Do you need to completely cut out social media during bar preparation? Sounds drastic if you are used to being connected on different platforms. Have you considered how social media can be a useful tool to help you stay focused and committed to your studies? You don’t need to get rid of social media altogether to succeed and remain focused for the exam. However, it is important to strike a balance between time for your studies and your use of social media.
Sticking to your study schedule requires discipline. Here are some ideas for using social media in a balanced way so that it does not interfere with your studies:
1. Be selective
It may help to ask yourself if the social media platform you want to keep during bar prep helps more than it distracts. It really depends on what you need (i.e., a community of support).
Connect to helpful outlets
One of the ways you can put your social media to good use during bar prep is to identify helpful outlets. For example, if you are really anxious and stressed during this period, watching a series of funny Tik Toks can be exactly what you need. If you are feeling discouraged, you may really benefit from following accounts on Instagram or twitter that specifically motivate bar takers. For example, if you use Instagram, you can simply search the hashtag #BarExamMotivation, and you’ll instantly be surrounded by positivity.
Staying connected to community
Social media can connect you to community and support that you may not otherwise have access to but really need!
When I was in law school, I noticed that my friends who graduated and started bar prep dropped off the face of the [social media] earth. I figured I should do the same during bar prep. The first time I took the exam was during the covid pandemic. I was already feeling isolated and removing social media altogether made me feel cut off from the world. When I faced a technology failure during the bar exam, I was devastated. Social media helped me feel less alone as other students experienced the same disappointment, and it was a unique situation many people may not understand.
Keeping my social media for my second attempt gave me the support I needed to tackle the exam again. I was immediately plugged into support from a bar exam online community. I read about the experiences of students that were frustrated going at it again and trying to get over the disappointment of the previous administration. I gave advice and took advice. I met successful students who shared extremely helpful tips and strategies. Additionally, I followed certain bar exam accounts on Instagram like Bar Champs to get a daily dose of positivity. I learned that quitting social media was not the only path.
2. Be Disciplined
It is important to remain disciplined with your studies. A key to remaining focused when staying connected to social media is moderation and balance. It is very easy for what you intended to be a 10 minute break to browse your apps, to turn into a couple of hours away from your bar schedule. Lack of discipline can start in small ways before it really derails your studies. Consider these tips to stay on track:
- Schedule your breaks and use a timer. Using an app like Focus Keeper sets a timer for your breaks so that you can stay on task. The key is to follow the timer and it takes discipline.
- Eliminate disruptions like notifications and alerts from apps. These can really tempt you to get off track and check that update or new message waiting for you. The good news is that there are apps to help you eliminate specific social media distractions during your study time. Additionally, you can remove social media notifications in your phone settings.
- Reward yourself with a longer social media session after you have accomplished your major tasks for the day. You will feel awesome and relaxed after tackling the major tasks for the day such as an essay, an MPT and a set of multiple-choice questions. Logging into your chosen platform can be most enjoyable when you are winding down and don’t need to rush back to studying and shifting back from the world of social media and back to study mode.
3. Set a cut-off time
Information fatigue is an example of one of the ways social media can hurt more than help. It can be helpful to cut off taking in information close to your bedtime so that you can shut off your brain for the night! The reason you want to protect the time around your sleep is that information overload and stress from it can prevent you from falling asleep and negatively impact your quality of sleep.
Look for apps that can help you fall asleep such as meditations or play a deep sleep playlist.
Following these tips can help you achieve your bar prep goals while having a balanced social media life. Remember, social media use does not have to be an all or nothing situation when your use is in moderation! When used properly, social media can be used to help you during bar prep.