made in kowloon

Category: Law School

A Letter to the Universe

Dear Universe,

I believe in signs.  I really, really, honestly, truly do.  And you’re starting to make me wonder if you’re telling me the message that I think you’re telling me.  And worst of all, you’re making me doubt myself.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve doubted myself plenty of times before, but I feel like I’m at the stage where I shouldn’t doubt myself.  I’m old enough to know better… about who I am as a person, who I want to become, and what ‘skills’ I currently possess. I don’t know.  Maybe that’s a little arrogant and presumptuous of me because I haven’t even lived a quarter of a century yet, but I just feel like I should know better than to let things I can’t control… control me.

Last year, the more I studied for the LSAT, the more anxious I got.  In the beginning, with the help of a course, it seemed doable, until I started getting some assumption questions wrong on the logic reasoning section.  That’s where it all pretty much went to the crapper because then, I just started over-thinking every question. Some of the more difficult questions, I got correct, but some of the easy ones flew way over my head.  I went through all the questions in the Mastery book, sure, but I got so freaked out by missing so many of them and thought I’m screwed here because that section makes up 50% of the exam score that I didn’t have enough productive study sessions.   To those of you who followed me last year, you’ll remember I was kind of a mess. I just couldn’t get it.  It was too finite and I couldn’t wrap my head around it because in my mind, there is ALWAYS another way… another explanation.  And you know, that’s just not the way the test works.

In the end, I got a score I wasn’t pleased with.  And despite sending in my applications awfully late, I got a nice brush off from a really nice, kind of dream school in New York (if you can get the score a little higher, etc. etc.) but it was a brush off regardless. Anyway, I had convinced myself I wasn’t going to take the test again because it was the bane of my existence; it ruined my life for half a year. But then, that would make me a failure because I would have given up so easily, and brick walls are there for a reason, right?  So I registered for the October 2010 test.

In late May, I started studying for the exam a second time.  It went by more smoothly.  I didn’t retake the course; instead, I used a combination of PowerScore and Kaplan materials, and studied on my own.  I kept a relatively consistent schedule.  I hit a few bumps in the road (a month into it I thought about not doing the law school thing entirely and instead get a master’s, which I am still applying for because I like options), but it wasn’t terrible like last year, and I felt pretty great.  Until around two weeks ago.  My scores on the practice tests had been alright, but they were consistent until this one test.  I bombed it.  I did worse than my actual LSAT score.  Sign Number One.

So in addition to freaking out over how I was going to do the exam, I was worried about if I would even be let into the exam room.  A few weeks after I registered for the test, I printed out my ticket, and I kept it in a safe place.  Around the time I failed the prep test and started stressing, my credit card statements came in and no where on either of them was my registration fee.  I checked online, and gee willikers, there is no record of registering for it either.  I have this printed out ticket, date and time-stamped and all, and yet no registration record.  So I e-mail LSAC and nothing… Then I call, and they tell me that they were sorry that happened but there’s nothing they can do about it.  This was on Thursday, by the way.  I tried again yesterday hoping someone else would tell me something different, but I got the same response.  I decided to just go to the testing center  and see if I could still somehow get in.  But I couldn’t sleep last night obviously, so I had someone tell me stories and sing me songs before I forced myself to sleep. Sign Number Two.

Anyway, before I get to this morning… earlier this week, I started getting feverish.  It was weird because I felt fine during the day time, but after I got off work around 4-5ish I came down with a light fever.  Nothing a few Tylenol and a nap couldn’t cure, but it went on for a few days.  And then on Wednesday, I started getting the sniffles, and by god, I took someone’s advice and downed a cocktail of drugs to ward it off.  It didn’t really work because I felt more groggy and body/ headachy than before, but whatever.  More naptime for me, and by Friday morning, I was better.  But still, Sign Number Three.

