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Hey Everyone I hope you all are well.

This question is posed to those that had a longish journey getting into law school- taking the lsat/getting a good score is taking longer than I planned. (For personal /other reasons). 

I've been feeling unmotivated since I've been studying off and on for awhile - and since I've finished up with my tutor and taken the July exam. 

How do you find the light at the end of the tunnel ? 

What mental health self care have worked for you when studying for the lsat/applying to law school ? 

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I had a longish journey to starting law school, not because of anything to do with the LSAT or applications, but because of personal/family reasons which caused me to switch focus from applying to med school to applying to law school and to need to defer acceptance when I got in. I definitely had a lot of stress and self-doubt and all of that going on. And I still need to practice mental health self-care.

I guess that would be my major point - that it is important to learn self care because you will need it throughout law school, articling, practice and just life in general. There are always going to be times when you feel unmotivated or overwhelmed, whether it is the LSAT or something else. And what works is probably different for everyone. But for me, I always focus really hard on small, attainable goals. For the LSAT specifically, I wouldn't make my goal "Get 175 or else." You may never get that. You may not be capable of that. I would make it something like "Spend one hour every day reviewing mistakes from past tests", or something along those lines. Something that will help keep you on track to do your best, whatever that is. After giving birth, I had the goal "Go for a fifteen minute walk every day no matter what." And I reward myself for fulfilling that goal for a week, a month etc with something small but meaningful - buy something small I've been wanting or whatever. 

I also motivate myself with a mantra - even something like "keep on pushing" or "don't get discouraged" or "think about the positive, not the negative" and I say that to myself over and over when I have bad thoughts, so as to push them out. I also tape positive sayings and pictures of the thing I am trying to achieve all around my house on all the mirrors, etc. Before I started law school, I had pictures of career women in suits everywhere. 

It also helps to have a backup. OK, so what if you don't get the score you need and don't get into law school? You have a life ahead of you and you will be fine. What will you do? Having a plan keeps you from putting too much pressure on yourself like this is the be-all and end-all. You should enjoy your journey, whatever it is - a journey to law school, or a journey to something else. I also focus on what else in my life is good, such as my kids, and count my blessings/look at people who are worse off, to keep from feeling too sorry for myself. 

Then there are the standard ways to reduce stress and feel good about yourself - exercise, go for a walk, dance, get massages, relax in a hot bath, check out of everything else and read/listen to music for pleasure, hang out with friends and family, have designated law school free times when you do not talk or think about the LSAT and law school, do a hobby you enjoy, herbal teas/herbal remedies, sex, etc. (Watch out for sex and getting pregnant, ugh!) Do NOT use alcohol or drugs as a coping method, and try to eat and sleep as well as you can. 

Also, sometimes there just are times when you feel negative and bad and you can't get out right away and you just have to let yourself feel it for a day or two, but then it passes. I am learning to live with this too, and to figure out what it is trying to teach me rather than always try to get rid of it. If you need a break, take one - you don't need to study for the LSAT for hours a day and that could do more harm than good. Sometimes you learn more when you step away from something for a while.

All of this is assuming you don't have a situation where you may need medical help for mental health issues - I am referring to manageable stress/anxiety and not something clinical and persistent. 

 

 

Edited by providence
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2 minutes ago, providence said:

I had a longish journey to starting law school, not because of anything to do with the LSAT or applications, but because of personal/family reasons which caused me to switch focus from applying to med school to applying to law school and to need to defer acceptance when I got in. I definitely had a lot of stress and self-doubt and all of that going on. And I still need to practice mental health self-care.

I guess that would be my major point - that it is important to learn self care because you will need it throughout law school, articling, practice and just life in general. There are always going to be times when you feel unmotivated or overwhelmed, whether it is the LSAT or something else. And what works is probably different for everyone. But for me, I always focus really hard on small, attainable goals. For the LSAT specifically, I wouldn't make my goal "Get 175 or else." You may never get that. You may not be capable of that. I would make it something like "Spend one hour every day reviewing mistakes from past tests", or something along those lines. Something that will help keep you on track to do your best, whatever that is. After giving birth, I had the goal "Go for a fifteen minute walk every day no matter what." And I reward myself for fulfilling that goal for a week, a month etc with something small but meaningful - buy something small I've been wanting or whatever. 

