A breakup can hit you hard. This can be true regardless of whether the breakup was your decision, mutual or if it blindsided you. Not to mention, it is pretty inconvenient for the studious bar taker. Consider the bright side of this major adjustment in your life when it comes to studying for the bar exam.
The Bright Side
Having the support of loved ones during the bar exam is so important. However, if you considered your ex to be someone you counted on for support, it can feel like a loss when the relationship comes to an end. If this is the case, you can still regain that support with your friends, family, and others. Stick to the people who are supportive, nourishing and healing for you during the stressful bar and break up experience.
In some cases, your ex may have been a distraction to your studies, causing drama or distress during this critical time. Now that that situation is over, think of the ways you have gained back your peace and focus to accomplish your dreams by letting something go that doesn’t serve your needs very well.
How do you move forward when you have so much to do for the bar exam? The following are some things you can try to move forward from a bar exam breakup so that you can get back to the goal in front of you—becoming a licensed attorney!
While the bar waits for no one, ignoring your emotions will eventually catch up with you. Give yourself permission to feel and process your emotions. It may seem pointless, and your mantra may just be to “push through.” Consider that breakups are thought to be one of the most stressful events, and there are available tools and resources to deal with the stress. For example, a simple tool to express emotions is to write out your feelings. Resources such as messaging with a therapist is a quick and easy way to get help when you need it and can work well with your study schedule.
Move Forward Daily
Do something each day to get you closer to the big bar exam goal. Sometimes that means doing any action that signals to yourself that you are carrying on with your life. A shower, your laundry, calling a friend, heading to the gym– take it one step at a time, and then one day at a time. No action is too insignificant. Just focus on moving forward. This concept is discussed in this documentary as a tool for your mental health when you feel stuck. Take a Netflix break to watch it, and pick up some great advice from a mental health professional!
Remember Why You Started
Remember why you started and what you stand for. During bar studies and in the course of the relationship, you may have forgotten some critical things along the way. Specifically, have you lost sight of the ambitious person you are and why you first embarked on your legal journey? A lot has happened since 1L to the bar, including time spent in a relationship and growth you’ve experienced. The end of a relationship may cause you to question a lot of things. Look back at your journey. Remember why you are doing what you are doing. Look at old photos, your personal statement, excited posts, and emails. Get your eyes back on the prize—becoming the licensed attorney you’ve been working toward for yourself.
Let it Out
Sing, dance, kickbox, run, draw, scream—get the heaviness of the stress out! You have a lot of incoming emotions from the bar and your relationship woes. You may feel anger, betrayal, relief, down, rejected, confused emotions that run the gamut.
The upside of these various emotions is that you can use them to your advantage. You can channel challenging feelings into bar prep. Much like a boxer can release their emotions out on their opponent, you can do the same with your bar work. Like a boxer, you will punch harder and give your greatest effort. Your goal remains to overcome the bar exam, and this breakup can be the fuel you need to kick into a higher gear. In the end, you will make yourself proud. You will accomplish something for yourself. It will be even more special that you did it in the face of challenges. Moreover, it is an accomplishment that no one can take away from you!
The things you do today will move you forward tomorrow. When the tough gets going, remember that as a practicing attorney, you will face major life changes, and you will likely look back to how you handled this experience to remind you that you can face anything. Keep going and make yourself proud!
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