You watched your friend push through law school, graduate, suffer through bar prep and take the bar exam! When the day that results were announced came around, you were anxiously waiting for your friend to deliver the good news. Instead, you learned some shattering news: your friend failed the bar exam. Failing the bar exam is a heart-breaking experience. Your friend has worked so hard and endured so much stress, anxiety, and sleepless nights. And now they are left trying to cope with failing the bar exam and figuring out where to go from here. You are a good friend and can’t just sit by watching them suffer. So what do you do? How can you comfort your friend in this difficult time? And what should you do if you passed but your friend didn’t? Here is some advice to help you navigate through this very difficult but sensitive time in your friend’s life.
You Passed and Your Friend Didn’t
You and your friend both took the bar exam, and you passed and they didn’t. First, congratulations to you on your accomplishment! The bar exam is a great feat and you survived it. While I am sure you want to celebrate and be happy for yourself, it is also a sensitive time for your friend. Unfortunately, this means your friend may feel sad or uncomfortable and not want to discuss the bar exam with you. While you may have the best intentions, you may end up hurting your friend if you try to offer advice when they are still trying to process what went wrong. Thus, the best thing you can do is to let your friend know that you are here for them but don’t try to overstep the boundaries that your friend sets.
Both You and Your Friend Didn’t Pass
I am sorry to hear that both of you followed numerous other great individuals and didn’t quite pass. It is never a great thing to feel like you were unsuccessful or missed the mark. However, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Many people fail the bar exam (even after a few tries) and will still be very successful. You also have each other. This is time for you to both support each other. You both know what the other is going through. This is a great time to encourage one another, and you can even go through this process together! Having a supportive relationship during this difficult time will help both of you get through it and through the next exam process.
You Aren’t in Law School but You Want To Support Your Friend
If you aren’t in law school or didn’t take the bar exam, your friend may be more willing to accept some comfort and support from you. Some people feel uncomfortable talking to their colleagues who passed the exam when they didn’t. Thus, try to be there for your friend and support them where needed. However, make sure you don’t try to put any pressure on them or say that you understand what they are going through. (Trust me, it is not what they want to hear). Instead, be there, listen and try to help where you can!
Be There For Your Friend
Ultimately, your friend will appreciate your presence and willingness to be there for them. Some feel that it is helpful to talk to others about failing. However, your friend may not be ready to talk about it immediately. Your friend is going through a tough time. They may be processing what happened or trying to figure out how they can do better next time. They are also grieving their loss so they may want the comfort of their loved ones. Let your friend know that you are there for them and willing to help them in any way they need. Also recognize that they may need space and to respect the boundaries that they set. Ultimately, it is good to check in with your friend, but it is important to know when they need some time alone.
Your Friend Will Be Able to Pass the Bar
I know that you may feel helpless right now because your friend is going through such a challenging time in their life. However, this too will pass (and so will your friend). The bar exam is the most important but most challenging test that an individual has to pass in order to become an attorney (among some other requirements). Many people are unable to pass their first time but absolutely crush it the next time! Some people are unlucky and get extremely difficult administrations of the exam, and it takes them a few times to successfully pass. In any case, your friend will get through this and is lucky to have you by their side! Keep on encouraging and supporting them and they will do great!