Failure. Been there, done that. Thrice.

Bee Koroknai
5 min readOct 3, 2021


I did not want this platform to be some electronic diary. I just wanted to write a few articles on 3D printing and mostly the legal issues regarding it. But then things happen, as they usually do in life, and in the best-case scenario, you do what you feel is good for you. So here we are.

In the past two years, I have taken three huge exams in the legal field. Two bar exams and one to become a magistrate (aspiring to be a judge). I have failed all of them. By now I am so tired, disappointed in myself, angry, ashamed, and much more, that I tried sleeping, but I just can’t go to sleep. I tried crying but apparently, the hose has a nick somewhere or dried up, I don’t know, but nothing moves.

For the first bar exam last year, I admit I only prepared for a little over a month. I was not surprised I didn’t pass, I was actually glad I had the experience of taking part in it. I was encouraged to go by family and friends, because ‘well you finished law school, you should be a lawyer’. By July 2020 I had two Bachelor's degrees (one in translations and another one in law) and two Master's degrees (one in diplomacy and international studies and the other in international and comparative business law). During all these years I also mostly worked. I had personal problems with family, friends, romantic partners, everything just like any other person, really. But I was tired (counting all, I easily had over 200 exams) and this exam was the last thing on my mind. I really just wanted a vacation because the last one I took was in 2016 and we were arguing throughout, culminating in a screaming match in some park in Budapest.

But I did and still want to stay in the legal field. I remember the first time I saw a judge in court. She was confident, intelligent, respectful, and respected, somehow she was applying the law, but she herself was the law. It was a hearing for a few criminal cases and I was so mesmerized by everything I just sat there with my mouth a little open. The bailiff and the judge both laughed when I finally came to my senses. And I knew that I need to be doing what she was. I need to be where she is. I don’t think it ever dawned on me how hard it would be, or if I was prepared. I just wanted it. I am still amazed by their work.

(For anyone wondering why I was trying the bar exam when I want to be a judge, the answer is Covid-19. Only the bar exam was held last year)

So after I failed my first bar exam, I decided that if I want to go on with this idea, then I had to change my study plan. I took classes that were tailored for these exams. And they helped quite a bunch since the difference in grade from one year to the next is glaringly obvious. Still, it was not enough for a passing grade. It especially stings since I lacked 4 points to pass. Small enough to make you think twice about giving up, but also big enough to make you fail and think twice about trying again.

Less than two weeks after the second big failure, the magistrate exam was scheduled. I knew it would be harder, but I have been preparing this whole year. I still worked on one translation project until March, but that was not full time and every other minute went to my books. And still, I was not good enough to pass.

And now I don’t know what next. It hurts so much to realize that your best is not good enough and all the time, energy, and sacrifices you made are mostly lost. And all you can feel is deep tiredness, like shackles around your ankles and neck, weighing you down and coming with a complementary dark-cloud attachment so you’re soaked and freezing all the time.

I won’t be ok any time soon. I know many have it a lot worse. And I would love to help if I could. But that does not make my worries go away or invalidate them in any way. I also know that I am not the only one in this situation, nor the first one or the last one. It is normal to fail. It is normal to be negative after a failure. But I had three huge ones and, crushed is pretty damned close to what I am now.

It is not pretty where I am in my life, but there is a silver lining here. My mom was suggesting, that maybe I should just give up. Because some things are not meant to be and it will not be the end of your world, just the end of the world you hyped up in your head. That being a judge or a prosecutor means you have another human’s life in your hands. Do I really want that kind of career? And when I heard that it was a very bitter pill I tried to swallow. However, I still haven’t been able to give up and let it be. I promised myself during my Erasmus semester in Germany that I will study law and work in this field. And if I failed three times already. It cost me time, energy, money, lost friendships, and grey hair (although I do enjoy the Rogue look). But I am not ready to give up. This is not who I am.

I will be negative for a while, and difficult, do workouts until I can’t feel the mental tiredness anymore. I will reevaluate things and retreat like a crab in his shell. But I cannot give up yet. One of the basic laws of the universe is: third time’s the charm. I did have three failures, but two of those in one year. And since nobody told me it counts for every exam, I will just count the years and mold it to my needs and work around this ‘loophole’. Because I am better than these failures and I am not giving up on this dream.

Big thank you to all for gifting me your time by reading my thoughts.



Bee Koroknai

Think before you think. Then write it down. Read that again. All articles are opinion pieces, please don’t take my advice.