Alcohol and the LSAT

Swimp
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Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby Swimp » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:25 pm

This is kind of an odd (and maybe overly neurotic) question, but it's one that it probably wouldn't be possible to get any input on except in this kind of forum.

I drink a lot. According to the government's definition of a "drink," I probably have at least 3 every night, and I often have more. I've been drinking at this rate for maybe 5 years. Has anyone had any experiences with quitting alcohol short-term? I'm gearing up for October and I'm torn between cutting out alcohol in the interests of keeping my mind as clear as possible, versus my brain possibly having developed...a certain kind of expectation, you know? Not to mention the whole falling asleep thing. I'm mostly hoping for some empirically-based advice, but what do you all think?

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ben4847
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby ben4847 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:56 pm

sounds like you're a natural born lawyer.

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TripTrip
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby TripTrip » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:13 pm

Quick drinking three days before the LSAT. The night before, take NyQuil at least 14 hours before test check-in time to sleep soundly through the night.

Aggressive, but it gets the job done.

patentlybored
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby patentlybored » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:45 pm

.
Last edited by patentlybored on Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:31 pm

If you have that serious of a drinking habit, you're too close to the LSAT to quit completely. You'll be completely fucked up going through withdrawal for the next week or more, which will seriously hamper your studying ability.

I drink less than you, but I didn't stop drinking because of the LSAT. In fact, the best preptest I had was the day after I'd had several drinks.

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DSman
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby DSman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:46 am

Yea I wouldn't do anything. Are you getting the score that you want? Can you wake up early and be ready by ~8 am for the test and don't feel like you have a hangover? If yes to both then don't worry about it.

However, if you're one of those people who have 3 late drinks and sleep in till around noon, then you may want to not drink the day before and just sleep early. Remember, this is an early test and waking up feeling like shit can make a huge difference. You can always get sh'tfaced afterwards and cry like I plan to.

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:32 am

Swimp wrote:I'm gearing up for October and I'm torn between cutting out alcohol in the interests of keeping my mind as clear as possible, versus my brain possibly having developed...a certain kind of expectation, you know?


That's the fanciest way I've ever seen someone phrase the term addiction.

legalmindedfella
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby legalmindedfella » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:35 am

Swimp wrote:This is kind of an odd (and maybe overly neurotic) question, but it's one that it probably wouldn't be possible to get any input on except in this kind of forum.

I drink a lot. According to the government's definition of a "drink," I probably have at least 3 every night, and I often have more. I've been drinking at this rate for maybe 5 years. Has anyone had any experiences with quitting alcohol short-term? I'm gearing up for October and I'm torn between cutting out alcohol in the interests of keeping my mind as clear as possible, versus my brain possibly having developed...a certain kind of expectation, you know? Not to mention the whole falling asleep thing. I'm mostly hoping for some empirically-based advice, but what do you all think?


(Empirically) you're going to be fine, though if anything hangover-tests will inflate your practice scores because it's impossible to focus on more than one thing hungover. Worth taking some practices un-impared to get used to distraction mid-test.

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warandpeace
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby warandpeace » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:42 am

quit for you, not for a test.

Swimp
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby Swimp » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:24 am

warandpeace wrote:quit for you, not for a test.


I've got bigger fish to fry in the near term, but I hear you. I'll probably use law school as an excuse to cut way down.

And thanks for the input, everybody else. Practice tests have been really good so far, so I guess I'll avoid any major lifestyle changes for the time being.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:50 am

Swimp wrote:
warandpeace wrote:quit for you, not for a test.


I've got bigger fish to fry in the near term, but I hear you. I'll probably use law school as an excuse to cut way down.

And thanks for the input, everybody else. Practice tests have been really good so far, so I guess I'll avoid any major lifestyle changes for the time being.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Swimp
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby Swimp » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:21 am

JamMasterJ wrote:
Swimp wrote:
warandpeace wrote:quit for you, not for a test.


I've got bigger fish to fry in the near term, but I hear you. I'll probably use law school as an excuse to cut way down.

And thanks for the input, everybody else. Practice tests have been really good so far, so I guess I'll avoid any major lifestyle changes for the time being.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


I'm going to choose to interpret that as a challenge...

bp shinners
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby bp shinners » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:13 pm

From the first Bar Review lesson:

"Illicit substances are bad, and you shouldn't do them. But if you're currently doing any illicit substances, for the love of God, don't stop before you take the Bar."

If your body is used to the alcohol, you're going to have withdrawal symptoms when you quit. That's likely to negatively affect your performance more than the drinking.

However, my advice would be to deal with the alcohol problem and then register for the LSAT when you have it under control.

Also, good luck getting your drinking under control in law school - that's half sarcastic, half well-wishing. ;-)

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shifty_eyed
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby shifty_eyed » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:25 pm

TripTrip wrote:Quick drinking three days before the LSAT. The night before, take NyQuil at least 14 hours before test check-in time to sleep soundly through the night.

Aggressive, but it gets the job done.


I don't think that's a good idea at all. I had 2 beers the day before my best actual LSAT score.

shntn
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby shntn » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:33 pm

shifty_eyed wrote:
TripTrip wrote:Quick drinking three days before the LSAT. The night before, take NyQuil at least 14 hours before test check-in time to sleep soundly through the night.

