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Let’s get this party started!

So when I informed my friends, colleagues and acquaintances that I was going off to business school last summer, the most common responses I received were, “Congratulations, you are going on a two-year vacation!” and “Wow, those will be the best two years of your life!” And as I tried to get my head around what exactly they meant, I realized that the majority of them held the view that business school was really about networking, recruiting, partying, club activities and the occasional classroom endeavor.And so with that mentality, I convinced myself that I would vigorously pursue a wholesome combination of all the listed components of the b-school configuration. Not much of networker in my previous life, I believed that it held the area for the most growth and ultimate reward. But alas, upon arrival in New Haven - after all the niceties of orientation and fraternization – it hit me like a strong gust of wind: the academics were not going to be a cakewalk. As I labored over abstract notions of setting up “the null hypothesis” in Data late on a Friday night alone in the Dungeon, I asked myself it this was really what I had signed up for.Compared to what I considered to be a challenging gig as a specialty consultant (construction and real estate advisory services) before SOM, this was hard! And the more I stressed over the work, the less productive I was – something was wrong. In reaching out to the gracious and effervescent second years, it became apparent what my problem was: I needed to simply chill out and focus on prioritizing. This was not about being the most brilliant SOM student to ever walk through the Hall of Mirrors – heaven knows how far short I would fall - this was about preparing myself to be in the best position to lead and effect change in the twenty-first century. In reality, this was not even about learning. It was about learning how to learn. And so I took that mentality into our midterm exams and guess what? I actually enjoyed them, I had really learned and had digested a ton of material. Sure there were bumps and bruises: one question on the Data exam was almost two pages long, I think I fell asleep just reading it.But with that, I have changed my mentality and find myself having a lot of fun in the new set of classes. Now I encounter hilarious videos of classmates in our Negotiations course, vigorous debates about behavioral finance versus rational finance in Investor and delineating the legal thresholds of Antitrust in Competitor. This is what I signed up for and this is why I am here. It may not be your ideal notion of a party but it often feels like one. As I look at the horizon as far as we are concerned as the SOM Class of 2010, in the words of the great philosophers, The Black-Eyed Peas, I say “Let’s get this party started!”