Law School

Summer Series: Attitude Check–Getting Excited for the Bar Exam

Our Summer Series begins again! This series highlights different Latina students and law grads as they embark in their summer jobs and/or bar prep all across the country. We hope to provide a variety of work experiences, options for a healthy work-life balance, and general motivation through different guest contributors to help you to take charge of your summer and professional goals!  Today we hear from Tiffany, a Santa Clara law grad who took the Bar in February and is filled with great advice to get you started on your summer bar prep journey!

 

It might seem impossible to get excited for summer bar prep, but mindset is a huge part of what will carry you through studying for the bar this summer. There are lots of ways to prepare and ready yourself for bar preparation; from meal planning, to exercising, and scheduling study time. However, one area that doesn’t seem to get as much attention is mindfulness and attitude. It’s going to be a lot of studying, missing out on sunshine and summer activities, time away from family and friends, all while stressing about this huge exam that will determine whether or not you are “minimally competent” to practice. So it’s understandable if you’re not feeling all that enthusiastic.

But here are a few suggestions to help you focus your awareness on the present task and stay positive all summer while you work hard. You might not be excited yet, but you can still be happy, optimistic, and confident in your own success.

Remember Where You’ve Been To Get Where You’re Going

This might sound like a terrible misquote from a graduation speech you recently heard, but take a moment to think about your past successes. These past stories of perseverance are proof that this is just one more challenge you will meet. You had to finish years of schooling, dedicate yourself to studying, and now commit yourself to this exam; so know that you will be able to triumph again. Everything you can do to help yourself stay positive and on your game is going to be helpful in mentally preparing yourself to kick this exam’s butt!

Dealing with Stress

There may be a few sleepless night during bar prep or anxiety over your practice scores. This is normal and expected of someone so dedicated to passing this exam. Know that your feelings of stress and sometimes even despair are valid. But you’re not alone. One piece of advice to remember is “Run your own race.” You are on the path to passing the bar. It’s your path, not anyone else’s. So when you’re feeling stressed because you have to turn down an invite to a family event or you feel like you aren’t doing as many practice MBE’s as your classmate; remember you are on YOUR path to passing. Your path is not dictated by others, but by what you put into it. Your choice to stay positive and continue working hard is commendable and it will pay off.

Gratefulness

One way to stay positive during bar prep is to practice gratitude. You likely just graduated and celebrated with all the people in your life who want to encourage you and see you thrive. Not everyone has had the opportunity to go to law school or to challenge themselves the way you will be challenging yourself this summer. Remind yourself that this is an incredible privilege and opportunity. Feeling sorry for yourself or upset that you HAVE to study will only keep you from owning this task. So practice being thankful not only for the chance to show the examiners what you’re made of, but for little things in your life too. You can be grateful for a shady spot outside to read outlines, for a friend who walks with you to grab a coffee on break, or something as simple as erasable gel pens (seriously they are amazing).

Confidence

Know that you can do this. KNOW IT. YOU CAN. YOU WILL. You can and WILL pass the bar.  You have worked so hard to get yourself through law school and that is no small feat. Remember to tell yourself that you will pass the bar, and try to push those doubtful or fearful thoughts out with thoughts of everything you have accomplished thus far. There is likely already so much evidence in your life that you are capable, committed, and determined. Focus on the fact that when things have been difficult you have persevered. Remind yourself that you can and you will.

No Need to Wish You Good Luck, YOU GOT THIS!

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