If anyone in your social circles is or has ever been a law student, you probably know that it’s that time of year again–bar exam time. Once upon a time, I was a lawyer, and before that I was a bar examinee, so it seems like every February and July I hear of someone who’s just taken the bar and is anxiously awaiting results. Just hearing about it brings back memories of studying literally all day while everyone else was at the beach playing volleyball, collapsing in tears, sobbing “How do they expect us to know ALL of this??”, and late-night frozen yogurt runs with my then-fiancé to make it all better. If you’re in that boat now, keep plugging away, and know that the froyo really does help.
This particular bar season is special for me because my sister in law is in the middle of studying for it. I wish I lived closer to her so I could bring her a meal or a teddy bear or just a hug. But since that’s not possible from 300 miles away, I figured I would just send her a care package. I would have LOVED to receive a care package while I was studying. It’s so helpful to just know that people are supporting you even from afar. So if any of your loved ones are taking the bar, here are some things that might be of comfort to them while they’re studying:
1. A warm scarf – On the first day of testing I was freezing in the room all day. So after the day was over, I went to the mall across from the testing center and bought a scarf. The second and third days, I was much more warm and comfortable. Pick something soft and cozy for maximum comfort.
2. Lip balm – I have really dry lips so I always have some lip balm on hand. It’s a must-have while studying.
3. Hair ties – If your examinee has long hair, these are crucial for keeping hair out of the way while studying or testing. I like these wide, flat elastics because they also don’t make creases in my hair.
(3.5. Yan-Yan – Because I didn’t plan out this picture very well. But look! There’s fun words inside!)
4. Colored markers – I’m a visual learner, so color coding was so helpful for me while I was studying. I found this mini marker set in my school store while I was in law school and it was perfect for making color-coded flash cards. The little case is also perfect for toting all these colors around in your backpack.
5. Tote bag – At the place where I tested, only certain things are allowed in the actual testing room, so everyone left their other things in the outside waiting area. That means that the outside area is covered in piles of bags and people’s stuff, which might make it a little hard to find your things once you exit the testing room. A tote that’s easy to identify makes it easier to spot your things among everyone else’s. It’s also helpful to get a cheap bag in case you lose it or someone takes your things (whether by accident or on purpose).
6. Rome map – If your examinee is taking a bar trip, it’s nice to include a little reminder of what they get to do after the exam. Maps, mementos, or even a little travel diary might be fun.
7. Snacks – Of course! This is possibly the most important part of a care package. These are some of my favorite Asian snacks, but anything that’s easy to pop in your mouth while studying is great.
Some other ideas for a care package include fresh baked treats (keep them fresh by shipping overnight), back support or a pillow (at least in California, they allow examinees to these into the testing room), cute pens/pencils/flashcards, or a soothing CD to listen to while studying. And don’t forget to include a card to let your examinee know you’re thinking of them! If you have any other ideas for a care package, let me know in the comments!