LSAT Diary: Studying with Kids and Farmville

LSAT Blog Studying With Kids Farmville
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Lucy's LSAT Diary:

As I head into the backstretch of my preparation for the LSAT, I have begun to truly realize what preparation means. As I sat in my alma mater's library working diligently on a section of assumption questions, I hit a wall. I could not focus and the answers were all blurring together. It is then I pushed back my chair and decided to take a break. Now I always check my watch and have become accustomed to documenting all my hours in a day or week of what I have studied (as well as writing it down to make myself accountable). I was stunned to see I had been studying for nearly three hours!

Where have I gotten the stamina? This is more than “digging deep”; this is hard work, practice and endurance.

I walked outside and took a deep breath. Wow. This must be what it is like to train for the Boston Marathon. I felt an immediate respect for athletes, because if you really think about it, that is what we are…athletes (in the mental sense) preparing for the exam of our life. There is literally hours on end I do not speak to anyone...nothing, except a hello in the elevator.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have wanted to go to law school for a very, very long time. The timing of life never seemed right and something else always managed to pull me away for something better. Vacations, work, business travel, parties, significant other, friends, well…you get the picture. This is the first time I have actually said “nope, sorry…not available this weekend”. This my fellow LSAT taker is earth shattering. If you knew me, you would really understand as I can be a real handful…my motto has always been work hard and play harder. I have even taken over the formal dining table utilizing every square inch of the 7-foot beast for my obsession because that is what I feel right now, a bit obsessed.

I first began to seriously study for the LSAT in July 2009 and two weeks into it I began smoking (bleck). I foolishly thought that I could have the exam ‘nailed’ within two months for the September LSAT, how completely wrong I was! Now maybe some of you have the natural genius or ability to do well on standardized exams…I am not one of them. I have my MBA and I have taken the GMAT, which was grueling enough…however, the LSAT takes that to a whole new level. I realized within three weeks into my studies that I was not going to be ready for the September LSAT.

When I realized this, I panicked. I would not hit early admissions and I would be lumped in with everyone else like cattle. I then made the decision to not push for December and to study for the LSAT the right way…not under pressure or with my own set of demands/expectations screwing it up for myself. I decided to put off law school for one more year and I am now very glad that I took a step back, I have also somehow in the process learned a balance (and respect for myself) during this development.

During this progression, I have learned that I will not ‘die’ if I do not read Facebook for a day, miss out on friends’ witty wall posts or not farm my Farmville crops. The laundry will not fossilize to the wall like a phytolith (heehee, big LSAT word), I will not dry up if I don’t go to the wine-tasting on Saturday or don’t meet up for brunch on Sunday with Nicole. I have also learned to say no to my very demanding boss and set boundaries.

Nothing will allow me to look back and say “gosh, maybe I ‘woulda/coulda’ gotten a 176 if I had not been working those extra 20 hours (instead of studying) or lying on the couch all day on a Sunday instead…” (You get the picture). Time matters and time is very precious to a hardcore LSAT taker. I actually took this entire week off from work to do just that…study. That is it. Not go on vacation, not visit family, not party...just study as much as I can and want to. Nothing more, nothing less.

That does not mean that I do not have challenges that pull me away. In fact, just yesterday, I received a phone call from my 7 year-old son’s teacher it was discovered he had lice (appalling but true) - now I should also add that my fancy front-loading (very expensive) washing machine has not worked for TWO months as it keeps breaking down and they keep putting new parts in it instead of giving me a new one(under warranty I will add) – so I make an emergency run to Walgreens for a lice kit and Hefty bags so when I pick him up, whoever he got the cooties from does not transfer to the rest of the family..I even make him strip in the school parking lot, throwing backpack, jacket and anything loose into Sir Hefty.

Then off we go home...I get him in the shower to scrub and race around like a possessed woman stripping clothing and bedding. I then run to the Laundromat and wash everything at once in hot water, make a frantic call to my husband “Come home NOW! will be taking a day off tomorrow (he has 5 weeks of PTO)” and then get back to the house, all the while I am watching the clock paying attention to every minute I am not studying.

Once everything seems settled, I grab some old spaghetti out of the refrigerator, zap it and plop it in front of the boys. I then head off to campus as I have also learned very early on that I rarely if ever get any serious studying done in my home environment, just too many distractions (duh). I am home by 11:30 pm. The 3-year old is vomiting. Old spaghetti is not a good thing and I immediately wonder how I am going to make it to June 7th.

I have come to the firm conclusion I will either lose my sanity and my children will end up eating Burger King (not an entirely BAD thing) everyday, or I will wake up the next day tired, but with a giggle in my heart that somehow I managed to still get six hours of studying done after fighting off cooties, assholes and exhaustion. The moral of my story is DO what has to be done; quickly and efficiently so that you can get back to studying… before you forget why you need to fit clowns in a car or birds in a forest.

As I look down, I realize I have picked off all of my manicured French nails *sigh*. Time to smoke that menthol before heading to bed – June 8th…life resumes as I remember it.

For all you “non-touchy-feely-types” stop reading now.

Be Positive

Positive people are successful!

Make yourself a “visual board” – I have one and I look at it 10+x a day!

GIVE yourself an LSAT score you want…set yourself up to achieve it!

You will attain your goal

Do not give up

Do not get depressed, do not get frustrated!

Believe in yourself

You can and will do this!

~stay focused

~stay focused

~stay focused

Photo by 13kingdoms / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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