chose to apply to law school and concentrate on human rights.

I do occasionally regret the choice to forego studying music in college, but I am confident in my decision to go to law school. As with music, I enjoy studying human rights and women’s studies, but I also have a sense of purpose that I did not have when I was considering music as a degree.

Do you think this statement is ok or does it qualify as too much information?

Not at all.  It’s honest, revealing and doesn’t paint you in a bad light.  In my opinion, that’s the entire point of the exercise that the law school set up here – to see if you are going to give them a canned, bullshit answer, or if you are going to be real and tell them something from the heart.  I think your answer passes that test.

What do my fellow reads think?   Am I right in believing that the committee will appreciate a truthful answer, or do you think she’s revealing too much about having no plans to attend  law school in her recent past?

{ 0 comments }

How Can A Non-U.S. Citizen Get Financial Aid?

October 27, 2014

Hi Judge Josh! I’m writing you a question on behalf of a friend. She’s from Germany, and a German citizen, but married to a coworker of mine in the U.S. Navy and working here with a valid green card and visa. She wants a college education – but she is blown away by how expensive […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Should I Tell The Committee That I Was Raped?

October 23, 2014

Rape is a very difficult subject for anyone to talk about, but it’s real, it happens, and when it does it derails lives.  This courageous young lady was raped, but she got help & battled back – and is now ready to move forward.  But how should she deal with what happened to her? Hey […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

What Language Should I Study?

October 17, 2014

Dear Judge Josh, I started following your site last year after I applied to college and I’d just like to say you’re doing a great thing here. On that note, I need your help! Thanks, Sara! I am a first year student who just came out of a meeting with a professor with a lot […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Am I Emotionally Ready To Go Back To School?

October 15, 2014

Hi Josh, Thank you so much for the advice you give! I’ve been on your mailing list for a long time and I’d gladly link back to you, but I don’t really have anywhere I can do that. This question is time-sensitive, so I hope you can answer it quickly. This is really long, but […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Can Allyson Get There From Here?

October 13, 2014

Judge Josh, I read your column pretty much religiously. You give great advice, and you’re entertaining! Awww, shucks…thanks! Here’s my dilemma: I am a 20 year old junior going to a state school in New York. I started college at a community college on the other end of the county, and graduated there this past […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Veteran Scholarships

October 8, 2014

I’m a veteran, but the GI Bill only covers 60% of my school. I’m also in my 30’s. Are there any specialized scholarships for me? – John First of all, John, thank you for your service.  As I’ve said on here many times before, I’m an Air Force brat, so my father – as well as […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Expensive Dream School vs. Cheaper, Not-Dream School?

October 6, 2014

Dear Judge Josh, First, I just wanted to say I think you are great! I read your posts everyday and not only have I learned quite a bit, but I have been thoroughly entertained. Go on, Whitney, I’m listening… Now for my question. Since I was ten years old my dream school was a small […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Enter The Workforce Or Start All Over?

October 3, 2014

Judge Josh– Damn, man, I wish I’d come across outlawstudent.com back in high school. Better late than never, Zach! Here’s my elaborate dilemma: I’m a senior at Alfred University. I have 36k in student loan debt (before interest), assuming I graduate in the spring. Welcome to the wonderful world of student loan debt – where […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Should I Give Law Schools Details About My Disorder?

October 1, 2014

Hello Judge Josh! I am currently in the process of applying to law schools. I wanted to ask you what you thought about the extent of appropriate discussion for my personal statements. Basically, in the middle of my freshman year I took a leave of absence due to an out of control eating disorder. I […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Should I Quit A Decent Job To Join A Vet Tech Program At Age 55?

September 29, 2014

Hi, Judge Josh. I think the Outlaw Student website is great. Thanks for the scholarship offers, and the good advice. Glad to do it, Ellen! I’m 55 years old, with a decent paying job, a mortgage, no savings and some money in 401Ks. My husband is retired and getting Social Security payments. I’ve been going […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Passion For Fashion, But Brain For Business.

September 26, 2014

Hey Josh, I just want to start off saying thanks for creating this blogspot I religiously read the posts. My pleasure, Tasnim – thanks for being a loyal reader! I have picked some useful information through the months i have been reading them. Now i have question of my own i was wondering if you […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

I’m Starting My Own Business – Should I Finish My Degree?

September 24, 2014

At 25 and 8 months pregnant, I decided to finally go back to school at my husband’s “You always say ‘next semester’, you’re not this time” insistence. But it all was moving so quickly, I just took universally necessary courses until I could figure out what I wanted to do. I found out about Instructional […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Can I Be A Leader From The Sidelines?

September 22, 2014

Hey Josh! I’ve enjoyed getting all of your helpful advice and messages in my e-mail inbox every day– sometimes I feel like they’re written about exactly what’s going in my life at the time. Thanks, Kelly – I always like to hear testimonials from students that I’ve helped.  Makes a guy feel good, ya know? […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Tough-Love Advice On Having Pride In What You Put Out To The World.

