When we last checked in with our Bar Review Diarists, they were just barely finishing exams and getting ready to walk down the graduation aisle. We checked in with them again this week, and weirdly, they all seem to… be enjoying themselves?
Nathan, Jeanette, and Andrew are all having fun so far this summer. They’re going to weddings, hanging out at coffee shops, and drinking at Disneyland. What the hell is going on here? Let’s hope the good times last, despite the test looming on the somewhat distant horizon…
First let’s check in with Jeanette, down in SoCal:
I’ve officially finished week one of bar prep, and it hasn’t been as terrible as I expected. The lectures are helpful and the outlines are comprehensive. Because I’m spending so much of my days studying, I’ve developed some variation of Stockholm syndrome in which I’m starting to find the topics fascinating. I tell my friends and family about these points of law that I believe are exciting, but none of them quite get it.
While studying itself has been okay, my social life has taken a complete nosedive. Most of my childhood friends that I see when I’m home are spread out all over the country doing fun things, so my only real face-to-face human interaction has been with my parents, the circulation desk lady at the UCI Law Library, and the baristas at Peet’s Coffee. This weekend, one of my best friends from elementary school took me to a tiki-themed bar in Downtown Disney (yes, this exists!). I was so happy to see a human being and so happy to be out of my house, I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. Maybe I gave her one too many hugs or something, but at a certain point, she asked me if I had too much to drink. I was ashamed to tell her I was drinking a glass of diet coke.
Ah, yes, human interaction. I had that once, before I became a professional blogger. Now I just stare down from my window, forever in my pajamas, in front of a laptop, admiring the normal people frolicking happily below.
In college, my friends and I called this phenomenon the “Survivor Effect.” It was a reference to how the contestants would explode into a frenzy about small things like peanut butter. I assume it’s because they have been deprived of these comforts that were once easily available to them, so the sudden re-introduction of these things creates a bit of an exaggerated response. I guess going to a bar with a friend and talking about something not at all related to the law was my peanut butter.
Part of me wishes I were in New York studying with my friends like I did for my law school exams. I always loved studying with friends because we would take breaks together, and it was comforting knowing that we were all in the same ordeal. It tempered the Survivor Effect and made studying much more tolerable. Another part of me realizes that studying for the bar is whole different ballgame. There is just so much to study, it’s hard not to distance yourself a little from normal activities for these two months. I guess in the mean time, I’ll focus my energies on making it to the finish line and hope that I’m playing the game correctly. I will also make sure to enjoy the occasional jar of peanut butter to make sure I stay kind of normal.
Good strategy. A spoonful of peanut butter helps the medicine… or something. Next, let’s check in with Nathan Viehl:
“Finishing law school brought a lot of mixed feelings, but mostly the past weekend was just a lot of fun. I figured out I took 23 exams over the course of the past three years which is a lot of time for one person to spend typing furiously for one lifetime. Sure, it’s been a lot of work and I’m proud of myself and all that, but it’s not like I wasn’t going to graduate with stern people giving me deadlines and making me take tests all the time.
I’m more proud to say I avoided immediately posting a Facebook status about being done. I found it really remarkable how people see hundreds of those statuses over a period of days from their law school friends and put absolutely no work into making their own “done with law school” status funny or original. And what do they even to it for? To solicit congratulations from their uncles? Absolutely crazy.
I concur. Humblebrag status updates are annoying (more on that later).
So, last week when I wrote about opening up my box of bar review materials this week, I totally underestimated the amount of opportunities to not study that present themselves the week after graduating law school. I might find some time Wednesday or Thursday to open it between trips to Michigan and Wisconsin and around various commitments I’ve made in Chicago. Beyond that, I’m very much behind on a few of my favorite television shows right now (Mad Men, Veep, Girls). I also am getting the feeling that the time is ripe for me to get into the Game of Thrones. Emily seems to just have a great batch of meatheads squaring off for her affection in The Bachelorette. The NBA Playoffs are heading towards an excellent finish. Mark it down, though: Heat in 5. Spurs in 6. Priorities.”
The best part of studying or working on anything is distractions. And, go Spurs.
On the next page, Andrew Fontanarosa shows us what happens when a bar studier intrudes upon a wedding filled with non-legal types…