I also motivate myself with a mantra - even something like "keep on pushing" or "don't get discouraged" or "think about the positive, not the negative" and I say that to myself over and over when I have bad thoughts, so as to push them out. I also tape positive sayings and pictures of the thing I am trying to achieve all around my house on all the mirrors, etc. Before I started law school, I had pictures of career women in suits everywhere. 

It also helps to have a backup. OK, so what if you don't get the score you need and don't get into law school? You have a life ahead of you and you will be fine. What will you do? Having a plan keeps you from putting too much pressure on yourself like this is the be-all and end-all. You should enjoy your journey, whatever it is - a journey to law school, or a journey to someone else. I also focus on what else in my life is good, such as my kids, and count my blessings/look at people who are worse off, to keep from feeling too sorry for myself. 

Then there are the standard ways to reduce stress and feel good about yourself - exercise, go for a walk, dance, get massages, relax in a hot bath, check out of everything else and read/listen to music for pleasure, hang out with friends and family, have designated law school free times when you do not talk or think about the LSAT and law school, do a hobby you enjoy, herbal teas/herbal remedies, sex, etc. (Watch out for sex and getting pregnant, ugh!) Do NOT use alcohol or drugs as a coping method, and try to eat and sleep as well as you can. 

Also, sometimes there just are times when you feel negative and bad and you can't get out right away and you just have to let yourself feel it for a day or two, but then it passes. I am learning to live with this too, and to figure out what it is trying to teach me rather than always try to get rid of it. If you need a break, take one - you don't need to study for the LSAT for hours a day and that could do more harm than good. Sometimes you learn more when you step away from something for a while.

All of this is assuming you don't have a situation where you may need medical help for mental health issues - I am referring to manageable stress/anxiety and not something clinical and persistent. 

 

 

That is a wonderful and detailed response. Yeah life tends to just happen eh. We just have to learn to go with the flow; I've been trying to move more into that mindset. And yes I agree we all have good and bad days. 

Your response will help tons of people. 

I've had some good/bad recent life changes so I'm trying to accommodate the lsat/applications with that going on as well. 

 

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Just now, Destroythelsat said:

That is a wonderful and detailed response. Yeah life tends to just happen eh. We just have to learn to go with the flow; I've been trying to move more into that mindset. And yes I agree we all have good and bad days. 

Your response will help tons of people. 

I've had some good/bad recent life changes so I'm trying to accommodate the lsat/applications with that going on as well. 

 

I don't know what the changes are specifically, but if it's something like an unexpected pregnancy, which I had to deal with, it's OK to take a break. Law school will still be there. You can apply next year or the year after when you have things figured out a bit more and can focus better. Don't push yourself too much to deal with too many things at once. 

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Just now, providence said:

I don't know what the changes are specifically, but if it's something like an unexpected pregnancy, which I had to deal with, it's OK to take a break. Law school will still be there. You can apply next year or the year after when you have things figured out a bit more and can focus better. Don't push yourself too much to deal with too many things at once. 

LOL... nope not pregnancy.  Just work changes /personal stuff. It's been rewarding but challenging. 

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Joining an LSAT study group helped me immensely. It kept me accountable and motivated. You'll find that others might experience the same LSAT frustrations as you (ex: burnout, plateaus, timing issues, etc.) and it's validating to share these feelings with one another. Some of the people I've studied with are still my friends today.

If you're with 7Sage, there are various virtual study groups organized on their discussion forum. They typically meet through GoToMeeting or Discord. The people are usually very friendly and willing to help out.

