Over the last few weeks, as this long and often arduous journey called law school has come to a close for me and my classmates, two lines from an old Green Day song have played in my head over and over: “Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go…” I know the song is about a bad breakup (spoiler!), but Billie Joe Armstrong’s lyrics do a pretty good job describing the closing of one chapter of one’s life and the beginning of another. This is exactly where I and the rest of my graduating class now find ourselves.
As I reflect on the last three years, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve questioned my intelligence, personal convictions, and even my sanity. I’m not sure there are many – if any – other academic programs as demanding, as challenging, or as exhausting as what we’ve just accomplished. Yet I am convinced that I, nay, all of us have come through this stronger than we ever thought we could possibly be.
I have had the honor and privilege of working alongside some of the best and brightest minds I have ever known.
As the Editor-in-Chief of the Campbell Law Observer, I have had the honor and privilege of working alongside some of the best and brightest minds I have ever known. Kendra, Cyrus, Katelyn, and Josue, I cannot thank you all enough for your hard work, dedication, and patience as editors. I am so proud of how you all have grown as individuals and as leaders. Johnny, Olga, Meredith, Jon, and Amaka, I am equally as proud of all of you for your thoughts, ideas, diligence, and consistent hard work as writers. I have no doubt that each and every one of you will go on to achieve remarkable things in your careers.
I especially want to thank all of you, our readers, for your support and interest in what we have to say. Without you, what we do is kind of pointless. Without you, we’re basically talking to ourselves. I now entrust you into the highly capable hands of Lizzie Yelverton and her staff, in whom I have absolute confidence and I anticipate great things.
[W]e must do our absolute best to never look back and wonder if we could have done better.
To my fellow graduates, we are blessed to have survived and been bestowed the honor of calling ourselves lawyers. But the degree is the easy part. The hard part begins now, as we question what kind of lawyers we will become. This is our first fork in this long road, and time is about to grab us by our wrists. Yet it is and will always be up to us to decide what decisions we will make as we are led by our futures.
Will we continue to strive for excellence, demanding the utmost perfection in our decisions? Will we hold ourselves to the highest accountability so that our integrity will never be called into question? Or will we become complacent, content to simply go through the motions in a lackadaisical fashion, forgetting the promises that we made to ourselves when we walked across that stage? Will we accept the status quo, or will we shatter it as we try to set the bar higher and higher for ourselves?
These are the true tests that we must constantly pass until the day that we (hopefully) retire; however, we are only human. Mistakes will be made, and this is why the eraser always runs out before the pencil. Yet we must do our absolute best to never look back and wonder if we could have done better. Make the best of these tests, for they will all be lessons we will learn over time.
I wish each and every one of you the very best of luck in your endeavors. Thank you and godspeed.