The one with the pre-LSAT checklist.

Hey guys! I’ve been changing my blog up here and there now that I’ve been getting a few more views here and there.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the things I have to/ should do in preparation for my LSAT on September 8th. I’ve done a pretty good job of building some healthy habits this summer in conjunction with LSAT prep, but there’s always room for improvement. They say it takes 28 days to build a habit and there are a few healthy habits I’d like to build leading up to the exam. Some of these healthy habits are to help with memory retention, some to help maintain energy, and some for all over health and peace of mind.

We’re getting really close, so here is the routine I hope to build as I continue prep-testing.

  1. Go to bed at the same time every day.

I really need to train myself to put my laptop and phone away and get in my bed at the same time. Getting enough sleep is SO important for memory retention (a key that will help you for those pesky reading comprehension sections!).

2. Wake up early and go for a run/go to the gym.

I’ve been going to the gym at least 3 times a week during LSAT prep and I can confidently say it’s been helping with my energy in the morning and it’s been helping my overall mood. All those happy chemicals that get released through exercise are worth the sweat.

3. Drink a large cup of iced green tea.

Coffee makes me feel AWFUL. My heart starts palpitating, I get nervous and nauseous, my stomach won’t leave me alone, and I feel borderline panic attack every time….. so I stopped drinking coffee. I stick to a pink blender bottle full of iced matcha. If you’re not familiar with matcha, it’s a powdered, concentrated Japanese green tea. It can be a little bitter but I’m used to drinking tea without sugar so I don’t mind it. It has caffeine without making me feel absolutely terrible. Green tea also seems to come with other great benefits as well, but I just love it as a beverage.

4. MEDITATE!!

I say that aggressively because I’m terrible at doing this every day. My longest streak was a week. I love using this meditation called SimpleHabit because it’s free and comes with some great meditations ranging from 5, 10, 15, 20+ minutes. The flexibility is great. It’s also pretty cool that they have some for commutes, some specifically for focus, and others for just about anything you can think of.

5. Put that all together into a routine.

Wake up at 6am. Go for some exercise. Eat some breakfast. Take a shower. Drink iced tea. Meditate. Preptest. Go to sleep early.

 

THESE ARE MY AUGUST GOALS. I’m planning to incorporate this into my bullet journal somehow, so if you’re interested in that, please let me know! I’ve been trying to figure out how to incorporate my bullet journaling with my blog as well so if you have any ideas, I’m all ears.

The one with the childhood home.

The road to law school comes with a lot of changes. For me, it means my parents officially reach retirement age and ditch me to live in the Philippines. It means my childhood home is up for sale and everything else is up in the air.

Yes, it’s true, my childhood home is up for sale. It’s both heartbreaking and a little exciting. What comes next depends largely on how much my house sells for, what school I get accepted to, and where I’ll be able to afford rent.

I’ll be honest, I’m internally freaking out. I’m a planner. I love knowing things far in advance. I love planning, making lists, keeping my bullet journal as up to date and beautiful as possible (anyone want a post on that? no? okay..) So not knowing where I”ll go to school or WHERE I’LL BE LIVING is making my insides a little chaotic.

Listen, I’ve already got a cooking and cleaning and laundry schedule somewhat planned out but I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE I’LL BE LIVING. That’s how much of a control freak I can be.

Also, a question I get asked a lot is whether or not my boyfriend and I will be moving in together. As wonderful as that sounds, we’ve agreed that our priorities right now are to focus on careers. For me, that means having a place to be in quiet and alone to focus on my studies. For my boyfriend, it means staying at home and working until he’s in a place where he feels financially secure enough to be on his own. We’ll spend a lot of time together, I’m sure, but moving in together just isn’t part of our plans yet.

Anyone have moving tips? Anyone have tips of how to get over the trauma of selling your childhood home? (Might need more of those second group of tips)

The one with the law school personal statement.

Hello again! Be prepared, this one is going to be a long one. A little about me, a little about my writing process, and a little bit about where I hope this all goes.

I’ve been outlining and drafting personal statements here and there which is exciting but also scary and draining. I know I’m not the typical applicant. I didn’t even know I’d be applying until a little over a year ago and even then I thought “could this really be a thing?”

But it is a thing. I’ve made it a thing. I’m taking my LSAT prep, I’m networking with other attorneys and law students, I’ve been to an LSAC forum, I’ve registered for another LSAC forum, I have drafts for my statements, I’ve reached out to professors for recommendation letters.

This is really a thing.

So I wonder why I still have all this self doubt about whether I should even be applying. I look at myself and I don’t see the typical law school applicant, but isn’t that beneficial for me? Won’t my journey make it that much more interesting for how I got here and where I want to go?

I’ve been trying to articulate that in a personal statement and right now I’m finding that the most important contribution to me and the contribution that I would like to make involves community accessibility.

I never thought this career path was accessible to me because I didn’t see anyone who worked within the legal system in my community. I saw teachers and I saw nurses, all wonderful and educated, but neither seemed to really appeal to me. I also grew up in a community of immigrants. I found that story much more interesting. To be raised by a community figuring out their way in a new space is fascinating to me and gives me a different perspective on life, work, family, and community. These communities developed because everyone left their families to come here and work.

Community accessibility. When a new owner bought the nursing home where my mom and my “aunts”(the other Filipino nurses that my mom worked with that became our family) worked, they all lost their jobs. Suddenly the accessible and safe career choice wasn’t safe and I freaked out. I was convinced healthcare was the only career option. What was I supposed to do now? I stopped taking all the science prerequisites and focused on the subjects I was truly interested in. I took more literature classes, more Asian-American classes. I read more about immigration stories and I ended up taking a law class.

