How to Mentally Prepare to Retake the Bar Exam
Failing the bar exam is a terrible feeling. Learning how to mentally prepare to retake the bar exam can feel overwhelming at first.
When you find out you failed the bar exam, you may feel sadness, depression, anger, anxiety, jealousy, disappointment, loneliness, and a combination of other unpleasant feelings. Here, we give you some guidance on how to mentally prepare to retake the bar exam. The goal is to process your emotions effectively so you can ultimately gain confidence and motivation moving forward.
Why mentally prepare to retake the bar exam?
Mental preparation means accepting the fact that you failed the bar exam and then moving on and studying efficiently and effectively for the next bar exam. Those who do not mentally prepare to retake the bar exam often find that they study ineffectively or burn out. By contrast, those who are able to mentally prepare to retake the bar exam find themselves studying effectively and making the most of their next bar exam experience.
Below we give you some tips on how to mentally prepare to retake the bar exam.
How to Mentally Prepare to Retake the Bar Exam
Give yourself time.
Some students find out that they failed the bar exam and then start studying the same day. This is a mistake! It is going to be difficult to process failing the bar exam if you don’t take some time to allow the process to occur. This does not mean you have to set aside weeks or months to wallow in your own misery. What it does mean is that you should take a few days or longer to process failing before jumping back into the process.
You may find it beneficial to be by yourself for part of this time period.
Most people find it easier to process feelings and emotions when they are away from others. Have you ever been part of a discussion or group where someone said something offensive or extremely hurtful and you didn’t even feel any deep emotions until later? This is because our brains process feelings and emotions most effectively when we are alone and away from distractions.
You may choose to journal, go on a walk by yourself, listen to music, or just spend some time by yourself. This will help you process the emotions you are feeling so you can move on from them.
You may find it beneficial to spend time with supportive loved ones.
Just as being alone is helpful, it is also beneficial to spend time with loved ones. Some friends or family members may be better for you to be around than others. You want to choose to spend time with empathetic loved ones who will not judge you, give you unsolicited advice, or spend 90% of the conversation talking about themselves.
Some friends or family members may be better to avoid during this time if they are not as empathetic or sensitive to what you are feeling. Instead, you want to spend time with loved ones who listen, support you, and who will be empathetic.
Don’t abuse substances during this time period.
It may be tempting to binge drink or use substances, but it is important to not mask feelings with drugs or alcohol. Allowing yourself to feel these unpleasant feelings is the way through them. Trying to mask them or pretend they don’t exist will not be beneficial in the long run.
Read some encouraging posts.
We have some posts that will help you mentally prepare to retake the bar exam. We recommend you check out these posts:
- Quotes for those who fail the bar exam: We love these quotes! A good quote can help you get through dark times.
- A note to those who fail the bar exam: this reveals that there actually is a plus side to failing the bar exam (even if it is hard to see now!)
- Famous people who failed the bar exam: It is quite common to fail the bar exam. It does not preclude success, fame, or fortune! Here is a list of famous people who have failed the bar exam.
- Seven reasons why smart people fail the bar exam: Here is an article we wrote for the National Jurist. It explains why some of the smartest people have failed the bar exam.
Go to the next topic, Step 9: Next Steps.
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