Posts Tagged bar exam

If You Feel Bad about the Bar Exam, You are Not Alone

I think the bar exam is over for everyone (my condolences if you still have another day to go)! Now we’re just left to wait.

At this point in our careers, we should have become expert “waiters.” We took the LSAT, and then waited for our scores. We sent out all of our law school applications, and then waited for acceptances. We went through the stress of 1L year, and then waited for our grades. We spent a week busting tail for the write-on competition, and then waited for journal acceptances. As aspiring lawyers, we have to do a lot of waiting. And once again, we will wait and hope that our hard work will pay off. And for some people it will and for some people it won’t, but either way we will all be okay. I promise; we will.

But if it makes you feel any better, you should know that if you feel nervous or bad about how the bar exam went, you are not alone! I have actual scientific proof. WordPress allows you to see what search terms have brought people to your site and I have included some of those searches below:

  • how to feel after the bar exam
  • anxiety bar exam
  • feeling bad after second day of bar exam
  • “stupid people” pass the bar
  • “bar exam” what if power outage
  • the bar exam will be okay
  • breakdown of friendship while studying for the bar exam
  • bar exam suicidal feeling (this one makes me sad, I hope the searcher is okay)
  • feel terrible after bar exam
  • bar exam study no shower sleep stress
  • people who don’t pass bar exam stupid
  • are you stupid if fail bar exam?
  • feel like shit after bar exam
  • things to say bar exam
  • mbe bar exam afternoon
  • today’s mbe exam
  • how should i feel after bar exam
  • how i felt after the bar exam
  • i feel sick after bar exam what does that mean
  • feel bad after bar exam
  • things to say when people finish the bar exam
  • do you feel like shit after the bar exam?
  • bad feeling after bar exam
  • feel after bar exam
  • july 2012 bar exam mbe was so hard

So see, you are not alone. A lot of people feel bad about the bar exam. But it will be okay!!

Congratulations on finishing the exam! I know it is easier said than done (says the girl who was crying yesterday!!), but try not to let the anxiety you are feeling now overshadow this accomplishment.

Now get back to googling pictures of cats!!

Fact:  Googling MBE questions will make you feel bad. Googling pictures of cute cats will make you feel happy.


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How to Cause 6,000+ Nervous Breakdowns in Two Simple Steps:

1.Start an online bar prep program.

2. Stop working one week away from the bar exam (few minutes = all day):

3. Success.

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This (starting at :47) is how I feel when I take a practice test


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There is Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself…And Horses

Most of the time, when I am feeling negative emotions, I try to make jokes. I don’t know if those jokes are funny or not, but they tend to be a good coping mechanism for me. I think sometimes this maybe makes me seem somewhat callous or shallow. For example, when my father attempted suicide, the only friend I could stand talking to was the one who would let me joke about it. It was just easier. It’s hard in those situations. Nobody ever knows what to say and many times good intentions make things worse. There’s never a “right thing” to do or say.

And maybe I am shallow in a way. I don’t mean shallow in that all I care about is shoes and money (although I do like both of those things very much!), but in that I’m not great at dealing with emotions. I am not deep. I am not good at analyzing my feelings and what they might mean on a deeper level. It’s not that I haven’t “gone there” before; it’s just that I never really feel much different when I only know the “what” that I’m feeling versus also knowing the “why.” And honestly, sometimes knowing the “why” just makes me feel worse. I don’t know if this attitude is healthy, but I imagine that like most of the things I do, it probably isn’t.

And so today, I started doing what I always do. My appointment with the MS specialist is tomorrow and I am very nervous, but instead of confronting that fear, I did what I always do and started making jokes. “I’m sure the lesions are just from studying too hard,” I joked to my mother over the phone. She responded with silence and then said:

“Aren’t you scared?”