Asian-American Civil Rights and the Law taught by my Filipino-American professor. A Fil-Am lawyer! Who grew up in the states? Who didn’t have a stellar academic record? Who didn’t know he wanted to do this his whole life? Who is KILLING the game now as a lawyer and the creator of a non-profit organization for Queer Asian Americans? I was amazed. He was a tough professor and it was a tough class, but I was so determined to do well. I taught my self to work smarter, not harder for this class. I got an A at the end of the term after many classmates dropped out of the course. I was sure this was what I wanted to do. I want to be like him.

When I told one of the men who came during the retreat to help us with our statements, he said that this was exactly what I should write about. I should write about how I never thought this career was accessible, but that seeing someone that looked like me in the space allowed me to see myself in this space, and how I want to be that person for someone else.

I’m having a little trouble figuring out how to articulate how I want to be that for someone else or even who I want to be, but I think it’s so important to be able to see yourself in different spaces. If we don’t know what’s available to us, how do we know what we want?

Anyway, this clearly isn’t my personal statement. That’s still in the works. This is just me trying to mind map the ideas and the experiences I’ve had to come up with my compelling story for an admissions committee…. which is kind of terrifying. Is that good enough a reason to want to go to law school? I have plenty of other reasons. But this seems to make sense out of some of my experiences that are briefly outlined through my transcript and resume.

How are your personal statements going? Which one of your stories do you want to tell?

The One with the LSAT retreat (Part 2).

Hey guys! I’m happy to report that the retreat was a success and it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I guess it was just one of those things I built up in my head but it was a productive weekend with some games and a lot of writing.

They had professionals who assist people with applications come and help us with our applications. Since it was part of our program, it was free for us, but they told us they charge about $350 per revision! That’s crazy!

They sat us down and had us do a few charts and free writes to get ideas out of our heads. Then they came around at each table and had short conversations with each of us. Before lunch on the first day, we all knew what we were writing our personal statements about and it was time to outline.. Throughout the course of a weekend we had solid outlines and some people even had drafts.

They also helped us on our diversity statements! Some of the ideas I ended up with are things that I either wouldn’t have thought of on my own, or would have taken me much longer to get to that point.

The professionals flew to NYC from California, so it was a blessing to have them and to work with them in person. Even though they flew back, they’ve made themselves accessible to us and we are to send them our drafts before September so get feedback while their season isn’t too busy.

We had a lot of food, slept in sleeping bags and on yoga mats, and got to hang out on an NYC rooftop and fire escape for what will probably be the only chance I get to do any of those things in my life.

It was definitely draining, but it was also worth the experience.

If you’ve come to read those post after reading my last post, thank you! My blog has been growing a bit each day and I’m always surprised and thankful. Reach out if you’d like a post about my personal statement or diversity statement process!

The one with the LSAT retreat (Part 1).

Hello again! Every time I open WordPress, I’m surprised that people visit my blog (sometimes more than once! Shoutout to you guys!). I’m grateful, and I hope that I can keep putting out content that interests my readers. If you’re reading this, and you’ve been here before, please don’t be scared to reach out! When I first started my blog(Ha I say that like it wasn’t just a month ago), I reached out to Brazen and Brunette to ask for some advice and she gave me great advice. I might not be able to give advice on anything just yet, but I’m open to hear what you’d like to know about me or my experiences!

Okay, on to the serious stuff. My LSAT fellowship has planned a “retreat” for the weekend. It’s basically a sleepover with pizza and probably watching My Cousin Vinny while working with some professionals on our personal statements. That sounds like a lot, yes. I’m not too sure what to expect which makes me quite anxious. I love being able to come home and be alone in my room at the end of a long day, so to have class all day Friday, have a sleepover, and then have class all day Saturday already sounds really draining.

To top it all off, I have a Christening to attend on Sunday morning (I’m the Godmother!), followed by a big lunch with family at my house, so there goes any chance I had at having alone time.

It’s intended for bonding and to really get a chance to start working on our personal statements. I have slight social anxiety, so sharing a space with people I’m not particularly close to or comfortable around is making me very nervous. Also the thought of being vulnerable and talking about the emotional reasons behind wanting to go to law school is easy when you’re typing it out to an unknown face that you’ll never meet or have to talk to, but it’s a whole other ball game when there are professionals in there asking you for your “story.”

I have a tendency for panic attacks when any combination of lack of sleep + uncomfortable & forced social interactions + hunger + lack of personal space are combined, so I’m hoping and praying I can hold myself together for this retreat.

Will post part 2 once I survive it!

The one with the 3L.

Hello again! So last Friday, the speaker that came to visit us is a 3L from Yale that graduated from my university and attended the same fellowship program. (If this is your first time reading my posts, then my fellowship is a 2 month long LSAT prep course that brings in public interest lawyers and law students to talk to us about their experience every Saturday.)

It was nice to hear from someone that’s still a law student because many practicing attorneys don’t remember a lot of their law school experience. She was very honest and told us that she hates law school, that she feels like an outcast because she is a child of undocumented immigrants and came from a city university, and how she finds things she likes to do in law school. She’s dedicated to public interest, which is awesome, but also addresses the fact that there’s just not enough money in public interest law. This causes some of the greatest minds to work for big law firms because the reality is, people have bills to pay and lives to take care of.

Of everything she said, I appreciated her honesty and her shared experience. We all know that many people that attend law school come from families with lawyers, so hearing from someone that didn’t have any lawyers in their family was refreshing. Her best advice was to accept the role of the outsider and play on your strengths. It’s too exhausting and not worth your time to try to fit in with groups that grew up in an environment where lawyers were readily available to them.

There are plenty of people that hate their law school experience and love practicing as lawyers. I can only hope and pray that I will love both.