I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bar Time!

One of my friends from high school is getting ready to take the bar, and she's understandably nervous.

I was nervous as well - if you look back in my blog archives from July, 2005, I'm basically a wreck. (I also noticed that my writing style has changed; for the better, I would hope.)

Anyhoo - in the event that anyone is about to take the Bar, here are my sage words of advice to my friend; I think they bear repeating, because in hindsight, the experience, while awful, was really valuable.

You know what the worst is? After you've taken it, and passed, and practiced, you start thinking, "Geez... if it weren't so goddamn expensive, and if I didn't have to take the MBE again, and could just take the State portion, I'd totally take more bars." The MBE is the worst. The state portion is a breeze. Especially if you're typing your essays. And I took one of the harder bars.)

I actually miss studying for the bar. I miss where you are right now. Enjoy it. It's sort of an oddly special time in your life, when you get to be dirty, and cranky and subsist on granola bars and frantic calls to your mother. And smoke, and whine and remember what the Rule in Shelley's Case is, and try to figure out metes and bounds questions, and whether something is inadmissible hearsay or not.

Everyone who's been there knows where you are right now. : ) And someday you'll be one of us, looking back, and realizing that the decision to take (and pass) the bar was the worst decision you ever made, and has ruined your life. ; )

And also, N@@@@@@@ - whatever happens, you. are. not. going. to. lose. your. job. : )

You're going to walk in there, knowing that you've done everything you could have done to prepare (and I know you have, even if you're thinking "Ugh! But I went out to eat that one time, and I could have been doing questions!" [No, you couldn't. You needed to go out to eat.]) and you're going to take the bar. The mind-fuck that's the period leading up to it is the worst. But you're about to enter the phase where you're so burnt out you really don't care anymore and you want to get it overwith.

The evening before - the DAY before, don't study. Get settled into whereever you're staying to take it (I had to drive to Tampa, from Miami) and just... relax... to the extent you can.

Then, the morning of, wake up, have your coffee and something proteiney to eat, bring your bag of pencils and put some Hershey's Kisses in the bag, and tell them you're diabetic if they give you a hard time. Have earplugs. You're going to see the huge room it's in, have a mini-freakout, and then realize that these are all other people who have dyslexia and who haven't studied, because they have day jobs, or partied too much, etc. There may be a huge clock above you, counting down, it's your friend, not your enemy. It's telling you how much time you still have, not the time that's gone by. Breathe, and focus on the test. Eliminate the "always" and "never" answers, and when you're between the last two or three... go with your gut, and don't change your answers after you decide on one.

Make sure you're bubbling in the MBE numbers that correspond to the question. ; )

Don't talk to other people during lunch about the test; it'll freak you out. Avoid those people from law school who stress you out. Embrace those in whom you find solace and comfort. You'll see lots of familiar faces - associate with the good ones, and wish the bad ones good luck, to align your Karma. Make sure you poop before you leave in the morning. Bring a sweater, just in case.

Be nice to yourself, and don't let everyone else's anxiety pull you into the collective panic. That's their problem, don't feed into it. Give lots of hugs, and ask for them if you need them.

People from your past are pulling for you; and if that gawky little Freshman that was me can pull it out, that unflappable girl in the overalls can, too.

When it's done, get drunk.

You're ready.


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