I actually almost posted this long passage as a status on Facebook but I think this is better:
My last semester of senior year at Philander Smith College, I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation. This is normal but not for me because I usually have things together. Grad school right? Yes, Ms. Manning was going to blow everyone away, go to grad school somewhere really nice right after graduating and succeed very well. Applied to this prestigious program at Oxford and was denied. No worries. I decided to take the GRE in January and didn't score so well, but I also didn't study and didn't really care. I really did it just because I felt like I had something to prove, that it was what I was supposed to do. At this point, I was instructed by my mentor DR. JONES to get it together, which I literally never did. Not one application went in. I was stuck mentally and even spiritually. I gave up on myself, honestly. And that's when I decided to take a year off. Something I stated I'd never do.
It's been proven that people who take a year off from school usually never go back. Considering the goals I have for my life, this was my greatest fear. So my year off was supposed to look like this: Study for the LSAT and seriously go ALL IN with my studying, get a job (preferably administrative), take the test in Sept., apply for law school, get my drivers license, and start school in August. Nothing more, nothing less.
Here's what really happened 😣😩: I studied for only about 1 month in total last summer. I thought I was going to intern at the White House for Obama's last few months in office, I got an interview and everything y'all (OMG IKR) just to be waitlisted and then denied 😣 I didn't get a job until OCTOBER (I told y'all that testimony already). I scratched law school off the list sooo many times and even planned on obtaining a Masters in Business or Public Administration. I literally just started throwing plans out there. That didn't work out either, because that wasn't God's plan for me anyways and because it was me simply trying to run away from it. I did LIVE IT UP though. My year off was filled with concerts, parties, all kinds of events, SLEEPING, traveling, sitting for HOURS on social media, cooking, working, and just whatever. And no, I don't regret ANY of it. I feel like I needed this year of freedom. But right before Christmas, I had a revelation: I was tripping with myself and my life, slipping into stagnant comfortableness because of FEAR. At that moment I decided that everything I wanted to do, I could do it.
The last LSAT before being able to go to law school in August was in Feb. I decided to register 2 days before registration closed to take the test. I STUDIED ALL IN FOR ONE MONTH, (do not try this at home or ever) before work, after work, in between time and all. Took that test and made a 150, (the highest score you can make is a 180). But all I kept praying for was a score with a 5 in it because on my practice exams I kept scoring a 147. I saw that score and just cried right there at work. My score revealed to me however, that if I would have studied the RIGHT way, I could have scored even higher. That one month of studying did something to me though. It sparked my drive back up. I started my own business (y'all know this testimony as well so no need for more details on that lol), drove a little more (but still no license) and threw myself into work and my students. I still didn't prioritize my law school applications as I should have so nearly two months AFTER receiving my scores (do not try this at home or ever either) I sent in my 7 applications and waited.
2 denials, 2 waitlists, 2 STILL WAITING and 1 acceptance letter later, here I am. I graduated in May and didn't receive my first acceptance letter (with a scholarship btw) until the following May. BUT I KEPT CLAIMING AUGUST! I posted a photo on Instagram claiming August not knowing what the journey to get there would look like. It's soooo many details I skipped out on but here's a few:
- I learned from Dr. Jones that NOTHING WILL WORK UNLESS YOU DO! It's my new motto. I had gotten lazy and stuck in a comfortable space of doing nothing. I doubted myself and was scared to do what I've said I was gonna do since I was a young girl. Law school has ALWAYS been the goal but I just had to go through it to get to it.
- I learned and I'm STILL learning to humble myself. Because entitlement, being perfect Patty, and always being on top is very unhealthy and it's what I've had to shed over the past year and a half.
- Music that got me through this journey: "Necessary" by Dennis Reed and sung by Fantasia, "You're Bigger" by Jekalyn Carr, and lately it has been the album SHiNE by Wale.
- Even though Steve Harvey has been tripping lately, his book JUMP really gave me the push I needed to JUMP and start my business and go to law school.
"I am who I am today, because God used my mistakes. It was necessary." - Dennis Reed
I didn't keep my name on the waiting lists and I don't care if the other 2 schools will accept me or not because this past weekend absolutely confirmed that I made the right choice. I am so nervous about law school, SO NERVOUS, but I'm gonna do this for me, my family, and everyone who's in the same situation as me. I'm also doing this for the city of Houston and even my new home of NOLA, this great nation, and all of you because this law degree is going to help me change the world. And you know what, I'm going to do this and do it well honey because the journey has been worth it.
Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana, Tanisha Manning is on the way. 💚