Five years ago today I was in Australia after my bar exam. The test felt worlds away (and that was exactly what I needed). Today I was thinking about folks recovering from the bar exam and waiting for results. I was thinking about how the economy is a bit worse than it was when I graduated (although things were going south then) and how I felt that I could travel since I had a job lined up for when I got back.
But for those of you who are anxiously awaiting results and trying not to spend much money these days, here are a few ideas about how to spend time post-bar exam. Take a road trip. When was the last time you took a quality road trip? Sure, gas can be expensive, but road trips are fun and relaxing. To be even more budget conscious, you could take a camping road trip. Now that most little kids are back in school, places like the national parks are much less crowded (I just finished an amazing family trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons). I think getting outside is a great way to recover from the bar exam since being active can lower stress and just make you feel better generally. So even if a road trip isn’t in your future, make sure you get outside and soak up some fresh air (especially while the weather is nice).
Visit family and friends you neglected during bar prep. One way to travel and save a few bucks is to stay with family and friends, especially those you may have neglected while you were studying for the bar exam. Getting out of town can be a great form of therapy as is spending time with people who aren’t waiting for bar exam results. So call up good friends in a different city and see if they have an open guest room or couch you could crash on.
Try to learn a new sport or activity. A friend of mine recently just told me that she purchased low-cost kite boarding lessons by using an email promotion. What an interesting thing to do. Are there any sports or activities that you have always wanted to try? If so, this may be a great time to get out and do it! Or what about a yoga retreat? We all know once you start working, you won’t have time to do something like that very often!
Volunteer for a legal-related cause. Volunteering is a great way to meet people, network, and work on your skills. If you are hoping to work on legal skills, check out volunteer opportunities that are law-related. Although you can’t represent clients yet, you can still do plenty of work that would be valuable to legal nonprofits. Not sure where to start? Often your local bar association can help you connect with such volunteer opportunities.
Volunteer for something not legal-related. And what if you are just feeling burned out on the law? Then volunteer for something that you are passionate about but has nothing to do with the law—that is how I currently spend my volunteer time, working with an organization that provides leadership programming to middle school and high school girls. I love working with folks with different backgrounds and expertise. I have learned a lot through my work at GirlVentures and have made quite a few business contacts as well. So get out there and work with an organization you are passionate about. You never know where it will lead and it will likely make you feel good—which, let’s be honest, is necessary while you’re waiting for bar results.
Learn to cook. I must admit that until recently I really didn’t know how to cook much of anything. But in the last few years, I have tried to learn more and more and have even taken some cooking lessons. Cooking can be a fun activity and can help you stay healthy, which typically also helps you stay mentally healthy which in turn is important when you are under stress—while waiting for those bar results. Cooking doesn’t cost all that much and, most of the time, I find it pretty fun. And you can have friends over for dinner, which helps being social without spending a bunch of money. It is a win-win!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Wondering how to job hunt while waiting for bar exam results? You can check out this post for some tips.
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- 3 Things to Do After the Bar Exam
- Job Hunting While Waiting for Bar Results
- The Waiting Game: Bar Exam Results
- How to Wait for Bar Results on Friday