Yes, I FAILED the BAR.
I studied the night before. I was so worried about the essay topics that I couldn’t put the book down. I was studying in bed. I don’t know what last minute studying really gets you.
I think stress really was the problem. I didn’t manage it at all, I just kept going and going, thinking that if I took a moment to rest or relax, I would be guilty of being lazy and that de-stressing was going to cause me to fail the bar. I would have nightmares almost every night about the exam. I had the type of nightmares that caused me to wake up in tears or with what I call, “the terrors,” out of breath and like a deer in headlights. People say that guns are a stress reliever. Being from the Big City, I don’t know the first thing about guns. But I do have some friends here who are really knowledgable. I think I’ll ask for a gun lesson sometime between now and the test.
I definitely didn’t do anything to “unplug” each day after studying, unless going to sleep counts, which I really think it doesn’t count for that. Last time, I was living in a small apartment with one other person who was also studying for the exam. That meant that every minute of every day had something to do with the exam. My study partner’s approach was an “all in” approach – every waking minute of each day. He lived it and breathed it. He quizzed me while I was in the car on the way to the library or even when I was cooking dinner.
I want to try this “just-another-day-at-the office” attitude. Also, this time around, I want to do at least one thing a day that is totally non-exam related with non-exam related people. Today I am getting a facial. Yesterday, I did a 6-mile workout with two older ladies that haven’t the first clue about what the bar exam is like. It was kind of refreshing to have conversations about other things like travel, sports, and childbirth.
I need to develop a sort of “Fight Club” mentality with regard to the test – Rule #1: Don’t talk about the test. Even in law school, I always hated re-hashing the contents of a final exam. It’s like beating a dead horse. I’d always tell my friends to stop talking, or I’d think of some excuse and walk away just to avoid feeling bad if they mention an argument that I’d left out in an essay.
This morning, I created a study schedule for myself for the next month. When that month is up, I will re-assess and create a study schedule for the remainder of the time before the test. I have definitely decided that Barbri’s study schedule is not for me. Their schedule is all over the place, and I want to take my studying one subject per day and not 3 or 4 subjects per day, and certainly not multiple choice and essay in the same day. The real bar doesn’t have two exam formats in one day, why does Barbri?
I guess it’s true that when you’re out there in the legal world after you get your license, no one asks you how many times you took the bar before you passed. It’s just something no one really talks about. Or at least I hope no one talks about it.