#barpreplife: What’s ‘Relaxing?’

GUEST BLOG by Gianna Venticinque,
Graduate of Northern Illinois College of Law

It’s almost the new year, #barpreppers!

Along with the whole ‘new year, new me’ attitude comes another ‘new’ adventure we’ve all been getting ready for, yet holding at a distance: bar prep. I don’t know about you, but the bar has been like a black cloud over my head for the last 2 and a half years. The faculty made sure to plant the impending seed of doom during the first day of law school orientation… and since that day I’ve had the bar in the back (really more like the entire frontal lobe) of my mind. But now, the bar exam consumes my entire mind (yay.) and will continue to do so until I – fingers crossed – pass.

Since I finished up my finals last week, I’ve been doing a lot of this thing people call relaxing. It’s a weird concept for us law school survivors – I know. But I urge you to do some relaxing yourself before BARBRI lectures officially start up; although, you should be taking advantage of the Early Start Paced Program. It gives you the opportunity to jump-start bar prep and at least in my opinion, it gives me an idea of what to expect once classes begin.

I’d suggest hanging out with the friends you likely won’t see until you’re celebrating getting through the bar. I’ve admittedly been MIA that last few months (cough cough years) so I had dinner with one of my best friends tonight. She made me a “Bar Exam Prep Survival Kit” complete with a survival guide. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so – dare I say – excited(!!) to start bar prep. Not only was it the most thoughtful gift in the world, but it reminded me that I’m going to need to do this relaxing thing once and a while during bar prep.

If you need ideas of what to stock up on (or what to tell your family and friends to get you), here’s a list of some of the things she put in the basket:

  • sticky notes (because they’re #barpreplife essentials)
  • wine
  • a face mask
  • candy (another #barpreplife essential)
  • a candle – “because studying stinks, but the space you study in doesn’t have to”
  • The Lincoln Lawyer on DVD (because Matthew McConaughey)

*Spoiler alert*  I have anxiety – the medically diagnosed kind – and as of today I’m thinking positively about lighting the fire underneath me and getting bar prep started. If you’re ever feeling anxious, which I’m sure you will at some point, unless you’re as cool as a cucumber (if you are, I’m jealous), just remember you’re not in this alone. There are a ton of us doing the same thing, feeling the same way, and hoping for the same results. To me, bar prep is a marathon, not a sprint and I plan to take it one day at a time. We can and we will #OwnTheBar.

Happy studies,