You finished law school and now it’s time to prepare for the bar exam. Sounds simple, right? The bar exam is one of the most important things that you will do in your legal career. Afterall, in most states, you can’t be a lawyer without it! As such, there is a lot of stress, anxiety, and discomfort during the time leading to this monumental event. You may feel like you are wasting part of your life by being solely concerned about bar prep. Unfortunately, your life does not stop when you are studying for the bar. You still have social expectations, events, and relationships with other people to tend to. And yes, that includes romantic relationships as well! So how are you supposed to manage studying for the bar and being a good romantic partner? How are you supposed to juggle your love life and one of the most difficult parts of your career? Fortunately for you, I successfully managed to pass the bar exam and keep my relationship intact. Here are some tips to help you and your partner get through bar prep unscathed!
The Bar Exam is No Joke
The bar exam is no laughing matter. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. It is the threshold you have to cross in order to become a lawyer. And unfortunately, it has caused many good relationships to end or become fractured. However, before you start panicking, I don’t mean that your relationship is doomed to end. Many people have made it through the bar exam with their love life as happy as can be. I merely wanted to address the seriousness of the issue. Bar prep was one of the worst periods of my life. I was so stressed and worried that I was going to fail the bar exam. I felt like if I stopped studying to make dinner or just watch a movie with my partner that I would put my future in jeopardy. Looking back on it, I realize that wasn’t the case, however, those emotions were very real in the moment. Fortunately, I have an understanding and kind partner who supports me through the rough times. Afterall, our relationship survived all of law school and bar prep and even strengthened as we got engaged in my 3L year and got married after I passed the bar. While my bar exam love story was a happy one, I saw a lot of my friends go through rough patches in their relationships and even divorces in some cases. So please take this advice seriously. It is my hope that you can live happily ever after!
Communication is Key
Communication is the foundation of every relationship. This is especially true when you are preparing for one of the most important exams of your life. It is very easy for you to be so overwhelmed with studying and the fear of failure that you put blinders on and lose focus on anything else. Talk with your partner and make sure they know how you feel and what you need from them during the bar prep period. This is a time that you will need a lot of love and support from your significant other. It is okay to rely on them or set boundaries based on what will be best for you. They will understand and try their best to be there for you.
In addition to being communicative, you also need to have patience and understanding with one another. Bar prep is a very stressful time, and it is very easy for one to get overwhelmed about a simple issue or break down over virtually nothing. Love takes compromise and sympathy, especially when going through a difficult period. Take a step back and breathe. Also, allow your significant other to have time to themself. This will give them a chance to recharge their batteries while also giving you space to do what you need to do.
Game Day Decisions
One important decision you will need to make is whether or not your partner is going to be physically present when you take your exam. I don’t mean whether they are going to be right next to you while you sit for the exam. Instead, I mean whether they are going to be at the hotel or are going to take you to the testing facility. Personally, my husband took time off of work to come with me to my hotel and be my support person throughout the duration of the exam. He chauffeured me, made sure I was fed, and calmed my nerves down so I felt ready to take down the exam. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, and it really helped me get through such a challenging time. So talk it over with your partner about what you think will be the best for you on game day!
You Will Survive!
The bar prep period is a rollercoaster of emotions. It causes strains in your mental well-being and relationships with other people. It is very easy to get yourself stressed out and overwhelmed during bar prep and take things out on your loved ones. It is a challenging time but you will be able to get through this and you will survive bar prep. It is my hope that if you follow my advice, you will leave bar prep behind with a happy love life. In any case, best of luck on the bar exam and good luck studying!