September 19, 2014

i transferred 60 credits from a community college to the university of pittsburgh. my gpa from community was a 4.0 but of course, that doesnt transfer. i have been taking all the tough courses that i would need to get into medical school and my schedule does not have any fluff filler easy A classes. […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Arachnophobia Tanked My GPA – What Now?

September 17, 2014

Hi Josh, I’ve been reading your column for a few weeks now and must say I am impressed with your ability to combine brevity and artistic writing style. You strike me as the perfect person to query regarding my dilemma! I will be a Senior at Idaho State University in the fall so I am […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Should I Go To Europe Or College?

September 15, 2014

Hello your honor, Thank you…you may be seated. Well, I’ve been debating whether or not to ask you a question for a while now. I thought I’d finally thought I’d go for it. I decided to cram like fifty different questions into one…It’s long so PLEASE bear with me Go for it! I’m a Senior […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Should I Go To Go To My Dream School, Or Stay In-State & Pay Less?

September 11, 2014

Okay, so I don’t know what to do. I want to go down the “pre-med” track in college, and I have always thought that I would go to a big, showy, pricey university with lots of bells and whistles. I was always content with the amount of college debt I would have after school as […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

I Want To Be A Stay At Home Mom, But Also Want A Degree. What Should I Major In?

September 9, 2014

Hi Judge Josh, I have a rather unoriginal, yet complicated dilemma. I’m a college sophomore with zero direction. I went to a Minnesota college last year and transferred this fall to a college in my home state of South Dakota. I like this college much better, and feel its a better fit. I declared my […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

What Are The Best Jobs For Students?

September 8, 2014

I want to continue being a full time student… but I also need to find some source of income. What kind of jobs should I be soliciting that will not take up too much of my time but will still be somewhat profitable? -Danae Hi Danae, and thanks for stopping by!  The standard answer, of […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Will My Son Be A “Show Off” At A Scholarship Interview?

September 4, 2014

Hi! My son is a year high school old senior. He has been invited to a “scholar’s day” event this weekend at a college where he has been accepted. He has been offered a partial scholarship. They will be conducting interviews with small groups of students. From these interviews, certain students will be selected to […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Should Having Diabetes Be Considered A Hardship On A Scholarship Essay?

September 2, 2014

Hi Judge Josh, First off thank you for doing this site- it has been a great help. You’re quite welcome, Teresa – but I couldn’t do it without people like you! Okay I’m just going to tell you the problem. I’m a first/second year student(I did a semester away from home and things didn’t work […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

How Should You Answer The Question, “Have You Received Any Other Scholarship Awards?”

August 29, 2014

I always enjoy reading the posts, but I never thought I would have my own question to ask. As far as I know this question has not been adressed yet. It’s a fairly simple question that I have come across while filling out scholarship applications, yet no one has been able to give me a […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Should I Go To College If I Don’t Know What I Want To Do With My Life?

August 28, 2014

After taking a two year hiatus from high school and working like a dog, I am pleased to announce that I’m set to graduate in June and have been accepted to college. Congratulations, Katlyn.  Although these days it seems like everyone is expected to go to college, a) not everyone should and b) just being […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

I Want To Make A Lot Of Money As A Lawyer & Use It To Help Animals – Is That Okay To Tell Scholarship Judges?

August 26, 2014

I’ve been reading your site and emails for a while, and definitely have found them to be super helpful in a general sense. I would like your advice on my situation in more specificity though. Shoot it at me, Hannah! I’m a senior in undergraduate, and have been accepted to one of my top law […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Should You Work During High School?

August 21, 2014

Josh, I’m 17, a senior in high school. I’m taking three AP classes (Bio, Literature and Comparative Government) as well as Choir and Yearbook, which I am the business manager of. I’m not taking a ton of classes, but the ones I am taking require a lot of effort! On top of that, I’m working […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Should She Take 2 Free Years of Community College?

August 5, 2014

Dear Mr. Barsch, Stop it, call me Josh. I feel old enough already. My name is Lindsey and I discovered you through scholarshipdude.com and have read every email I’ve gotten with your advice from your blog on various and important topics that many students face. Excellent. ScholarshipDude.com is a site where we list various individual […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

What’s Old is New Again: Or, the Return of the Judge-Eye!

July 8, 2013

Short Version: So, yeah. I’m back. Long version: Man, life does take its funny twists and turns, doesn’t it? One minute you’re blogging like a fool every day, knocking it out, everything’s going smoothly. And seemingly in the blink of an eye, you take some time off to catch up on a couple of weak […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Caitlin & the State-School Blues

June 9, 2011

Caitlin’s feeling a little down in the dumps about the college aspirations she once had for herself and the reality that’s seeming to be a little different these days. I’m guessing there’s a few dozen of you out there feeling the same way. Hello! I’m a recently graduated senior and salutatorian from a high school […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>

Should a Man Go To Cosmetology School?

March 31, 2011

Jordan wants to go to cosmetology school, but is it too — you know, womanly? I have read many of your article and posts and I have come to a conclusion that you are quite a knowledgeable person, which is what I really need right now. Well, thank you very much. Glad to be held […]

READ THE WHOLE THING –>