Last Friday night, a mere 12 hours before I would sit for the impending doom that is also referred to as the LSATs, I called my mom for the requisite night-before-the-exam confidence booster. “Honey,” she cooed, “you’re going to be great! You always have been.” I was about to hang up when she chimed in “Oh! And don’t forget not to drink tonight!”
Time out. Really, mom?
Even though I have successfully completed three full years of college, my mother clearly did not think I possessed enough foresight to have come to this conclusion on my own. Giving up alcohol for three weeks is the least difficult of the sacrifices one makes for the exam. I donated six months of my time to this test and in the end, the question remains — what difference does it all make?
For overachievers like us Quakers, the LSAT is both a gift and a nightmare. It is a conquerable test if you put enough time and effort into it, and it can do wonders for you if you are lucky enough to do exceptionally well. But it can also eat away at your confidence — and all other aspects of your life (“No, I can’t do that today, I’m studying for the LSATs”). For those lucky individuals such as myself who choose to take the exam twice, it provides further internal quandaries: do I keep my score or cancel it? What happens if I do worse the second time around? Will I have to (god forbid) take it a third time?
People need to realize that the LSAT is not the end all be all of success. It is simply one facet of our application that, yes, is very important, but no, will not be the single determinant of our happiness from here on out. And people — going over each question one by one and attempting to hypothesize which ones you have a 78.6% chance of getting wrong is not advantageous. At all.
So, Law School Admissions Council, you’ve provided us with the tools to achieve our wildest dreams, while simultaneously stealing months of our lives and evidently promoting post-traumatic alcohol consumption. Is it worth it in the end, just for a silly test? For someone like me, who has wanted to go to law school since I was in eighth grade, yes. It was certainly worth it. For the kid sitting in front of me, taking it because he “had nothing better to do?” Maybe not. But either way, I have a newfound friend in the first floor of Van Pelt and a renewed appreciation for those individuals who have mastered the study of, well, studying.