Of course I am scared, but I couldn’t tell her that. I don’t know why. I don’t’ know why I couldn’t admit it because the truth is that I am scared about a lot of things right now. I am scared that I am going to go to that appointment tomorrow and the doctor is going to confirm that I have multiple sclerosis. He is going to encourage me to take drugs that are very expensive and that will put me right back where I started financially: down a 10 foot hole with no shovel to dig myself out. I am afraid I am going to lose everything. I am afraid that my boyfriend will decide it is too much. I am scared that I will slowly lose the ability to do the things I enjoy. I am scared that this news is going to be bad and it is going to mean a lot of bad things. I am scared that on top of this, I am not going to pass the bar. I am scared that I will prove people right in that I didn’t belong here; that this was all “just very silly.” I am scared that I am never going to find a job. And I am scared that my best option may be to start working at Starbucks because at least they have health insurance and I am scared that I won’t even be good at that because I don’t drink coffee. I am scared that I am going to lose everything five feet before the finish line.

And people say you aren’t supposed to freak yourself out about these things until you know for sure, but I think those people only say that because they are scared, too. So the truth is I am scared. Life is scary and the harder you try and the more you invest in yourself and others, the more you stand to lose. And that is scary.

And because I simply cannot leave this post on such a negative note, I have included a list of other things that scare me:

1. Horses because I had a kindergarten teacher who only had eight fingers after a horse took the other two (something she probably should not have shared with her class);

2. Dying by guillotine because of this stupid movie I watched when I was eight years old that has haunted me ever since.

3. Centipedes. They are so gross and if one ever crawled on me, I’d probably die (and it’d likely be by guillotine).

4. Backseat attackers. I am so afraid of getting attacked by a man who has crawled into the backseat of my car that I have to check it every time I get in the car.  It’s so silly, but one time I was driving alone on a long road trip and I forgot to check and I remembered about ten minutes after I got back on the freeway after I started seeing weird shadows and I got so scared I had to pull over to the next gas station just to double check that I was alone.

5. Eating spoiled food. I just can’t eat food that has expired even if it looks and smells fine and everybody else is eating it. I just can’t do it; I’m too afraid.

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5 Things to Say to Your Friends Who Are Studying for the Bar

Since my last post mentioned things you should not say to your friends who are studying for the bar, I thought I would follow-up with five things that would be very nice to say to a  friend the next time he or she mentions being stressed about the upcoming bar exam:

1. You are the smartest person I know. If you don’t pass, it will because the bar examiner is jealous of you.

2. You look really thin.* Are you eating enough?

3. I am going to bring you some ice-cream. I will be over in 15 minutes and I will give it to you on the porch/front door so you don’t have to worry about cleaning your place.

4. Stress acne? What are you talking about? That little thing on your face. I didn’t even notice it.

5. I know this is hard and if you don’t pass the first time, I know you will be disappointed and maybe even embarrassed, but it will be okay.  I will be there for you either way and I will never judge you. If this were easy, everybody would do it. Keep pushing. It will be worth it. And go eat a cupcake, you look so thin!

*If you are talking to a friend who does not want to be considered “thin,” replace it with the adjective that they would like to be. This isn’t a time for truthfulness, it’s a time for puffery and motherly-like confidence boosting. You can make them go running/work out with you when it’s over if you feel bad. 

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Studying for the Bar is NOT like Running a Marathon

I just read a great post over at Belly up to the Bar that lists ten things you should never say to someone who is studying for the bar exam. You can read the whole post here, but some of my favorites included:

  • “So and so is so stupid and he passed the bar.”
  • It’s just multiple choice, right?  When in doubt, just pick ‘D.’ All of the above. You’ll be fine.”
  •  “I just rolled into the SAT cold and got a 1020. Don’t sweat it.”

I hate those comments because they completely trivialize how awful this is and add an entire new level of stress by making you feel like your friends are going to think you are even more stupid than just stupid if you can’t pass the bar when even “stupid” people can do it. That was a whole lot of stupid in one sentence!

