Post Vacation Slump

When I came back to HBS after winter break last year, I was raring to go. Not only was I relaxed and well-rested after the much needed break, but I had also seen the fruits of my labor in action; I was starting to think in a whole new way.

Over vacation, I had looked at everything in terms of operational effectiveness, from check-in lines at the airport to restaurant service. I had spent the entire time annoying friends and relatives by adding, “I read a case about that!” to every conversation.

I had actually read sections of the newspaper that I’d previously thrown away untouched with interest and understanding (“The Mutual Funds Report?” Who was I kidding?). And I had mastered some b-school jargon, throwing around terms like “present value,” “kanban” and “DCF” into conversation in witty ways. Or so I thought.

But this year? Business school was the farthest thing from my mind. As my boyfriend, a first-year at Tuck, showed the typical signs of business school overload (such as comments like, “That note about turning on the gas gage has ‘low skim value!'”), I relished my empty mind. I wanted nothing to do with what I had learned this term.

Interesting, thought-provoking and informative as it all was, I just didn’t attack regular life with b-school-colored glasses. Battered and beleaguered by the uncertainty of next year and the horrendous job market, all I craved was doing nothing. “The Golden Girls” has never seemed more riveting.

Unfortunately, even though I’m back, my energy level has not bounced back. And it seems that many of my classmates suffer from a similar condition. I bump into friends who I haven’t seen in six weeks (suggestion to RCs: next year, take all paper classes and no exam classes; you’ll be out in early December), and we half-heartedly inquire about each other’s trips. We rattle off our prospective classes

Reprinted from 1/27/03.