Now, this morning… I woke up before my alarm clock.  Got ready, and like last time, I didn’t care what I wore to the test.  A pair of old jeans, a comfortable t-shirt and a hoodie.  I had a nice filling, but not too filling breakfast at one of my favourite diners near the test center. I got sat in front of a guy and a girl who were probably having the most awkward, first or second date in the world.  I know it was wrong for me to eavesdrop but it’s kind of nice to laugh inwardly at how ridiculous this exchange was because it took my mind off other more troubling things.  Anyway, you are probably thinking what the hell are you talking about… who has a date at 6AM?  And I wouldn’t know what to tell you because I don’t know either.  Although if I had to guess, they were probably there after getting it on after a club closed or something.  Anyway, so… basically, these are the things I thought about when I occasionally dropped in on their conversation:

–           When is it okay to talk about ex-partners or to tell the girl that she’s ‘scary’ and that you find something about her ‘scary’ on a first/ second date?  Have I been out of the ‘real’ dating scene that long?

–           What kind of ugly ringtone is that, frat boy? And why are you answering it?

–           Speaking of frat boys, he totally sounds like one, but I’m sorry to report that he does not look like one.  And I mean that in the way that… I think 96% of frat boys I have been around are relatively good looking. (That link has nothing to do with frat boys or what the guy looks like.  I just thought it was funny … you know 96%… yeah)

–           “My mind is in the gutter. Hehe hehe.  I’m sorry.”   Lady, you cannot just tell a guy that and then giggle and say you’re not going to tell him what you were thinking without him asking/ prodding you for the answer.  As if on cue, dude says “Oh yeah, I knew you had another side to you.  What’s on your mind?”  I imagine there was lots of smirking on his part.

Now, after that bit, I just tuned it out because that conversation can only go downhill and I had better things to think about like how I would march in there and charm those people into letting me take the test.

When I got to the test center, there was this creepy tall guy walking around.  It looked a little sketch because he’s strolling really slowly and peering into each room.  And he had nothing on him with his hand in his pockets.  I mean… I don’t know.  Maybe I watch too many crime dramas.  So I get there.  I take this other ticket they were passing out to let me know which room to go into.  Follow other people and let some other people herd me in a general direction and wait in line for the lady at the counter to check you in.

Then it was my turn, and she couldn’t find my name which I had guessed.  And I told her my situation, and I showed her my ticket, which she then took, reviewed, and never returned. (so haha, now I don’t even have a copy of that to prove to anyone that I, indeed, did have a stupid ticket.  Just this LSAC email about the October 2010 test, but even then, it doesn’t really prove anything, I don’t think)  She essentially said, Sorry.  You are not in the system.  You are the weakest link.  Goodbye.  And there was nothing else I could do other than to just walk away in shame as other people stared at me.  Then I went to the library and have been hiding here in a study cube on the third floor crying like a weirdo ever since because I don’t feel like going home and have someone tell me I’m a failure and say something like ‘I told you so.’ I’m not sure if they would really say that, but I have an inkling or I imagine they would, so… here I am, feeling sorry for myself and wondering if these three things are really signs to just tell me, stop Sue.  You are dumb, you are really dumb, for real.

Anyway, I don’t know what I’m going to do now, and I kind of feel like I’m living this experience?  But I should maybe go home and face more shame.  Thanks, Universe.  I mean, I really hope you give me another sign that will tell me things will get better.

 

Very truly yours,

Sue

My Worstest Nightmare Come True

That’s right… I’m retaking the LSAT. Last year around this time, I was panicking a helluva lot more than I should have in retrospect. But what is that saying? Hindsight is always 20/20? I mean, I did not make the dreaded 130, but as a somewhat overachiever (lolz) it was definitely not something I wanted to write home about, and with the increasing number of people taking the test and applying to law school last cycle, I might as well have made that 130… lost in the Waitlist Sea. Though don’t get me wrong, (and I think this is important for those who are applying or thinking about applying this upcoming cycle) I was/ am super happy to get these ‘waitlisted’ e-mails because it meant it’s not an outright rejection, which happened several times too.

I’m holding out on one school, which I think is THE school for me, that hasn’t responded yet, but I’m not holding my breath. So, I’m retaking the LSAT to cover my bases, or at least I’m starting to prepare for it. Originally, I thought I’d say “Screw it. I’m never looking at that test ever again. EVER.” And until a week ago, I thought I’d reapply for the EPA internship I coveted last September or get an MLA in international policy (read: Chinese) with an emphasis in environmental science/ studies at a private institution here…or both. Then the question: “Would that make you happier?” came up. (This is why I don’t really like retreating into my brain, you guys. I’m a happy ENFJ/ ESFJ [depends on when and which test I take…weird, eh?] because I make myself depressed. Ugh.) And my answer was a resounding no.

