If you or someone you love is taking the bar at the end of the month, you may be wondering how you can be supportive. Well, here are some tips to help.
Don’t downplay what they are going through. Many students tell me it drives them crazy when family or friends act as if the bar exam isn’t that hard or as if they shouldn’t be so stressed. Try to be as empathetic as you can. Yes, this exam isn’t life or death, but it is an incredibly stressful time.
Don’t keep telling them over and over again that they will pass. Instead, tell them how proud you are of how hard they worked to prepare. Or how ready they are. Telling bar studiers that you know they will pass is not terribly helpful. Bar scores are out of their control. The only thing they can control is how they have prepared.
Be there as a positive distraction. One of the things your bar studier likely needs is a positive distraction. Offer to take him/her to the movies when studying is done for the night (even the night before the exam). Or bring over dinner or drop off a box of DVDs. Your bar studier is likely to be exhausted and stressed. And it is sometimes difficult to unwind. Helping him/her get away from the “study zone” can be really beneficial.
Just be around if/when you are needed. Sometimes, it is just good to be there when your bar studier needs you. My husband came out to the hotel when I was taking the bar exam to stay with me the night before. He stuck around the hotel through lunch the first day of the exam. I was so happy to see him after the morning session of that first day and to not have to eat lunch alone. We didn’t talk about the test (he isn’t an attorney), but he was just there if I needed him. It was such a pleasant surprise to come back at lunch and find him there.
If he/she needs to be left alone, give him/her some space. Now having my husband around really helped me stay focused, but not everyone is that way. If your bar studier requests some space, then provide it. Everyone has different needs and you want to be available, but also do not take it personally if your bar studier needs some privacy or alone time.
Send positive thoughts via e-mail or text. During the final days of prep or the exam itself, your bar studier may be offline focusing on getting through the exam period. But sending thoughtful positive texts or e-mails can be a nice way to show your support, without being demanding time wise.
Send a care package to the hotel. If your bar studier is staying at a hotel, you can always send a care package (even if you just send it with them to the hotel)! Send a motivational card, favorite food, or a DVD to watch. Your support will be appreciated and helpful while surviving the exam.
Do you have any suggestions on how family and friends can help support their bar studier?
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some of our other articles for more great study tips!
- The 7 Areas of Bar Exam Preparation
- What are the Magic Outlines to Help Pass the Bar?
- Life Doesn’t Stop for the Bar Exam