Pondering my first go-around with the Texas Bar exam, I thought these tidbits might be useful to others. Right now, you’re gearing up for what feels like your brain’s most intense battle. If you’ve never taken this exam, just know – it may be worse than you think. If you’ve taken it once before – you already have what it takes to make it through the week. Trust yourself and your abilities.
In prepping for the exam days, you should know that your support system wants you to win, but their encouragement may be too much for you to handle at 7am. Leave your phone – turned off – in your vehicle or at the hotel. Their messages will be much better received at the end of each day, rather than the beginning. Go into the exam with a clear head and heart. Trust me, you’ll need both of these things to fight your way through each day. I say this to you while desperately trying to heed my own advice.
You made it through law school and can handle this one exam. I’m not sure how many times I’ve said this to myself over the past few months. Everything felt harder this time around, from gearing up to study, making it through the practice problems, and getting to sleep. The stressors that accompany this exam manifest themselves in physical form and that’s a heavier burden than I expected.
A wonderful friend of mine sent me this message and it’s spot on:
Remember this is just a test. You’ve taken 1000 tests before. And you have got this. Just see each part of the exam as a separate test instead of one big one. You have my support and you will be an attorney. But also this test does not define who you are. You have people around you who love and care about you regardless of what this next week brings.
So, be kind to yourself and remind your inner awesomeness that you can handle this rodeo.
The worst thing that can happen is you fail. That’s it though. You study again and come back for the exam a second (or third) time. But, the worst thing is that you don’t pass. In the grand scheme of it all – failure is just an opportunity to do better next time. It’s not as big of a catastrophe as you think (or, as you thought it would be when you were a fresh law grad, saying this wouldn’t happen to you the first time you took it). If you fail, you will still be ok. You will get through it. It’ll suck, but you’ll be alright.
Yes, you’re exhausted. Hell, you’ve seen better days – of this I’m sure. You haven’t worn makeup in weeks, your wardrobe has pretty much existed of yoga pants and oversized sweatshirts. None of this matters. Just keep pushing yourself through these next few days.
You can deep sleep when it’s over.
For what it’s worth, just remember that you’re phenomenal. You’ve studied. You’ve got this. You’re a bad boss babe and you know. your. shit.
Good luck on the Bar exam!