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1 minute ago, Psychometronic said:

Joining an LSAT study group helped me immensely. It kept me accountable and motivated. You'll find that others might experience the same LSAT frustrations as you (ex: burnout, plateaus, timing issues, etc.) and it's validating to share these feelings with one another. Some of the people I've studied with are still my friends today.

If you're with 7Sage, there are various virtual study groups organized on their discussion forum. They typically meet through GoToMeeting or Discord. The people are usually very friendly and willing to help out.

Yes- I'm with the 7sage one- I didn't realise until recently that I haven't been myself.  I normally participate a lot in the groups. 

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I've just reconnected with my 7sage pals and also plan on being more active on the forums as it has helped me as well with my own accountability. 

 

Thank you for the feedback 

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On 9/2/2018 at 10:32 PM, providence said:

I had a longish journey to starting law school, not because of anything to do with the LSAT or applications, but because of personal/family reasons which caused me to switch focus from applying to med school to applying to law school and to need to defer acceptance when I got in. I definitely had a lot of stress and self-doubt and all of that going on. And I still need to practice mental health self-care.

I guess that would be my major point - that it is important to learn self care because you will need it throughout law school, articling, practice and just life in general. There are always going to be times when you feel unmotivated or overwhelmed, whether it is the LSAT or something else. And what works is probably different for everyone. But for me, I always focus really hard on small, attainable goals. For the LSAT specifically, I wouldn't make my goal "Get 175 or else." You may never get that. You may not be capable of that. I would make it something like "Spend one hour every day reviewing mistakes from past tests", or something along those lines. Something that will help keep you on track to do your best, whatever that is. After giving birth, I had the goal "Go for a fifteen minute walk every day no matter what." And I reward myself for fulfilling that goal for a week, a month etc with something small but meaningful - buy something small I've been wanting or whatever. 

I also motivate myself with a mantra - even something like "keep on pushing" or "don't get discouraged" or "think about the positive, not the negative" and I say that to myself over and over when I have bad thoughts, so as to push them out. I also tape positive sayings and pictures of the thing I am trying to achieve all around my house on all the mirrors, etc. Before I started law school, I had pictures of career women in suits everywhere. 

It also helps to have a backup. OK, so what if you don't get the score you need and don't get into law school? You have a life ahead of you and you will be fine. What will you do? Having a plan keeps you from putting too much pressure on yourself like this is the be-all and end-all. You should enjoy your journey, whatever it is - a journey to law school, or a journey to something else. I also focus on what else in my life is good, such as my kids, and count my blessings/look at people who are worse off, to keep from feeling too sorry for myself. 

Then there are the standard ways to reduce stress and feel good about yourself - exercise, go for a walk, dance, get massages, relax in a hot bath, check out of everything else and read/listen to music for pleasure, hang out with friends and family, have designated law school free times when you do not talk or think about the LSAT and law school, do a hobby you enjoy, herbal teas/herbal remedies, sex, etc. (Watch out for sex and getting pregnant, ugh!) Do NOT use alcohol or drugs as a coping method, and try to eat and sleep as well as you can. 

Also, sometimes there just are times when you feel negative and bad and you can't get out right away and you just have to let yourself feel it for a day or two, but then it passes. I am learning to live with this too, and to figure out what it is trying to teach me rather than always try to get rid of it. If you need a break, take one - you don't need to study for the LSAT for hours a day and that could do more harm than good. Sometimes you learn more when you step away from something for a while.

All of this is assuming you don't have a situation where you may need medical help for mental health issues - I am referring to manageable stress/anxiety and not something clinical and persistent. 

 

 

This is beautiful. And I think I'd need some advice. 

