Back in the Saddle Again

Last year at this time I was scared out of my mind. I had no finance or
accounting experience and (gasp!) no knowledge of any Excel shortcuts.
I was apprehensive about speaking in public. I was still reeling from the abrupt end of my fun, travel-filled, relaxing summer and the start of an intense, busy, overscheduled, 24/7 environment. I was worried I wouldn’t make any new friends and was certain everyone else had absolutely everything under control.

I was miserable leaving my boyfriend in New York and starting a long-distance relationship. And I was completely fed up with spelling my name over and over again in crowded bars in order to have anyone pronounce it correctly. Things were not looking good.

But somehow I actually survived. I learned what “goal seek” meant. I learned how to budget my time (although there was never enough). I found a group of people I really liked, I got a kick out of my section daily, and I participated in new, fun activities.

I learned to live with the long-distance thing. And people eventually learned my name. In fact, I even had fun. Once I realized that nothing happens to you if you don’t spend hours preparing every case, I had a blast. By the time summer “vacation” rolled around, I was honestly sad to leave.

If I could do it, anyone can.

I won’t lie. It wasn’t always smooth sailing. September 11th and personal loss aside, it was a tough adjustment being back in school. It took a while to learn to speak in class without my heart pounding audibly. It took time to figure out how much work to do.

It was difficult working in small groups and trying not to control everything. It was sad being apart from my friends in the City and it was tough having to travel for hours to see my boyfriend. Not to mention my abominable FRC and TOM midterms. But somehow it all turned out okay.

And now I’m back. An “EC.” (Last year I wasn’t even sure the ECs existed; I mean, where were they all the time?) And I come bringing a new set of concerns (will I remember how to speak in class, did I actually make any friends, what was that guy’s name again?), but I also come with a feeling of excitement and eagerness.

I’m excited to see my old sectionmates, get back into my routine at Shad, open my Spangler mailbox on the first try, know where everything is, and take classes I enjoy (with as few numbers as possible; I’m still no Excel junkie). And now my boyfriend’s a first-year at Tuck, so at least our long-distance has gotten a little shorter.

ECs, we have nine months left. I don’t know about you, but after interning this summer, I’m sure not in any rush to get back in the work-force, even if there are jobs.

So I’m going to try to enjoy my time here. Appreciate that I can play tennis at two in the afternoon. Take advantage of having so many new friends close by. Learn about new industries. Meet interesting people. See more speakers. Go out more. Stress a little less.

As I try to remind myself, this whole b-school thing is optional. That always makes me feel a little better.

Okay, Elective Curriculum, ready or not, here we come.