I want to wish everyone who is waiting for results from the July 2022 California Bar Exam, the very best of luck!
The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers topped the charts with a song called “The Waiting” It certainly is not about the bar exam. But, this song always seemed to resonate with me. The repeating lyric is “the waiting is the hardest part” – I know for me, the waiting for bar results, was definitely the hardest part.
Like anyone who is serious about passing the bar exam, I studied very hard. And while, I knew that I was as prepared as I could be, it did not assuage the anxiety or the nightmares I had about failing. After all, I knew students who were a year ahead of me who failed, despite being at the top of their class and super smart.
The thing is, the bar exam is not an IQ test. It is just a test. That might sound like an oversimplification. But, it is true. It passable and it is doable. I am not saying it is a walk in the park. It is actually, much more like a marathon.
So, how does any of this help those of you who are now awaiting bar results? Well, I think that knowing everyone waiting for bar results experiences anxiety, sometimes fear and sometimes second guessing themselves – being reminded that it is normal to feel this way, can be helpful.
I would say – try not to think about it – but as a former bar taker (fortunate enough to pass on the first time) I know firsthand it is completely unrealistic to just put it out of your mind and replace it with images of puppies (I love dogs) and rainbows.
That being said I do know of some things/habits that can ease some of the anxiety most are feeling right now.
- EXERCISE! If you are not in the habit of getting regular exercise, then create a habit of walking everyday or try yoga. And don’t use the excuse of not having the time. Just 20 minutes of walking outdoors everyday is helpful for most. It can improve your mood and help ease some anxiety. If you already have an exercise routine, then stick to it and think about ways you might be able to step it up a little bit. Of course, make sure whatever you are doing exercise wise, is approved by your healthcare provider.
- Be extra kind to yourself. Get back into some of the fun things you had to postpone, or stop doing, because of bar prep. Consider trying something new. I am not suggesting anything crazy but, just something different. New experiences can expand your mind and provide some joy. Actively look for activities that provide joy, laughter and all those positive vibes we all want to feel. For you, it might be listening to music, or seeing a concert, or going to a museum, or playing a new video game, or cooking something you have never made, or watching a movie. Every Friday evening during bar prep I went to see a movie. For me, it was the only thing that took my mind off of bar studies and provided me with a much needed mental break.
- Focus on your health and take good care of yourself.
- Socialize in-person. Make time for people who are important to you. Meet a friend for coffee, being social, face-to-face, is positive. Now that Covid is less of a concern, I think we can all.benefit from in-person socialising.
That is it for now. I wish you all the very best of luck on bar results day! And for those of you who are taking the bar exam in February or July, consider taking our Bar Exam Blue Print Course. To learn more and to sign up, click here.
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