I'm really, really debating if I should even apply this year (this is my fourth year in my program). I've struggled with pretty bad mental health issues leading up to this point, I also have some ADD so focusing does not come natural to me. My cgpa is around a 3.7 but could've been a 3.9,  this is because I switched programs and this is actually my 5th year undergrad, so nothing really raises anything anymore. Life also happened during 2/5 of those years and I got very very distracted. I had work this past summer and was only able to study for 2 weeks for the LSAT, I'm not prepared to write this Saturday and probably won't. The next one is in Nov but applications are due November 1st for law schools. My self confidence is pretty mediocre (sometimes, very, very low), and I'm worried that I might need much more time to prep for the lsat and nail every detail of the applications. This is also a tough term for me school wise. What would you suggest? I'm not opposed to waiting a year and working at a job that isn't mentally engaging so I could just breathe (I've been in consecutive school terms without break for the past 4 years). But I'm also afraid of taking a gap year, I fear that I'd just lose motivation for everything. 

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Hmm, Let's see. Some questions to ask - Do I have enough time to study in a healthy manner before the exam? Is this going to impact my school (which can be finished and the lsat can be taken on a later day) ? Am I trying to force something ? 

 

You have lots of time and options- your brain is telling you , you don't . You can take/retake/post pone... law school isn't going anywhere this is the mindset we should approach it with. 

You're talking to someone that was advised to take a gap year and is taking one currently- it does require motivation to study but I like this sooooo much better then rushing and messing up my CGPA. 

 

I think you know the answer . Sending you clarity. 

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5 minutes ago, Destroythelsat said:

Hmm, Let's see. Some questions to ask - Do I have enough time to study in a healthy manner before the exam? Is this going to impact my school (which can be finished and the lsat can be taken on a later day) ? Am I trying to force something ? 

 

You have lots of time and options- your brain is telling you , you don't . You can take/retake/post pone... law school isn't going anywhere this is the mindset we should approach it with. 

You're talking to someone that was advised to take a gap year and is taking one currently- it does require motivation to study but I like this sooooo much better then rushing and messing up my CGPA. 

 

I think you know the answer . Sending you clarity. 

Thank you! I think I do have the answer :) You're right. I was told by many to take a gap year as well, I was initially terrified of it, but you're right, law school isn't going anywhere. More time would definitely give me more clarity as well. Got your message!

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3 hours ago, anxietybanana said:

This is beautiful. And I think I'd need some advice. 

I'm really, really debating if I should even apply this year (this is my fourth year in my program). I've struggled with pretty bad mental health issues leading up to this point, I also have some ADD so focusing does not come natural to me. My cgpa is around a 3.7 but could've been a 3.9,  this is because I switched programs and this is actually my 5th year undergrad, so nothing really raises anything anymore. Life also happened during 2/5 of those years and I got very very distracted. I had work this past summer and was only able to study for 2 weeks for the LSAT, I'm not prepared to write this Saturday and probably won't. The next one is in Nov but applications are due November 1st for law schools. My self confidence is pretty mediocre (sometimes, very, very low), and I'm worried that I might need much more time to prep for the lsat and nail every detail of the applications. This is also a tough term for me school wise. What would you suggest? I'm not opposed to waiting a year and working at a job that isn't mentally engaging so I could just breathe (I've been in consecutive school terms without break for the past 4 years). But I'm also afraid of taking a gap year, I fear that I'd just lose motivation for everything. 

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

You need to be mentally healthy before you go to law school. Law school requires focus. There is no need to rush into applying or going. I deferred my acceptance - my personal circumstances (pregnancy) were such that I would not have been well enough or focused enough to do law school justice at that time, so I just waited a year. There is no law that says you have to go straight from 4 years of undergrad to law school. There were plenty of people there who had taken time off between degrees, been to grad school, worked, etc. I personally think a little more maturity and life experience and dealing with adversity serves people very well in law school, job applications, and practice. Also, I don't really understand why taking a gap year would make you lose motivation. Maybe this is a personal thing, but I would think that if you are focused on law school and becoming a lawyer, you are going to remain focused on that regardless of whether or not you take a year off. If it's that easy to lose motivation, law school and practice will be hard for you. In short, if you don't feel ready and have too much going on, don't apply.

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