Sunday, August 01, 2010

Nostalgia, Part 2

It was a year ago today that I left my home of 18 years for the Great Adventure that has been Darden. Last year, I celebrated my birthday with the crowd of friends and supporters I'd been collecting for 18 years - co-workers, friends from high school and undergrad, church, and people who somehow made it into my life over the years. Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday with a small group of amazing girlfriends I only had the privilege of getting to know this May, and spent a good five hours on the phone with people living elsewhere.

In some ways it's hard to believe it's only been a year, and in others, it's hard to believe it's been a full year. And, to continue on the poetic paradoxes, it's been everything I expected and nothing at all what I expected. Going into Darden, I was well-educated on what to expect: hard work, great times, great people, come out a stronger and better person on the other side. I knew all about Section Norms and the 100 Case Party and Learning Teams. What I didn't know was all the details: the people who would make my life richer, the details that would come every day, how my specific academic and recruiting story would look.

And maybe this post is a year premature, but with a birthday yesterday and a coffee visit with an incoming first year this evening, all these thoughts are circulating in my mind. The biggest question as many of the first years stare down the barrel of the gun that is first year, is "is it worth it?"

And the answer, of course, is yes.

First year at Darden was not easy for me. It wasn't the stresses of the academic rigor, but the piling of everything: struggling with the job search for the first time in my life, being far away from everyone familiar and discovering new things about myself, over-committing to volunteer positions that had my Outlook calendar crazy full, and trying to participate in an environment where there are a LOT of really smart people.

But when I look back and see how well everything turned out, and realize what I've learned about business and about myself, I can't imagine doing it any other way. Even my internship search, which was by far the most stressful part of first year for me, turned out better than I could have possibly planned and has opened doors for full-time recruiting that I never would have imagined. Most importantly, I've spent time taking trips this summer to visit people who have become an integral part of my life who I didn't even know existed at this time last year.

I can only hope that Second Year - only three weeks away - will be just as awesome. But maybe without the stress.

1 comment:

Atish said...

beautiful post... couldn't have put it better :)