Wednesday, July 4, 2018
“I am very discouraged by the process of preparing for the bar exam!” “I do not know if I can keep going, I work so hard but I have hit a plateau.” “I seem to regress rather than progress. I do not think I will be ready to take this exam. Maybe I am not supposed to be a lawyer.” These are some of the comments I hear from recent graduates as the bar exam approaches. It is not uncommon for recent graduates to experience these types of feelings, as long as they do not stay stuck in a rut.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term “discourage” as:
(1) “to deprive of courage or confidence: dishearten”
(2) “to hinder by disfavoring”
(3) “to dissuade or attempt to dissuade from doing something”
Bar preparation can be a challenge to the very courage recent graduates mustered up to face the bar exam as well as a huge blow to confidence. The challenges they encounter can dissuade them from progressing but the strength they have within, that brought them thus far will carry them through.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term “dishearten” as:
“to cause to lose hope, enthusiasm, or courage: to cause to lose spirit or morale”
This definition encapsulates all of the negative emotions felt but I would imagine that very few individuals, if any, are enthusiastic about sitting for the bar exam. I view my role as the bar support individual who reminds students of their hopes and aspirations coming to law school. I am here to encourage and remind them of the challenges they overcame, some of which were unique to them. I also attempt to remind them of the need to rest, consider their mental health, and necessity to take an occasional break.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term “courage” as:
“mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty”
Recent graduates typically lose sight of the fact that the mental strength they need to face this difficult task that is the bar exam is already within them. Courage does not mean that the task does not seem insurmountable or that you possess all of the confidence in the world. It simply means that you see the difficulty, are unsure of the possible result, stare it down, move forward, and see what happens. You are as prepared as you can be, you face the unknown but you know that your preparation will empower you to face and overcome various obstacles. You can do it! Remember, you do not need to ace the bar exam, you simply need to pass it.
Now please take a break on this 4th of July! (Goldie Pritchard)