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Am I the only one who is scared they are not good enough for law school?

David___David___ Alum Member
in General 49 karma

I'm gonna be as candid and honest as possible for time purposes as well as for authenticity. I am and have been really struggling with the LSAT. I know that's not special but the amount of time I have been struggling with it is becoming debilitating. I started my journey last June.

While there were a few months that I stopped studying for necessary reasons, for at least a very solid 6 months let say, I have been grinding it out. I'm a very committed person who prides himself on maintaining a positive attitude--someone who emphasizes continued effort over attachment to outcomes.

I am here now, less than a month out from writing my second LSAT and am finding myself continually having negative and defeated thoughts. It's not only distracting from the work of studying, it's becoming paralyzing. My story is not unique in regards to having a goal set and wanting to bridge the gap between now and when I accomplish it. What does feel isolating is not maybe being cut out for this.

Not like any one person can decide for another that, "yes, you're right, you're not cut out for this", but in these dark times when there's little to no progress after a lot of focused effort, your curiosity over whether you are capable of achieving a set goal and it's effects on your life's plans really takes over.

I am writing this for a couple reasons. I want others who have or are maybe experiencing something similar to know they are not alone. Second, I want people to know that moving forwards while simultaneously acknowledging self doubt is important and maybe helpful. I'm not giving up, I'll continue to put sincere efforts into this goal, and I'm committed to writing this exam in a few weeks.

Comments

  • aguirreliz92aguirreliz92 Alum Member
    217 karma

    Hey David! I am totally on the same boat. I have actually been studying on and off for the past year and a half. My diagnostic was 132 and I just sat on the march LSAT and scored a 144. There are many moments in my studies where I question my mental capacity. Then I think back to all of the other real life requirements that always pull me away from my studies. I have made the decision to tell myself, I am in control of my fate and attending law school is something I have given up my career for. I am now FoolProofing logic games. I am sitting in on the July test, and although I am looking for mid to high 150's, my Logic game timing and understanding has improved immensely. I have not taken any PT's because I am trying to drill a little more. But I will say, I feel much more confident and capable after drilling and seeing results. I realized my question isn't am I smart enough, but how much more effort could I be placing to truly learn the in's and out of this exam. I'll be damned if I throw away my dream because some standardized test has told me that I am inadequate. I am excited to take a PT to see if my drilling of sections has helped me get higher scores. I hope this helps. I have always wondered if I was the only person in this deep trench feeling with Law school and the LSAT. Thank you for having the courage to let people like me know we are not alone.

  • metacognitionmachinemetacognitionmachine Alum Member
    47 karma

    There are times when those kinds of discouraging thoughts hit me. As a 33 year-old who has wasted a lot of time, I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to score well and get scholarships so I'm not burdened with debt the rest of my life. That being said, it is important to remember your worth and value doesn't come from your job or test scores, even though our jobs take up 40-60 hours a week.

    I've felt the same things as you before. Just remember, in LSAT studying and in Law School there will always be people who know more than you and asking them for help/advice/wisdom and applying what they say is your best move. That and honestly studying (TV off and phone off).

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Oh man, you are SO not alone! Seriously, it's like... every single person haha. I'm deposited and heading to school this Fall, and have had many conversations with many other folks thinking that it's a fluke we got in where we did, or we can't hack it, or WHATAREWEDOING we're gonna die lol. There have been very, very few moments over the last 2+ years that I've been working toward going to law school that I actually felt like I belonged or was smart enough or anything else. The only advice I can give is finding ways to deal with that stress - talking it out with people here, or setting aside studying for a bit to reconnect with things you love, or just having a good talk with yourself to remember that no matter what happens, none of this defines who you are, how smart you are, or what you're worth. It's just a dang test you have to get through. And once you're done with that, you just have to write a crap ton of essays and push through that. And no matter what happens, it's all just a thing you are doing, nothing that has any real bearing on you as a person. So if you need to take some deep breaths, or quit studying for a few days and go do something fun, just figure out what you need to re-center. Good luck!

