Now that Week 3 of the bar review course is in full swing, I'm finally starting to settle into the routine. The first two weeks I enjoyed the energy of being with my friends and classmates every weekday for four hours. Now I am realizing the downside: one-up-manship is rampant and worry is contagious.
Everyone talks constantly about how many hours a day they are studying, how little they are sleeping, how many practice questions they missed or got right, how far behind they are, how strongly they disagree with the study schedule, all the extra work they are doing, and on and on and on. As just one example, a friend balanced his outline on the steering wheel of his lawnmower this weekend, so he could study it while he was mowing the lawn! (I'm not sure the proverbial Reasonably Prudent Person would do such a thing, but that's another topic.)
All this chatter is completely different from my pattern in law school. As a night student, I barely had time for anything but a quick social conversation. I always studied alone. I never did practice questions. I never wrote practice essays. I just learned the material as thoroughly as I could and did the academic heavy lifting when it was required. When it came time for the exam, I tried to show what I knew. And that method worked fine for me.
So now I am trying to reconnect with that approach: surrender to the process, stay focused, and avoid getting caught up in the constant discussion. I know what I need to do to be ready. Sure, the bar exam is a different animal--all those subjects, all at once!--and very high pressure, because not passing means waiting another six months, minimum, to become a lawyer. But I don't have to get an A. I only need to pass.
BarBri, PMBR and the school's bar prep expert are giving me the tools. I just need to concentrate on getting ready to run my own race.