Procrastinating at Yale: Endless Possibilities Outside the Classroom

There are a million worrisome things, a thousand things to think about, a hundred things to hand in. Here, at Yale SOM, you feel the constant struggle to decide when and where your time is best spent. However, once in a while your mind needs to wonder off, and think about something else other than schoolwork and recruiting. That is the time when you realize you are a student at Yale and the possibilities are endless.

For me, one continuous possibility is The Yale Art Gallery. There I begin to feel a million miles away from home, in a different universe where beauty reigns, and great artists’ work is exhibited for your eyes, no glass in between. After an hour spent there, all work seems easier, and once again I can take a breath with ease, and face the work I left at home.

However, most often, I find myself procrastinating by going to the continuous speaking series events on campus. I have now heard, Dean Robert C. Post speak about the tension between freedom of speech and expertise, and how the former cannot serve as shield for lack of the latter. Emily Greenwood, who was also invited to the Convening Yale speaking series, talked about how the ancient Greek use of the word krisis (to decide, to judge) is applicable to the world of business today.

Within the walls of SOM, I have also listened to John Pepper and Jed Bernstein speak in different events about leadership. It was amazing to see how the past of a multinational company such as Procter and Gamble, and the future of The Lincoln Center have similar needs in terms of leadership. Abhik Sen, managing editor of The Economist, spoke about the future of the press, and Robert Hass about the lessons business leaders should learn from the wilderness. I learned about what it takes to succeed as a woman from Kate White, renowned author and former editor of Cosmopolitan, and about public speaking from Stephen Roach.

And, then there is the rest of Yale. There are university wide lectures that are open to all students that broaden my view of the world, and definitely enhance my education. It is at those lectures that I have heard from people such as Marwan Muasher speak about the Second Arab awakening, Umberto Eco, about what libraries represent in the collective memory of mankind, James C. Gooddale, about journalist protection, and Ari Shapiro, about his experience covering the White House for NPR.

The fun does not end there. There are concerts and tours all around the University. I have listened to the President of Yale play with The Professors of Bluegrass, The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale and The Yale Glee Club. I have toured campus several times, learning new details with each tour guide, and I have even had a special Halloween tour about the Skeletons of Yale.

Free time is a scarce resource here at Yale SOM, time management is no longer a skill to work on, but essential to leading a healthy life. If I had to choose one word to describe my experience here I would say intense, but I have taken moments off. These are times when I am not available for schoolwork, and other obligations, I just focus on the wonders of being part of Yale University. 

About the author

Maria Posada Toro