  • ChardiggityChardiggity Alum Member
    336 karma

    Several of the podcasts & webinars I've listened to on 7 sage had 170+ people take even two years to get where they wanted to, score-wise, so don't beat yourself up about 6-11 months. It's a process, and it takes people different amounts of time to conquer. That doesn't mean you're less than, because a standardized test is giving you trouble. It has very very little to do with law school, whatever the correlations may tell us.

  • AudaciousRedAudaciousRed Alum Member
    2689 karma

    Nope. Not alone. You're doing fine. This test kicks everyone's buts.
    Do I have doubts about law school? Maybe a little. But I just finished some very grueling semesters and graduated this week. If I can do what I just did, I can do anything. And I will. I've got this, even if the test frustrates the hell out of me.
    You've got this,too. It's just a barrier, and it can be scaled. Sometimes, I wonder if its sole purpose is just to see if you'll stick it out and try harder or if you'll just walk away.

  • BlindReviewerBlindReviewer Alum Member
    855 karma

    You are definitely not alone! Especially when studying for something as drawn out as this, at least I've definitely had points where I've felt like "I mean I put in all this time, but why am I not improving?" or "If I get a hard passage or a game then I'm just screwed" -- general frustrations about plateauing or just not knowing how to move forward. Because the test plays on language, there are times you'll feel like there's nothing you could've done to misread that, or "that's just how I understood it," and I think that, plus the sheer amount of time you've already put in, can lead to a breaking point.

    But I think the only forward is to just keep chugging along, no matter how hard it is to believe in yourself. You might have a good day where you just kill a section, or you might find some kind of breakthrough about WHY you were misreading things. Slowly but surely, your subconscious understanding of logic will change (in tandem with your conscious knowledge) and eventually I think you'll find a way forward.

    If you're applying to law school but struggling with the LSAT, chances are that you're like a lot of people who have never come across a challenge so difficult and draining. I think I spent a few months on the SAT and only a week or two preparing for the GRE, so it wasn't until this exam that I felt thoroughly intimidated. In @"Cant Get Right" 's podcast/AMA Josh talks about something similar, where before this most things came easily, more or less, and so you can feel like you've maxed out or that you won't improve. I think it's just not true -- though, it will depend on how badly you want it and how much time you're willing/able to put in.

    Anyway, we've all been there -- the feeling of dread and "Maybe I've chosen the wrong path" will pass, no matter how hard it may be to believe right now!

  • akats1027akats1027 Legacy Member
    37 karma

    I truly appreciate that you took the time to write out this discussion. Every day I get the same thoughts, am I cut out for this? why cant I score better? I am about a year and a half into studying (two years out of college) while working a full-time job. Some days I just cant wake up early or stay up late because i'm so exhausted from work. I have already taken the LSAT twice and fell into the trap thinking I would score better the second time...when in reality I scored about the same even though I truly felt that I had more knowledge and skills learned this time around.

    Now the pressure on me is even higher because I feel as though taking the LSAT more than 2 times is VERY frowned upon so the fact that I'm going in for a third time scares the hell out of me. What if I do just as bad???? Is that the end for me? I HAVE to show that my score has improved immensely so that I can explain myself and show that although I did horribly the first two times, I pulled through and worked at it and made it happen.I'm an excellent student with a great GPA with some great things on my resume but why does this one test have a say if i'm good enough for law school?????? I KNOW I would do great in school but I feel so stuck with this test.

    I completely understand and sympathize with how you are feeling, the best advice I can give you is that if you feel like the week or day before the test you are not scoring in your practice tests like how you want, just opt out of the test and take it later. I used to have this "everything will work out for the good" attitude days before the test and I would allow myself to ignore the fact that truly I wasn't ready and go sit and take the test and allow myself to have a horrible score on my record. I know the test isn't on the cheap side, but I'd rather loose my $190 every time to know I'm not going to make a mistake again and take the test without having full confidence in myself and my ability to score better.

