What do you want to do with your life? This is the dreaded question: one that I am sure has been posed to all of us at least once in our lives. It seems to be a question on every one's mind, specifically adult minds. For me, I have had an answer for a while. The dreaded part for me is the response I get back after I answer.
Law School. I want to go to Law School. This seems harmless enough. It seems like a response adults are looking for right? The look received after telling people this, though, is usually confusion. They think for a bit and then respond “but you go to Prescott College!?!”.
Yes, I do go to Prescott College. Yes, I do go to an experiential education school. Yes, my professors know me by name. Yes, I am part of actively shaping my education. Yes, trips into the field are a critical part of courses in every area of my study. Yes, students here want to change the world (and are), and yes, I want to go to law school. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
Law is usually associated with prestige. People are surprised that I did not go to a more “prestigious” school. I could have (almost did) and changed my mind. I came here for a purpose. I wanted to actively learn. I did not want to read about politics in a book and take a test. I wanted to see politics first hand. I wanted to see how systems of oppression and systems of power affect the world that I live in, and I wanted to study such systems as an undergraduate. At Prescott College, I study globalization, religion, geography, marginalization and social movements to name a few. I have learned the history, current events and cultures of countries throughout the world, and have traveled to Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Tucson, the Hopi, Navajo and Yavapai reservations for courses discussing all aspects of Political Science and Law. I have ventured to Washington DC and New Orleans by myself for conferences and plan on doing my senior project in Kenya.
I have done more then study politics and human rights in classrooms. I have talked, listened and interviewed people. I have traveled and seen with my eyes sights that people learning from text books will never see. I am doing graduate level work in my specific area of interest that I will bring to the table when I go to Law School. Yes, I have chosen to receive letter grades, but I also receive written evaluations from my professors that discuss my strengths, my weaknesses, my passions, and my level of competence.
For some Prescott College students, Law School is the last thing they may ever want to do. Yet whether their Competence is in Wilderness Leadership, Counseling Psychology, Photography, Sustainable Agriculture or Experiential Education, every student learns in the field, gets hands on experience and is making a difference.
In two years when I go to Law School I will be ready. I will be prepared and I will still be overflowing with the enthusiasm and passion that I believe more law students should have. Law and Advocacy are avenues that I believe I can make change with. I want to study Human Rights and International Law. I hope to work in developing communities and countries on education and maternal health reform for women and children. I also believe that Prescott College is the best place for that foundation. I used to be offended when family members and adults would pause and give me weird looks when Law School came into the same conversation as Prescott College. Now I just smile, and reiterate that yes I go to Prescott College, yes I will go to Law School afterwords and yes I believe 100% in my decision to attend Prescott College for my undergraduate degree.
-Amanda Hampton, 11.18.2011