Lessons learned from LSAT

William McCullough

For almost the entire first half of this fall semester, I went into a self-imposed hermitage. No, I was not suffering from a temporary case of Agoraphobia; rather it was a case of the LSATs.

On Sept. 30, I, along with hundreds of other forlorn faces, took the ever-dreaded Law School Admission Test. As part of this hermitage, I constantly turned down offers to go out, mostly with the excuse of studying for the test the following morning. People would respond mostly by offering their condolences or shaking their heads in pity. Although I was certainly missing a lot of fun nights in my last year, I kept assuring myself that it would all be over soon. And sure enough, it was. That night after being released from the confines of my LSAT prison, I “cut loose” and saw people for the first time since school started.

It seems that certain myths have been circulating since the test’s inception: test-takers leave with the mental capacity of a five-year-old or hand cramps so severe that operations are necessary. Although I didn’t contract anything that severe, the test’s difficulty certainly lived up to its reputation.

After that weekend, I willfully tried to put the horrific experience behind me. That was until the late night hours of this past Friday. As I am sure all of you can recall, this past weekend was Homecoming. Like any good member of the Villanova community, I participated in the events. In between some of my comings and goings on Friday night, I decided to stop at my apartment for a few minutes. During this visit I happened to check my e-mail, and to my surprise, my LSAT test results had arrived.

I opened the e-mail with trepidation. As I finished reading it, the words of Sasha Cohen’s alter ego, Borat, “Not so much!” came to mind. I had not done nearly as well as I would have liked. My thoughts were racing, “Is this right? Maybe my results got mixed up with someone else’s.” After verifying some points of identification, these thoughts were quickly replaced with thoughts of failure. Technically, I hadn’t failed the test, and I am relatively sure that accomplishment is impossible. However, it still remained that I was disappointed with myself. However, on the next day on Sheehan Beach, a friend knocked some sense into me. He convinced me that I had been worrying about it way too much. It was time once again to “cut loose” and release myself from this anxiety.

All the while I had been worrying about something that was presently beyond my control. Perhaps if I had skipped my classes and opted to study for the test, I could have done better. But at this point, I can not change my grade.

At the risk of sounding preachy, how often can you think of a time in which your attitude or mood has been altered for the worse because you were brooding over something you did that didn’t turn out so well? I haven’t met a single person who remembers the minutiae of doing poorly on a college test. It can be something as inane as tripping in front of a crowd or dropping a full tray of food in the Spit. Even his article may fail miserably, but am I going to let my thoughts about it ruin my day? I hope not.

At some point you need to calm down, take a step back and forget about it.