It is hard to believe that bar studying for the July bar exam is just around the corner. Many folks are already dreading the hours upon hours of sitting in lecture halls, watching videos and hanging out in libraries.
Although neither Alison nor I took advantage of this idea (although it does sound really nice), we present the following questions to you: Do you need to be on lock down during your bar exam study? Do you need to attend lectures in person? Do you need to study in the library? Or can you do something totally different?
Does your location affect your mood?
Many of us are influenced by our surroundings. I know for me, sunshine is important to my mood and well being. In San Francisco where I live, the summers can be foggy and cold, a bit of a downer where one’s mood is concerned. If you get your own version of seasonal affective disorder, would you actually be better off studying in a different location? It is possible! Does sunshine make you happy? Do the mountains make you happy? What about the beach? It is worth thinking about!
Technology makes it possible to study from almost anywhere.
Now that so many bar review providers have courses available online, nothing is stopping you from packing your bags and heading somewhere positive to study for the bar exam. All you need is internet and a place you can study. If being in a different location than your current one will help you relax when you aren’t studying, all the better. Your location could help you be active, get rest and even (if you can believe it) enjoy yourself every now and then.
It could actually be a smart financial decision!
If you live somewhere very expensive (New York and San Francisco, for example) it may be a smart financial decision to study somewhere else. If you aren’t paying high rental prices, you may be able to take out less loans to get you through the bar exam period. Or if you are in a situation where you could sublet your apartment while you are out of town, perhaps you could even make a bit of money while you are gone (as long as you are careful not to break any rules in your rental agreement).
You can get away from the bar exam craziness.
Students often share with us that one of the things that makes the bar so stressful is being around a lot of other really stressed out people. Removing yourself and heading off to a neutral location could remove some of that stress. You won’t have to listen to everyone talk about how many hours they are studying, or why they are sure they are going to fail — or even worse — what they think of your study habits. Studying for the bar exam is a very personal thing. You have to do what works for you. It might be easier to stick to that if you get out of your law school element and do something different.
Have we heard of people doing this? Did they actually pass the bar exam?
Sure! Turns out where you are has little to do with passing the exam (it’s more about whether you study and prepare adequately for the exam). We encourage you to challenge the assumption that you have to be miserable while studying. Think outside the box as to the best place for you to get work done, stay sane and focus on finding bar success. If that turns out to be a beach in Mexico, why not go for it!
Has anyone gone out of town to study for the bar exam? If so, share your experience in the comments!
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- When Should You Start Studying for the Bar Exam?
- Does It Take 10 Weeks to Study for the Bar Exam?
- Taking Care of Yourself is a Critical Part of Your Bar Exam Preparation
- The Bar Exam Culture of Fear
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