This is the end of my first week in freedom. It has been one of the best weeks in a long time. It feels so great to be a student again, especially a student without financial worries taking very few classes this term!! Now I understand why the MBA2007s seemed to be partying all the time last year :-).
I've used my spare time to catch up with a lot of my best friends during the day and to do sports. If you want to know what freedom feels like, go running through Regent's Park in the very early morning. It is so beautiful and so much better than going to the office on a Monday morning. I also go to the gym a lot, which is less beautiful but more social, since quite a few 2nd years without much to do hang out there :-).
Other than that, I'm also trying to be helpful to first years exploring opportunities for the summer internships, I have met with about 5 by now to talk about Sales & Trading. I'm quite impressed by how well prepared first years are this year, or maybe I only get to see those who know what they want already. It is funny remembering how I was in their shoes last year, asking the same questions, exploring the same issues - it shows me how much has happened over the last year.
One very big difference now I have noticed is how broader my perspective has become, which is the main reason I have been neglecting this blog recently. I am finding it less and less interesting to talk about jobs, career choices, MBAs, parties etc.. I much prefer to think and talk about other things in life which are much more important. So I'm not sure yet what I should do from now on: either I will shift quite considerably what I write about, which might disappoint some applicants or first years (although they can always go back to the old posts), or I might simply write less often but focus on the issues that this blog was set up to cover. Let's see. At least what I have noticed is that the MBA funnily has allowed me to spend more time on what I want out of life, and it has raised my expectations of life high enough that the solution for me is not finding a job in an investment bank. It may be a nice thing on the side, but it is not going to be my central goal. I guess it is just an effect moving higher up on Maslow's pyramid, now that all existential problems have been solved.
Someone asked a few weeks back if 2nd year is really as relaxed as I describe it here. The answer is that it depends on each student. You can take more courses or less, you can aim to finish earlier or later, you can work part-time, study hard and do all the readings or only get by academically, you can contribute a lot to your teams or you can choose to work less etc. etc. In my experience it depends completely on personality, there are people who will always be super busy and stressed no matter how small workload is objectively, and there are people who will always be relaxed no matter how stressed everyone is. I've decided to take it easy over the next year, I'll just take 3 courses each term, I've dropped out of the exchange to avoid the hassle of applying for a US visa (among other reasons), and I plan to spend more time on things that I really want to do. I really dislike more and more having my daily activities dictated from outside (through course assignments etc.) and much prefer to shape what I want to do or learn. At least for the next 9 months I will do that, because afterwards it will be hard for a few years.