All things eventually come to an end
Many people have said it before me, but the fact that all things (good or bad) eventually come to an end is coming to the forefront for me today.
On a slightly less serious note, the Tour De France is coming to an end today. The riders are having fun, joking, playing games and overall just enjoying the ride towards the finish on the Champs-Elysees. I visited Paris last winter and though I never really thought about it when I was there, the Champs is an amazing place to end a race; not so much for the street itself, but rather for the fact that it is in Paris and the city must simply be electric as they await the approaching riders.
The other thing that is coming to an end for me today is my studying for the bar. The bar starts on Tuesday and, as of now, I plan on taking tomorrow off and just relaxing. Quite frankly, if I haven’t learned it by now an extra day of studying probably isn’t going to cement it into my brain. I simply need to make sure I’m on form with the stuff I do know and, most importantly, not fall victim to the biggest reason people fail the bar: stress.
In my opinion, the biggest contributing factors to a person failing the bar are procrastination and stress. Oddly enough, these two often go hand in hand together. Stress and anxiety, in combination, are one of primary reasons a person procrastinates and the longer one procrastinates, the more stress builds up as a result. It’s a wicked cycle.
I really wouldn’t be surprised if one were to tell me that the people who failed the bar generally fell into two categories: those who procrastinated and, thus, didn’t study enough and those who stressed out the entire time and studied more than anyone they know. The former of these is easy to see why it would be a problem. The latter, however, isn’t quite as intuitive.
I have a friend who has been freaking out about the bar for the last two months and, in particular, for the last month or so. She’s been so stressed out that she’s convinced herself that she doesn’t even have enough time to go out to dinner–she has to study. I know that this is just silly and I’ve tried using logical arguments with her, but these all fall on deaf ears. She’s convinced herself that she is somehow inferior and “just not getting it” so she has to study more and harder in order to compensate for her inferiority.
It’s sad, I feel bad for saying this and I hope I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she failed. Studying when you’re as stressed out as she is doesn’t do anyone any good. There’s a reason she’s “just not getting it”: It’s because when the mind is stressed out it is very difficult to focus and concentrate on something. As counterintuitive as this sounds, she probably would have been better off by studying two hours less a day: spending one hour exercising outside and the other just giving herself a mental break.
On Tuesday morning there will be a number of people that will be little balls of stress. A little bit of stress is natural; the key is to not let yourself get completely freaked out before you even walk in the door. Think about it: what’s going to happen if you’re already a little stress ball before you walk in and then you open up that first essay packet and see an issue you don’t completely understand? You’re probably going to have a conniption fit right then and there in the middle of the bar exam. It’s these types of meltdowns that cause people to fail…not the failure to study every hour of every day for the two months leading up to the exam.
Well, I guess I should embark on my last day of studying now. 37.8 miles to go in the TDF and just over 48 hours until I start the bar exam. I only hope that everyone I know passes the bar (including myself), however, I know that this hope isn’t on my side, statistically speaking. With 1 out of every 4 first-time test takers failing the test in California, I’d say that the odds are that I will know at least one person who fails…I just hope I’m wrong about who that one will be.