How to Handle Bar Prep Stress

“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. 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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“We’re all in this together”?

What do you think of this…

  • “We’re all in this together”
  • “You’re not alone”
  • “With everyone gathered together, we finally stand a chance against the final boss”

All very good? I guess?

Feeling like you’re part of a crusade against “them” can be uplifting and inspiriting.

I don’t say these things out loud, but I’m basically guilty of it. Trying to make the prepping process more palatable for you. Feeling like I did something helpful when you tell me things like “I needed this today.”

But I have mixed feelings about letting comforting words wash over you like a warm shower TOO much. The bar exam is considered difficult for a reason.

And you know me… I live in practical reality. The more you make the exam a priority (see MTYLT rule #3), the more I’m willing to help. I don’t JUST want to tell you what you WANT to hear.

Here’s what you NEED to hear instead:

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How to Focus on Bar Studies While Stuck at Home in Quarantine

It’s hard enough to focus when there isn’t a cloud of coronavirus covering the planet. Or all the hubbub about what the exam will be like. Or wondering when it’s even going to be.

The stress of adjusting to “the new reality.” Dealing with uncertainty about the bar exam. Running out of yeast for your new bread machine.

You’re at the brink of feeling burned out before the exam is even happening.

First of all, if we’re quarantining, we should be thankful to have a place to stay and a refuge from everything going on outside (even if we’re forced to coexist with our housemates).

But it may be frustrating to not have a quiet place to focus if your go-to study place is suddenly gone. We’re stuck at home. Libraries are closed. Daycares are closed. Coffee shops don’t let you linger around.

Being productive in your bar preparation has become more challenging than it’s ever been.

How do you get into that flow if where you live is the only place left to study?

The two biggest killers of focus and concentration are external distractions and your energy.

Address each by designing your environment and optimizing your sleep as follows:

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