Now that the bar is over let’s talk about our feelings.
You are probably mentally exhausted. Don’t torment yourself over the exam. What is done is done. Hindsight is 20/20 and you’re going to feel like you could’ve done something better.
Try to get some rest. You may have had to work during bar prep and maybe even used your time off to take the bar. Take a couple of days or a weekend to yourself and decompress.
Treat yourself. Do this now, don’t wait until results come out because taking the bar is a huge deal. You trained for months for a mental Olympic sport and you deserve a reward for completion, regardless of the outcome. Whether it’s a gift, massage, or dinner and a movie date night by yourself, treat yourself because you’ve earned it.
The bar doesn’t go away. After taking the bar, I found myself unable to break from the stress induced habits I formed during bar prep. This looked like early mornings, late nights, and snacking. It took a while to get back to my normal self. It was almost like needing to be rehabilitated back into society. About a week after the bar, I started to go back to the gym, cook for myself, and even reach out to friends and family. If you are experiencing this, it is normal, give it time. You will slowly ease back to your regular routine. Speaking of friends and family, they can and will be extremely annoying. People are going to ask “How was the bar?” Don’t get mad, take this opportunity to share your experience with others. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine too. It’s ok to tell people, “I prefer not to talk about it.” Unless you have taken the bar, you don’t know what it is like to take the bar. It will be annoying when people try to compare other licensing exams and experiences to empathize with yours, but keep in mind that they mean well. Then there is the people who say, “You’re gonna pass” or “You’re smart, so I know you passed.” Again, they mean well but I know statements like these can feel like they’re lessening your experience and adding unneeded pressure. It happens.
You may feel lonely.The reality that law school is over has set in. Your classmates may have moved away or back home, gotten married, or started their dream job. Adjusting to life after the bar may be hard, especially if you haven’t found employment yet. Try not to compare yourself to your peers and remember everyone’s journey is unique.
You may feel purposeless. For the last three years you have been having one thing on your mind and that’s graduation and the bar, (ok, two things). Don’t feel rushed to commit yourself to something. Of course you may have to work but law school has changed you, take this time to find out who you are and what you love.
I wrote this blog post because I wanted to share my experience. To help myself cope with the anxiety and stress I used Talkspace. I started it about halfway through bar prep and ended about two weeks after the bar. I found it easy to use and helpful. I was able to pick a therapist that looked like me, which was very important. My therapist was available when I needed her and our sessions, at my request, were in the form of a text chat so they were discreet and comfortable. Whatever the outcome may be just remember, all you could do was all you could do, and if that was all you could do, then it was all you could do.