I wanted to add one more comment that has been driving me nuts. I’ve been really stressed about the fact that I am having a hard time learning all of this material at the pace the bar prep program suggests. I feel really behind not because I am wasting too much time (although perhaps I should not be procrastinating with a blog), but because I simply cannot learn the entire subject of criminal procedure (which I never even took in law school) in one day. I’m just not that smart, okay. So I guess I take back what I said above and if I do pass the bar on the first time, you can tell your friends that “Smiling Sparkler is stupid and she passed the bar.”

Whenever I express this stress, one of the most frequent responses I get is “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” I am a little biased here, but that is absolutely untrue. I have run six marathons now, so I have have scientific evidence to dispute this statement, which I have listed below.

Running marathons makes people happy. Studying for the bar does not.

1. I never cried when training for a marathon. Not once. I’ve cried at least three times while studying for the bar, two of which were entire sob sessions spent in a lavender bubble bath listening to Adele.

2. When you train for a marathon, you gradually increase your distance, but you always run at a comfortable pace. It is a complete lie to say the “bar exam is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” It’s the opposite. IT’S A MARATHON THAT YOU HAVE TO SPRINT!

3. Marathons are healthy. Studying for the bar has probably taken six months off of my life.

4. Marathons are very social (Don’t believe me? Google marathon running groups). Studying for the bar is one of the most anti-social things I’ve ever done. Sometimes I can’t remember the last time that I showered because all I do is wake up, go to my office, and watch these stupid videos. I can’t even be around my law school friends right now because their stress is contagious and sends me right back to number 1 on the list.

5. Marathons are fun. They are full of positive energy that is contagious to even the people standing on the sidelines. You feel good about yourself once you’ve finished regardless of whether you were first or last. You can’t fail a marathon. The bar exam is none of those things.

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Ways to Increase the Suckiness Level of Studying for the Bar

As we near the end of the bar exam studying, you may be wondering if there is any possible way that this could be worse. It may seem impossible, but for you unimaginative masochists out there, have no fear, I have a proven method for increasing the suckiness level that I’m willing to share: Move to a state that the President has declared to be in a state of emergency because over half of its citizens have no power. Now you may say that moving is too hard, and if that is the case, here are some ideas on how you can recreate this feeling in your own home.

1. Make sure the temperature in your house is always somewhere between 98 and 105 degrees. Really crank up the dial on you thermometer.

2. Turn off all power, but make sure you find a way to keep your house really hot if you don’t live in an area that naturally recreates the feeling of boiling chicken in a stove.  Make sure you do this BEFORE you have gathered your flashlights and candles.

3. Stumble around in dark to find flashlights and candles

4. Go to store to buy lighter, batteries, and ice. Make a sad face when there is no ice.

5. Go to another store to buy ice to try to save your food. Wonder how everyone knew to immediately get ice before finding flashlights. Make a note of this and try to be more responsible in the future.

6. Wish you had a generator. Google it on your phone. Realize you don’t have that much money nor know how to set it up.

7. Decide to eat all of the cheese in the refrigerator because it was expensive, god damn it, and you don’t have a very good job right now.

8. Start reading outlines with a flashlight

9. Sweat through clothes

10. Decide to study in underwear because it is 105 degrees

11. Immediately feel bad about eating all the cheese. Make a note to work out more after the bar exam

12. Check facebook on phone and discover the law school has power. Feel briefly annoyed by people who have power and are using this power to post on facebook about how Americans are spoiled and we should stop complaining about not having power.

13. Go to law school to study and hope that nervous breakdowns are not contagious.

14. Consider sleeping in library, decide that is creepy, and go home.

15. Study the outline a little more with a flashlight. Consider sleeping in basement. Go down there. Feel reminded of the fact that you think the last tenant was a murderer who tortured women in the basement with all of the weird tools he left behind as well as the really odd number of mirrors down there. Contemplate ghosts. See a spider and go back upstairs.

16. Pace around a little bit. Complain to your dogs. Fall asleep.

17. Repeat.

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