As a recent college grad who's been letting life whirl me around in inexplicable directions after graduating last May, I never could've imagined taking the LSAT twice in two months - let alone once in my entire life. The amount of confidence that I had for the December LSAT fluctuated on a daily basis and hardly existed by the time the actual exam had rolled around.

By the end of the December LSAT, I lacked so much confidence in myself that I signed up for the February LSAT the next day. However, I wanted to wait until scores were released to see if I needed to go through with an LSAT course or with LSAT tutoring.

The thing with tutoring is that there's a stigma that people who need tutoring are slow, stupid, and weak. While that's more of a common myth, most people love to talk about it as if it's a factual reality and then use it against those who need a tutor as a form of belittlement, which is awfully crappy.

What happened how did I make a decision?

After waiting for three subsequent weeks for December LSAT scores to be released, my gut was to starting to diminish my self-worth. It was mentally wrong, but I didn't think of that at the time. The score that I saw on the screen of my laptop translated into an unpleasant warming sensation that crept through my body. That feeling fizzled out into thoughts that proceeded to taunt my mind, prompting verbal and mental self-degradation over the actual score.

The LSAT is an exam that promotes consistent stress and multiple mental breakdowns, which only makes sitting in a class anywhere from two to four times a week, frequently from 6 to 10 pm feel like some form of a punishment for an exam that doesn't make sense to the everyday person.

At this point, two of the four most common methods of studying for the LSAT voluntarily disqualified themselves as my method of studying for the next LSAT in February. The two remaining options were to either bow out gracefully from the exam, or to hire an LSAT tutor.

Because I am Liz and can't bow out of anything gracefully, ever, even to save my life, I went through with hiring an LSAT tutor.

While my challenge of bowing out of things played no major role throughout the process of hiring a tutor, I will submit to the reality that I felt as if I was incompetent in translating the LSAT into intricate yet manageable pieces on my own. It had me feeling as if I was more useless than tree bark, and that I was already a failure, so the extra effort in hopes to turn things around on my own didn't seem worth it.

What happened before and during my tutoring sessions?

Initially, I had bought into the tutoring stigma, until I realized that I genuinely needed the help. We're existing in a society where openly receiving help for our problems is frowned upon on a consistent basis, which honestly makes me sick to my stomach.

I had never been that person whoneeded an extra few pushes to excel in an academic course or with an exam.

I've had some bumps along the way with some of my classes, but I've always worked through them. Even if it meant not doing as well that semester, I still never failed. However, for tutoring, I was defenseless, as for I had never needed a tutor before the February LSAT. Little did I know that with a little navigating, I could show up to tutoring with confidence and not feel so lost.

Honestly speaking, I would go into some of my tutoring sessions telling myself that I was a full blown moron and that my tutor thought that I was the dumbest person to walk the face of this planet. This behavior was unhealthy and needed to change immediately. 

Once I had reached the end of my fifth tutoring session, I immediately learned that I needed to take a leave of absence from my social life. What I also needed to do was place an end to the insanity in my life, alter my attitude, give tutoring 500% of my time and energy instead of a pathetic 60%, and to cut all of the people who were unsupportive of me studying and going to tutoring sessions for the LSAT.

Once implemented immediately after the fifth tutoring session, such changes were not only beneficial but made me appreciate my tutor way more than I already did.

My tutor's honestly the best tutor to ever exist, and I have no damn clue how a person like myself was lucky enough to have such an intelligent, blunt, and caring (even when she yelled at me, which felt like always) tutor to push me along towards the LSAT. Honestly, I wouldn't trade her for the world (because then I wouldn't have her in my life, which would make me v sad), and I appreciate her walking into my life when she did. 

Take note of the fact that if people degrade you and are unsupportive of you for needing to get the extra help, they're not your friend and you need to let them go.

Additionally, take note that if they're trying to dismiss your attempts to get help and then start making your life all about themselves, they also need to go.

What did I learn about the tutoring stigma?

Everything goes uphill from the moment you acknowledge and admit to yourself that the extra help is necessary. We've all been in a position where we didn't know as much as we thought we did, but it's often forgotten since nobody ever wants to admit when they're wrong or that they're not as smart as they think they are.

Part of breaking the stigma is accepting reality for what it is, and not for what society tells us that it is. Once you learn to distinguish the two from one another, you can start making progress within your own life. The further along you become with making progress, the more accurate you become.

Along with an increase in accuracy and knowledge comes a confidence boost. With more confidence, you're now able to conquer things that you were unable to imagine doing weeks ago. Sounds awesome, right?

If we all realize that stigmas come about as a result of our own self-doubts and lack of knowledge in regards to what we're doubting, then as a society, we'll be able to implement social change into the world. Before you shame someone for needing tutoring, like myself, ask that person what you could do to help them out before making assumptions.