The one with the explanation..

Hey all, it’s been a long time since I’ve last logged into this site. I thought my views might have died off when I stopped posting, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that over the months that I’ve let this blog rot, people have actually been checking out my content.

Because of that, I feel like I owe my 2 readers an explanation for my absence.

After my last post, the feelings of fear, anxiety, and failure started to kick in as time got closer and closer to my LSAT. I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping, I felt nauseous and scared ALL the time. I lived off of chicken broth for a month. That’s all I could stomach.

There were some ups and downs in that last month. I did so many practice tests, I was so organized, but I still didn’t feel confident or prepared. I managed to start scoring in the 160s right before my exam date which was a nice boost to my ego, but didn’t help in my confidence and assurance that I would do well.

Come test day, everything that could go wrong went ABSOLUTELY WRONG. They let us in late, my test center didn’t have air conditioning in the waiting area but BLASTED the air conditioner in the test room, I was accompanied by some very talkative and anxiety-inducing test takers, and some guy in front of me just started STANDING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EXAM, BOY WHAT ARE YOU DOING?????

The air conditioner was blowing my baby hairs on to my face, my pages off the teeny tiny desk of what looked like a mini chem lecture room. I couldn’t even eat the snacks I brought. I also felt nervous because, like a dumbass, I signed the sheet you’re supposed to bring before my arrival. (If you haven’t taken the test yet, the sheet says to wait to sign before your exam)

So I scored relatively low. I hadn’t scored that low since maybe my second practice test EVER. It was 5 points below my average score. I scored a 154.

When I woke up, refreshing the site like a maniac, I thought I was going to vomit. I was so disappointed in myself. For the next month I was so angry, so disappointed, so confused.

I had a plan. I was going to apply to law school in 2019.

Then, the rest of the world came crashing down. We sold my childhood home. We had a VERY stressful move to a new apartment that involved being somewhat homeless for two weeks and living with my cousin. My mom’s chronic illness got worse. My dad had to get surgery. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve accepted that it just wasn’t my time yet. I’m grateful for the fellowship I participated in last year. I made some great friends and I learned a lot. I’m also grateful and lucky that I’ve been selected to be the instructor for this year’s fellowship. Why? Please don’t ask me, I don’t know. But I’m going to be positive and take this as an opportunity to study again, look up the reviews and be more selective about my testing center, and achieve my long term goals of going to law school.

This has truly been a learning experience for me and I’m learning to love myself more. I believe that there’s some plan for me that I don’t know about and I’m going to keep putting in the work. I know I’m not my score and I have a good feeling about my near future. I like myself a lot more now, so I’m hoping to be more active on this again for the one person still reading.

My journey is FAR from over.

The one with the month before the LSAT.

Hey guys! If you follow me on Instagram, I said I’d put up pictures of how I plan to study for the LSAT this August. I apologize for not getting that up sooner, but to be honest, I had just started prep testing and I was feeling really sad and down on myself for not scoring much higher than my diagnostic after completing the curriculum.

My diagnostic score was a 149 and my first prep test after the curriculum was a 152. I felt so disappointed in myself that I hadn’t scored significantly higher than my diagnostic, but it took me a couple preptests to really understand that it’s going to take more than a curriculum to score higher. PRACTICE IS EVERYTHING. With each full, 5-section, accurately timed & proctored (found on YouTube) exam, my score began to gradually increase.

152

154

155

156

159!

On my 5th preptest I had officially scored 10 points higher than my diagnostic. Was I happy? Of course! Was I content? Absolutely not. On the preptest right before that, I had only gotten one question in the logic games section wrong. I had gotten many more wrong on that preptest. I know that if I can increase my accuracy in logic games, I can hit the 160s. If I continue working and increasing my accuracy in both logic games and logical reasoning, the possibilities are endless!

As you can see, I’m feeling much better, and much more hopeful. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m so excited to get there. This is definitely one of those things where you should celebrate your little victories. The process is already difficult and it isn’t conducive to your improvement to be hard on yourself.

I know that’s easier to say than to put in practice, but when I recognized that I was feeling down, I had to check myself. That time I wasn’t feeling my best, I hadn’t been eating as healthy as I’ve been, I didn’t get a chance to exercise as much, and I definitely hadn’t been drinking enough water. Take care of your body, friends! Do everything you can to stay in the best physical and mental shape you can.

More to come! LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY FROM SEPTEMBER 2018 LSAT.

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?