Aggressive, but it gets the job done.


I don't think that's a good idea at all. I had 2 beers the day right before my best actual LSAT score.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby francesfarmer » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:46 pm

shntn wrote:
shifty_eyed wrote:
TripTrip wrote:Quick drinking three days before the LSAT. The night before, take NyQuil at least 14 hours before test check-in time to sleep soundly through the night.

Aggressive, but it gets the job done.


I don't think that's a good idea at all. I had 2 beers the day right before my best actual LSAT score.


Samesies.

Alcohol = depressant. LSAT = stressful. LSAT - alcohol + alcohol dependency = huge ball of nerves.

I have been getting quite drunk 1-3 times a week for about 8 years. I tried to stop doing this while I was studying for the LSAT and my stress level shot through the roof. My tutor told me to take a week off and get wasted. It worked. Don't quit the sauce now, and don't take Nyquil the night before the LSAT. Train yourself early to be alert in the morning and treat the day/night before like a normal day (except don't study).

TylerJonesMPLS
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby TylerJonesMPLS » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:45 pm

You need to get this in perspective. You can get a good LSAT score this June, or next October. Getting your drinking under control ASAP is much much much more important.

What you are asking is like saying, well sure, I obviously have cancer. But the question I want advice about is whether I should go to the doctor and get treatments before, or after, I take the LSAT. We’re talking about your life. No test is worth your life. The fact is, until you realize that your situation is serious enough to require action *right now*, you will never quit.

Don’t tell yourself that you will deal with your drinking after the LSAT. You won’t. You will just tell yourself that you will quit drinking after the all-important first year of law school. But you won’t. Then you will tell yourself that you will quit after you get a good job. And this self-deception, that is so typical of addition, will just go on and on.

Ask yourself this. If your PTs were really down, would you postpone taking the LSAT or not? If you would postpone taking the LSAT in that situation, then surely it is worthwhile to postpone the LSAT to rid yourself of an addition that will with 100% certainty cause misery and death.

The most brilliant man I ever knew died from alcohol. He only drank when he was stressed. But that turned out to be about nine months of the year. He died at age 39, and he had developed considerable disability for years before his death. Had he been working at a top flight law firm, he would certainly have been fired. And he not only brought misery to himself, he brought misery to his family.

He was probably using alcohol to self-medicate for a highly treatable condition, mood disorder- anxiety and depression. He could have been saved by going to the doctor and getting medication for the underlying condition. But he didn’t. He could stop drinking cold turkey, and stay sober for months- a lot of people think that if you can stop cold turkey, then you aren’t an addict. But that is just bullshit. Alcohol ruined his short life.

And this isn’t just something that *could* happen to you. It is something that *will* happen to you, if you don’t get it under control NOW.

And just by the by, the year before law school is the best year to quit and deal with this. You can always excuse taking a year off between college and grad school to gain experience or to save up money etc. Once you are in law school, or working at a law firm, taking a year off will look strange on your resume. The people who are reading your applications will notice and quite likely make a couple of phone calls to contacts who know you. It is hard to conceal being an addict. And no law firm is going to hire a recent graduate they even suspect of being an addict. That was always true. Now, in this economy, multiply that by 10.

Please, go to your doctor. Deal with this. Everything else can be postponed.

Swimp
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby Swimp » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:48 pm

TylerJonesMPLS wrote:Please, go to your doctor. Deal with this. Everything else can be postponed.


Sorry for your loss and thanks for your concern.

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VUSisterRayVU
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby VUSisterRayVU » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:46 pm

FWIW, 3 drinks a night is hardly enough to constitute an addiction where you'll go through withdrawal. You may be a bit upset that you aren't drinking, but you won't actually feel different or have physical symptoms of withdrawal.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby francesfarmer » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:57 pm

VUSisterRayVU wrote:FWIW, 3 drinks a night is hardly enough to constitute an addiction where you'll go through withdrawal. You may be a bit upset that you aren't drinking, but you won't actually feel different or have physical symptoms of withdrawal.

This.

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fathergoose
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby fathergoose » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:03 pm

Really interesting question. I would set a reasonable goal like, "I am not going to drink Sunday - Wednesday nights." I've dabbled in this type of a situation before and the key (if you really are just having 3-5 drinks a night) is just to create some reasonable norms. This gives you some structure and something to look forward to.

If you are actually super dependent/addicted, then your inability to stick to that type of schedule is pretty indicative of a problem and you should consider at some point getting help. That being said, if you can't cut out weekday drinking then there is no point cutting it out in anyway between now and test day. You are a functioning enough addict to get this far so dance with the one that brought you.

And not to burst your bubble, but any drinking habit you have coming into law school will only get worse.

Swimp
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Re: Alcohol and the LSAT

Postby Swimp » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:11 pm

Hey, again, thanks for the input, everybody. I appreciate that this is a touchy subject for a lot of people, and I understand the admonitions, but rest assured that I'm familiar with the mechanics of long-term addiction and the risks involved and all that. Feel free to keep posting on down this road if you all want, but I've gotten what I wanted out of this thread.




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