    At this moment, a few weeks out from the test, I'm really not sure how I feel about it. My score has gone up a little, but I'm talking little. I know I have a few weeks left so I am going to try to do my best and see the improvement I really want.

    Ps. You need to ignore the comments that you may get from friends, significant others or family who after the first or even second time you take the LSAT start asking you, are you sure you should go to law school? why don't you start to think about a plan B for your future career? Trust me it hurts like hell to hear that the people closest to you aren't really believing anymore that you can do it. They'll still say that they "believe" but you know deep down they're starting to doubt. But we need to prove them wrong and work our butts off and get it done!!!! Because we can do it!!!! Maybe we take longer than the other students who can just take the LSAT once and get their dream score or even a score wayyy better than ours, but we will still get there with persistence!!!!! I have put too much into law school prep just to give up on a standardized test!!!!!!!!

    I hope this helps you, best of luck to you.

    -Angelika

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    It took me a year and a half of studying non-stop, and three attempts, to achieve my goal score on the LSAT.

    Along that road I felt frustrated, lost, confused, and defeated more often then I felt good about anything. I relied on pure “can-do” attitude and people on this forum to help me get through the hard times.

    Now I’m in law school finishing my 1L year and I still feel like I don’t belong.

    However, neither does anyone else and that helps a lot. Everyone is going through the exact same thing, it’s the nature of the beast. For those select few who have it come naturally, they are very much the exception.

    Just know you are certainly not alone, most of us have felt - or still feel - this way throughout the process.

    Head up and march forward friend!

  • ktskbeachbumktskbeachbum Member
    3 karma

    I think it is important to understand and know WHY you are doing what you are doing? What drives the goal? Once you get to a deeper, and I mean several layers, of asking why this and if that then how would that make me feel? etc.. then you will get to the emotion of why and that will make ALL the difference. Last year, I was walking down the hallway at one of my kids school, feeling particularly discouraged about law school and trying to decide if it was really something I wanted to do, hanging on the wall was a poster the kids had drawn and illustrated that asked a question, If failure was NOT possible, what would you do? My answer was immediately Law School! so realizing the fear of failure is a foe helps to declutter the mind from emotions and feeling so we recognized exactly what they are, fear can be paralyzing.
    It is also important to remember that standardized tests only measure certain things (stamina, ability to focus, etc..) not intelligence nor any other skills necessary for a successful life. As a mentor, I always tell everyone, specially my kids, when they don't understand something instead of saying I cant.... they must always add YET at the end. Many of us can't raise our scores YET, may not fully understand LR YET, may not be fast enough YET, etc...
    So my advise to all, as a mentor is this: you can be a dragon slayer because that is what those negative thoughts are, dragons. So first and foremost yell it out loud every day, I am a dragon slayer and when a negative thought comes to your mind write it down, tear it up and then write down the exact opposite + add a physical attribute as well so if you think " I am so stupid" then write down, I am brilliant and I look good! repeat three times every morning and night. You will rewire and create new pathways in your brain and change its chemistry over time. You will feel way better too.
    So lets keep focused on improving our ability to crack the darn test. Also, I took a three month break from Feb to April and it was the best thing I did! Now i am going about 30 hours a week but yesterday I had to take a break too, my back was thankful. Good luck to all cracking the test and slaying dragons!

  • Brian BaileyBrian Bailey Legacy Member
    73 karma

    You're not alone at all. I have been studying for the LSAT for the last year and a half and I always find myself backing out at the last minute because I am just terrified to take it. I am two years out of undergrad and 29 years old so I am constantly thinking am I a failure for the journey taking longer than I see it taking others?

    I have worked as a clerk for a local law firm for the past two years and the passions I have for being here is reaffirmed every day I walk in the door. But my only obstacle, and it always has been, is my self doubt for not being a 4.0 student out of undergrad. I am constantly thinking I'm not good enough but deep down I know I can do this.

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