Graduation, and a life free from the sweet smell of the school of management, is still a couple of weeks ahead of me, but I’m gaining fast. This past week wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, and every time I completed a presentation, handed in an assignment or sat through a final lecture, it felt damn good. I have an ethereal checklist constantly hanging in the air a foot away from my face, and I see the ratio of crossed-off-items to not-quite-yet-crossed-off-items has finally shifted to favor the former.
A lot of people value their academic degrees by measuring the hours of work they had to put into their classes, or the grades they got on exams and whathaveyou. At the end of it all, my degree will certainly signify all of the hard work I had to put into passing said classes and exams, but for the first time, I’m actually more aware of the opportunity costs – the things I wasn’t able to do because I was studying. Leah has an MBA too, and she pointed out this phenomenon. You can blame her for my screwed up perspective.
If I had my druthers, I’d have met Alex and Jess out at the pubs more often, or gone out to my parents’ for sausages every night, or met up with Esther for burritos, or gone for steak sandwiches with Hoffman at least once in awhile. I’d have gotten a real job so I could afford to take Lisa for sushi whenever she wanted. So yeah, my degree means for two years, I sacrificed friends/family and food/beer. Can I put that on my resume?
Hmmm… those last two paragraphs sound more regretful than I intend. I’m not saying I lament the effort I put into getting my MBA (or the effort I’ll put into my law degree). I’m just saying it means all the more to me because I paid for those letters after my name with hard work and perseverance while I was in class, but also with the hard work and endurance it took to avoid friends, family, food, etc. during exam weeks.
2 years ago