25 Oct Test Withdrawl
You sat for the FYLSE; now what? After months of studying, preparing, living in Multiple Choice Questions and Essay review you have completed the final leg of the journey. You put your books away, packed up your stuff, possibly traveled hundreds of miles, ignored your social life, your family life, and became a law hermit.
What NOT To Do
No matter what you do, do not worry. Worrying will not change things, it wont help you, it wont effect the outcome; it will only make you crazy. It feels like it takes forever for the results to come in and honestly, it does take quite a while for the results to come in. Worrying about your results will only make it fee longer. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, easier said than done, but try your best.
Don’t beat yourself up just yet. You may think that you missed all the issues on the essay or you may feel that you got all your MCQ’s wrong, but don’t beat yourself up yet. Remember, with the invention of Facebook and the internet everyone now gets to tell you what they saw; this doesn’t mean they were right. Its hard not to get caught up in weeks of back and forth over what the issues were, if you missed them, if you nailed it. You wont know until the grades come in.
You know how hard you studied, what areas you were weakest in, and probably know best about how you fared. Don’t trust in the opinions of others on the internet. You don’t know how much they studied, where they were strongest, or even if they know what they are talking about.
Don’t quit studying. No matter how you feel about how you did on the test; do not stop studying. This doesn’t mean you have to go full-blown FYLSE prep, but it does mean don’t sit stagnant for the next two months. In a few days open up your horn book or your outlines and just start going over it again. Worst case scenario you didn’t pass, but your already ready to get back into the grove. If you did pass, then you’re getting yourself ready to start 2L and back to the grind.
What TO Do
Be proud of yourself. No matter how you feel you did, the good, the bad, the ugly; know that you finished the longest testing day in America. Own your success! For the last few months your friends haven’t heard from you, your children have only seen the back of your head as you stared into your books and outlines, your significant others have only received half responses, and you have probably lost all sense of connection with the outside world. Reach out to all those people and be proud. Catch them up on what you just did; what you accomplished!
Do treat yourself to a few days of absolute nothing. While preparing for the FYLSE I had dreams of essay fact patterns and possible MCQ’s. Your brain is inundated with nothing but the law. You can find yourself lost in vertigo due to the insane amount of information, your brain constantly buzzing and moving at the speed of light. Do take this time to reboot your brain. Take this time to sit quietly, to reflect, to listen to music, to veg out in front of the TV. Take some time and let your brain de-fragment.
Do take this time to be silly. Get on Youtube and watch all the videos you didn’t have time to watch. Spend some time laughing. Talk with your friends and family and laugh. Watch shows that are uplifting. Do things that you like to do that make you happy! Take this time to make yourself happy! You have spent the last year doing nothing but focusing on the substantive law. You have not laughed much. Do make it a point to laugh!
Do make plans! Don’t let the fear of your results stop you from signing up for your 2L classes. Don’t let the fear of your results lock you in purgatory. If this is your dream, if you put in this much time and effort, if this is what you want to do then go blindly into that goodnight. Make those plans. Sign up for those classes. Let the chips fall where they may; but know that you have the drive in you and you just proved that to yourself by taking the test (results be dammed).
The Honest Truth
As mentioned above, many of the things we just talked about are easier said than done. The truth is: You will be scared, you will think about your results often, you will have self-doubt, you will buy in to the opinions on Facebook, results will take forever to come back in. Everyone feels like this; you’re not alone. Everyone has an intense dread and excitement to get their results back. Everyone is second guessing their essays. Everyone is making predictions.
The best thing you can do is to try to move on. You will begin to feel the withdrawals. After spending countless days and nights focused in on this one task it is very much like addiction. Now that it’s over you may feel shell-shocked, you may feel lost, you may have trouble figuring out what it is your supposed to be doing; that’s OK! Everyone is lost after the testing is complete. It takes a while to figure out what to do with all that time that you had set aside for this test.
Know that we are a community of online law school students. It is OK to reach out to each other. It is OK to be afraid. It is OK to worry. But it is more important to know that your life has not stopped, the results will not end your life, no one will think less of you if you did not pass. None of us want to have to take it more than once but those are the numbers; only about 18% will pass on any given sitting, first time takers and subsequent takers. You are among friends. No mater what happens, we are here for you!