Wanna know what it's like to take the Multistate Bar Exam?
Imagine you're a boxer in contention for the world title. You've been training for over three years, more if you count your amateur days. Countless hours in the gym, on the weights, measuring all of your food intake in ounces. Gallons of sweat and blood lost. Broken noses, cuts above the eye, cracked ribs. And your training crew tag-teaming you to suffer and suffer some more all for the big prize someday. You've gone hundreds of rounds against other hopefuls on your way to the big dance. You've got a good enough record. You've paid your dues. And the last few weeks have been the worst. Now you get the title shot for all the marbles. You've got to beat the champ now. You've got to beat the champ or else everything was a total waste. All of it for nothing. The champ has a reputation. The champ is feared. The champ is strong and fast. The champ fights dirty. Moreover, the champ's got lots and lots of experience with chumps like you. He knows how to beat you. He knows you better than you know yourself.
But you've trained hard. You've eaten right. All of your relationships have taken a back seat for this singular opportunity so that now you feel like it's all you got. You've done all you think you could possibly do and more. Your body is a highly trained machine. Rock hard, battle tested. You've devoted your whole life to this. You believe in yourself. You know in your heart that you can beat the champ. Not just stand in, but actually win. You can't lose because you've worked so hard and you want this so bad.
You get to the arena. They play your song over the loudspeakers. You're wearing your red silk robe as you stride to the ring. All the lights are shining.
The referee takes an eternity to recite all the rules that you already know and that you know won't matter. You stare across at the champ unflinching. You know you are going to beat him.
The robe comes off. You see your family and friends in the front row. They are cheering for you. They called last night to give their words of encouragement. But they don't know what you're up against. They can't help you now. But you're glad they are there all the same. You'd be disappointed if they weren't. You see guys you've trained with mixed in the crowd and in the shadows. They know.
The bell rings. You move to the center of the ring to meet the champ. You dance around, nimble. You dodge and weave. You throw a couple of easy punches. You see an opening. You think the champ got lazy. He's underestimated you. You take advantage. You throw your biggest haymaker right hook, the one you're known for. The blow lands squarely on the champ's jaw. It's lights out, honeypie.
But the champ just grins. You just threw your best punch and it didn't even phase the champ. At that moment, you know you are in over your head. The best you can hope for is to simply survive. Winning is out of the question. Impossible.