Embrace the Suck: How to Handle Bar Prep Stress

Are you grinding away at bar prep until it shreds your brain and fatigues you for the rest of the day?

Repeat daily until the bar exam comes and washes you away from the shores of despondency? Illusion of freedom replaced by listlessness even though you think it’s finally over?

Oops, spoiler alert. You’re not quite there yet. Until then, you’re stuck with preparing for the bar and stuck with me.

“Why do things have to be so hard?” Maybe right now you’re feeling like the future is uncertain and you’re stressed and you’re screaming on the inside and blah blah blah.

Rule 1: Bar prep sucks.

Rule 2: You’ll have to deal with even worse things if you pass the bar.

Picky clients, taking on legal responsibility for everything, unlimited vacation days that never actually happen because of billables that everyone hates, etc. I’m about to faint just thinking about this.

Tired of learning? You’re going to become a professional learner and problem solver, so get used to it now. The bar exam doesn’t test a lot of relevant skills, but it does test your ability to learn and work with different things.

Wow! Thank you for pointing out our harsh reality. Give me back my dreams and excitement right now.

But I’m not saying this to paint a grim future. You could be “stuck,” but you don’t have to feel stuck.

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6 Ways to Reclaim Your Time & Energy While Studying for the Bar Exam (Even If You’re Working Full Time)

My mom called me while I was working on this. Breaking focus is one of my pet peeves. I regret thinking this way because I feel like I was taking her for granted.

She said she’s been worried about all the work I’m doing. There’s my “real” job and also the “website” as she calls it. She said I looked tired when I was home over the holidays. She said maybe I should put a hold on the website.

After 10 seconds of silence, I asked her… “Why?”

I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t offended at all by her suggestion. In my head, I was thinking I can handle it. I will handle it.

Her reason: So that my “real” job isn’t as hard on me. So that I have more TIME.

She has a point. It is a lot of work for a bunch of strangers. She wants to protect me. She doesn’t want to protect you. But they’re strangers who want my help. I feel like I’m making more of an impact at home than in the office.

I told her not to worry, that I’ll feel burdened by her worries. My girlfriend said that that’s the worst thing I could have told my mom because it will make her feel guilty. Oops! She supports me and my mission even though I spend way more time on MTYLT than her. Now she’s even coaching me on how moms think.

Protection vs. support. Pull away vs. push toward. Can you guess which one I prefer?

Call your mom if you want cookies and rainbows. But I will give you support because I want results for you, as long as you’re serious about it. If you’re not, I still will, because I like to give the benefit of the doubt. I can’t tell until later in hindsight anyway. They say INFJs are martyrs. Sounds pretty cool.

Continue reading “6 Ways to Reclaim Your Time & Energy While Studying for the Bar Exam (Even If You’re Working Full Time)”