Let’s face it, I was never one to just settle (okay, I did that one time when I was dating this guy, but thankfully that didn’t last very long.), so excuse me if I don’t start now. I mean, I made A LOT of mistakes last cycle, and though it should bring me down that it’s a HIGH probability I won’t start school this fall (hahaha), it doesn’t. Because it means that I will want it even more and that I’ll be in a place where going to class is like…my oxygen or something. (I’ve been out of undergrad for almost 4 years, and I’m turning 23 in October.)

So here are the mistakes that I made and recognise from Phase 1 of last cycle. I didn’t take some of the advice that was given to me – mostly because it was too late or because I have ADD or because I was just plain dumb and wanted to do it my way – but I hope you won’t do some of these things that I did. That you’re smarter than me, in some way. Only not, because then I’d be SOL when reapplying…

THE LSAT

1. I was hella overwhelmed because I adopted too many methods. There are MOUNTAINS of information out there: study guides, prep courses, TLS forum threads, current law school students’ Twittter pages and/ or blawgs. They are all going to mention different things, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow everything they tell you. You’ll end up very confused like I was in the first few weeks I was studying for this thing (back in March.. hahasob) and you’ll just want to shoot yourself, which is never a good thing. I mean, think about the people who will have to clean up your mess.. :-|

Anyway, my point is… find something or someone you like and stick with them.

2. Once I found my particular style, I still didn’t do it correctly. After every practice section or prep test you complete, review the material and analyse the questions you answered incorrectly. Maybe I am the only person in the world that didn’t do this, which makes me really stupid, but whatever… I didn’t. I took the practice questions, read the correct answers to the questions I missed, and skimmed the reasoning. Then I beat myself up and continued the process. Einstein would have labeled me insane, mkay.

So the lesson here is to REVIEW AND ANALYSE your incorrect answers!

3. At the end of the day, I just don’t think I studied enough or took it TOO seriously. I mean, I did, but I could have pushed myself to do even better. I let the fear of “cheese and rice this test is HUGE. BIG. MY FUTURE. MY LIFE” get in the way of productively studying. Does that make sense?

I’m sure I’ve made more mistakes than this in relation to the exam, but I can’t think of anything else at the moment. Besides, these booboos are like whales you can’t overlook.  In the meantime, this is it. I’ve kinda bared my soul, especially the stupid parts, and let you people judge, and I’m okay with that, I think. I mean, geez, coughing up to your mistakes is hard?

Tap, Tap, Tap… Is this thing on?

I return for a brief moment from my unannounced (and for this I am sorry…  leaving you on the edge of your seats, wondering if this blog has perished and gone to Blog Heaven… :-( ) hiatus to bring you a Public Service Announcement.

Family and Friends:

I am ever so grateful for you, especially when you lent me an ear so I could spout all kinds of crazy things about applying to law school.  Oh, you know, when I got those rather minor panic attacks where some of my hair fell out over a silly little standardized test.  Or when I blabbered on about wondering ‘who I really am’ and how to best express it in three-pages, double spaced, twelve-sized Times New Roman.  Or even those couple of weeks, right before sending in the initial applications, when I got cold feet and decided to apply for a Masters in Liberal Studies.  Luckily, I finally made up my mind.  I had lost too many hours of sleep.  I had worked too hard.  I couldn’t and still can’t give up on something that I believe I love… even after a year and a half working in a civil litigation firm..

You guys were/ are awesome.

But, seriously?  You have also got to stop hounding me about whether or not I’ve gotten an acceptance letter yet.  The perfectionist that I am, I wrote and tossed away hundreds of personal statement drafts before settling one that I could swallow, and that, delayed my application process.  I didn’t really finish all of applications until the “OMGYOUARESOLATEITISNOWFEBRUARY” mark.

<sidebar> For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about: because I took the September LSAT, I should have already had my applications in before Thanksgiving.

And I’m still now in the process of just applying to a couple of other schools, for the hell of it.  So, my dears, no.  I have not received any notifications from any law schools.  It is still yet early for me.  And I promise, you will eventually know the who, what, when, and where.  Til then… the answer is ‘no’ and ‘next topic please..”