After several grueling months of preparing for the bar, you have finally crossed the finish line. You’ve finally gotten over what will perhaps be the most challenging 48 hours of your life and now you can finally reclaim your life again. But, despite this sweet reality that you could only dream about as you braved the toil of bar prep hell, why do you still feel like crap? I mean this should be a happy time right? You’re finally free! Literally, nothing can stop you from tapping back into the social lifestyle that you once dominated. However, instead of taking full advantage of this newfound freedom, all you want to do is curl up in bed and cry about the horror you just experienced.
I know there’s not much I can do to shake the feeling you’re experiencing right now. It’s tough to just move on from something that essentially took over the entirety of your life for a few months. It’s also especially tough to move on from this when you’re completely in the dark about your performance. You just sat for this exam a few days ago and now you will have to wait at least two months before getting your results. I wish I had a quick remedy to pass along on how you could solve this issue, but unfortunately, all you can do now is wait. The reality is that your exam is now locked in and there’s nothing you can do to change it at this point. So instead of panicking and working yourself into an anxiety attack, I suggest you distract yourself as much as possible. If you’re struggling to come up with ways to distract yourself, don’t worry! Here’s a list of 25 ways to distract yourself during this waiting period:
1. Breathe – Remember that thing you used to do to stay alive before the bar took over your life? I know you spent the past few months living off panic, fear, and adrenaline. Well, now you can push those unhealthy habits to the side and breathe again. Maybe try some deep breathing exercises, to keep your stress at bay.
2. Binge watch a few shows on Netflix – have you seen all the new Netflix originals?? If you’re a home body, feel no shame in spending a few days on your couch wallowing your sorrows in these amazing shows and a tub of ice cream of course.
3. Binge watch a few shows on Amazon Prime – do the above, but instead with Amazon prime shows. Yes, they have some options that aren’t on Netflix and yes they are thoroughly entertaining.
4. Binge watch a few shows on HBO – please see above, and it’s HBO, need I say more?
5. Have a drink or several drinks – Let your hair down and enjoy your favorite beer/wine or cocktail. You no longer need to feel guilty about spending a night on the town while enjoying a few drinks. Because come on, what else do you have to do tomorrow?
6. Reconnect with family – Remember those people who you share the same DNA with? Yeah, the ones you’ve avoided without guilt because let’s be real, you knew they’d forgive you. Give them a call.
7. Reconnect with friends – Remember those people who you’ve avoided, who may not be as understanding for your two months of flakiness? Go treat them to lunch and beg for their forgiveness. I would suggest probably hanging with a few non-law school friends for a while. Hanging with your law school friends right after the bar will only encourage you to self-sabotage and discuss the exam.
8. Reconnect with your significant other – Remember that person you’re madly in love with? Take them on a date.
9. Get lost in a good book.
10. Get lost in a new place – Take a trip! Now is the perfect time to go on a post-bar vacation. Maybe take a trip overseas or perhaps save some money and just visit family or take a cross country road trip with a few friends.
12. Find a new hobby – Now’s the perfect time to take up a cooking class. Heck, go all out! Maybe take up fencing.
13. Focus on your job hunt – If you’re not already employed, you can now re-focus all your energy on finding that post-grad job.
14. Do that thing that you never had enough time to do before. Remember that house project you’ve been putting off? Well now’s the time to get it done.
15. Join a dating app – Single? Get yourself out there on a few dates. This is a great distraction.
16. Pursue that guy/girl you pushed to the side during bar prep. If they’re still single that is.
17. Go shopping – What beats retail therapy?
18. Try therapy – Ok maybe real therapy beats retail therapy. Having someone to talk to in a non-judgmental zone could make all the difference.
19. Get a massage.
20. Go dancing!
21. Watch some live music.
22. Remind yourself how amazing you were before the bar and how much more amazing you are now that you survived it.
23. Remind yourself that you will be an attorney one day regardless of your fate on this exam.
24. Remind yourself that you survived law school and that now, by default, you can survive anything this world throws at you.
25. Live your life! Don’t allow the fear of failing to cripple you. Remember that you only have one life to live and it would be more beneficial to live it to the fullest than to obsess over something you have no control over.
Now you don’t have to give all of these things a try but please try and distract yourself by whatever means possible.
P.S. AVOID all online bar exam chatrooms! They will for sure discuss the actual exam, and they will only make you feel worse.