Do you listen to music while studying?
Some students say that they can focus best when they listen to songs while studying. Some even have earphones on. If you are one of them, congratulations! Studies say that listening to music while studying can ease stress and anxiety. There's a study that listening to music, particularly those of Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven can help you focus more.
But for me, when I was studying for the bar exam, any noise, even music is a no-no. I can't focus when I hear something. So our house has been emptied with things that produce noise. Everyday activities like cooking and washing dishes were done in my parent's house. Good thing, my parents live across from my house. The TV was also transferred to their house and if kids want to watch TV, they have to go to grandma.
I never watched a single movie in my entire review duration. I also didn't listen to music except when I go to mass and for the two songs that I listen to every day.
My Two Songs
I call them my bar exam anthems. Merriam Webster online has several definitions of the word "anthem". But this is the anthem that I'm talking about:
Anthem: a usually rousing popular song that typifies point of view
Until now, my anthems still make my heart beat faster, make blood rush to my face, and yes, make me cry.
I play them once every day using a CD player. I don't know YouTube during my time. I play them loud and I sing along louder. Only once a day, in the morning before 10 AM. It has been a routine that maybe even my neighbors noticed.
One day, maybe pressured with time, I skipped playing the songs. My father who lives across our house came at around 11 AM. He told me, "you might have forgotten your national anthem". That was his term - "national anthem".
He said that playing the national anthem is written in our law. It has to be sung at specific ceremonies and has to be respected. He reminded me that I made my own bar exam review rules. Included in it is to listen to my anthems every single day during the duration of the review, so I have to keep it.
From that day forward, I never forgot to play my anthems.
Just how I make the solemn promise "Aming ligaya na pag may mang-aapi. Ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo [But it when is glory ever when thou art wronged . For us thy sons to suffer and die]" when I sing the Philippine National Anthem, I also have to make a solemn promise every day when I hear and sing my bar anthems.
So I have to make these solemn promises:
That one man, scorned and covered with scars, still strove, with his last ounce of courage, to reach ... the unreachable star
The record shows , I took the blows , and did it my way
Yes, my friends, you got it right, my two songs are "The Impossible Dream" and "My Way".
Why Two Songs?
"Impossible Dream" is my guiding song for the review. "My Way" is the song I reserved upon passing the bar. I told you, I planned everything. And "My Way" is what I planned to sing in the testimonial dinner when I pass the bar.
The Impossible Dream
"Impossible Dream" represents how I will act toward my goal. Passing the bar is not an impossible dream but I prepared for it as if I was chasing an impossible dream.
I committed to bear the unbearable sorrow, that is, the hardships of studying and the pressure of people putting me down. I promised to keep on trying even if my arms become too weary. I have to grind at studying even if it's too tempting to rest.
I made a pact to myself to follow my star no matter how far and how hopeless. Sometimes, we feel down and feel that we are not advancing on our review but take it one day at a time. Keep focused on your star.
I made a pledge to strove and give my last ounce of courage even when my body is tired and my heart is scarred. I hanged tight. In Filipino "kapit lang!".
My dear reviewees, kapit lang! When you feel like giving up, think about why you started. When people put you down, look at your kids and your family. There are more people who support you than those detractors. From now on, consider me as one who supports you. I will pray for you from afar.
If this will be your only chance, will you leave it to chance? No! You can make it! Study well, pray, and be confident.
What I like about "My Way" is the last part "the record shows, I took the blows and did it my way". It represents me. My bar review is my way because I defied the norms. I reviewed by myself and in my own unique way. So I find it fitting that when I pass, I will tell the world that "I did it my way!"
I was able to fulfill my promise to sing that song.
Your Assignment For Today:
Find two songs that represent you and your aspirations. One song to cling on while reviewing and one song to practice for your testimonial dinner. Listen and sing along with them every day.
The review period is one crazy abyss of information and emotion. To survive, you only have one focus - your goal. I won't tell you that there was never a day that I gave up, I have a lot of those episodes. But when my entire body got to vote for giving up, my heart reminds me that I promised to strive with my last ounce of strength. And there the "Impossible Dream" starts playing on my mind.
When you feel like giving up, play your song in your mind or simply listen to it with your eyes closed. Remember your self-pledge. Don't break your promises.
“If you don't sacrifice for what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice” ― Anonymous
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