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Through the Interwebs with Sophia: Mental Health During LSAT Prep

Rumor has it that test-day nerves can get the better of you. All the work I put in will be represented by just a few hours of testing. By the time the October LSAT comes around, I’ll have studied for about three months, not including the logic course I took last spring semester. I am one to get very nervous in situations like this.

To help ease the tension, I’ve begun focusing more on the whole package: mind, body and soul. Sure, my brain is cranking out logical reasoning answers like a machine now, but I will be the first to admit that after a long day of studying, my body is exhausted. Then, I hit the sack, wake up and do it again. It’s not easy, and the reason I think I’m able to keep this going is because I want to do well so badly.

However, I have to remember that burnout is possible. A few semesters ago, I overworked myself into exhaustion with a very heavy course load, weekend volunteer work and a part-time job. Let’s just say caffeine was my new best friend. Come the winter holiday break and I was sleeping for what felt like days at a time.

I learned from that experience that you have to listen to your body. I had all the willpower in the world to accomplish everything, but my body was having a hard time keeping up. Eventually, my mind and overall wellbeing started to take a hit as well. Striking that optimal balance is key.

After that stressful semester, I started practicing yoga a few times a week and tried to kick my insane caffeine habit. I didn’t become a health nut by any means. I just tried paying attention a bit more to my everyday lifestyle. Eating healthier and taking a multivitamin every now and then really helped me to feel better overall.

While prepping for the LSAT, I’m trying to maintain a healthy balance. Stress can really take its toll on your performance both during prep and on test day. Sometimes a good night’s sleep can make a huge difference. A day off from prep can also be beneficial to recharge the batteries. When my body feels good, usually my mind is quick to follow. But besides all that, I pay attention to how I feel in the soulful sense, too. Yes, the body and mind can accomplish great things when they work together. However, when my overall sense of self is at its prime, I can really make things happen.

Getting that overall sense of wellbeing is actually pretty simple for me: I usually just need to reconnect with the important people in my life. Sometimes all I need is a chill night out with friends. Sometimes calling up my grandmother for a quick chat will do it. For me, it’s all about grounding myself, finding that rock to cling to when the going gets tough. Life (and LSAT prep) is hectic, so reaching that balance is “bleeping golden.”