The Myth of Second Year

I don’t have time to write this.

As I write this, there are in fact at least 10 other things I should be doing instead. I know that because they scroll through my mind on a continuous loop, stressing me out before I can even approach them.

How I feel on the inside

I thought it wasn’t supposed to be this way.

I’m a second year business school student now, and I have a job offer. This is supposed to be the sweet spot — a year of learning, reading, reflection, trying out new ventures and, yes, wine drinking, socializing, travel and all those wonderful things I want to do in my last year of grad school.  I call it the Promise of Second Year.

Instead I feel (almost) as busy as a first year.

For the first week of school, I thought I was doing something wrong. Cases, class work, club work and life work ate my days, and I collapsed exhausted in bed each night not sure how I’d find the energy to get through the next jam-packed day. Where was the leisure of second year? Why couldn’t I stay afloat?

And then I found out many of my classmates were feeling the same way. Over worked, more stressed than expected and confused about why the Promise of Second Year hadn’t materialized. It was more like the Myth of Second Year.

It turns out the Darden lesson about prioritization doesn’t end after first year. I thought I would struggle to fill my time. Instead, I’m drowning in obligations and lack the time to do the things I really care about.

So I’ve reset my priorities. I do not need an A+ in every class I take. But I do want to put significant effort into my two business ventures, and strengthen my friendships with my classmates. I do not need to be a tutor or admissions’ office tour guide, but I do want to offer career guidance to first years. I do not want to end second year as worn out as I feel right now.

The Promise of Second Year may be a total myth. But I’m still determined to create the second year I want.

I’m determined to have the time to write this.


About missmba

What happens when a language-loving, mathphobic liberal arts major goes jumps on the MBA train. Follow my adventures at a top 20 business school.
This entry was posted in Classes, Stress. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Myth of Second Year

  1. Diane says:

    In other words, it is okay to say “NO”. A lesson we all need to keep learning.

  2. Atish says:

    Very well written 🙂 loved the beginning and the end.
    I’m hoping that this is a settling down phase which will get over sooner than later and i would be able to actually do the stuff I want to.

  3. Lilia says:

    I DO see a lot of second years running around faster than FYs… So my takeaway from this is that I need to lower my expectations for SY (that way, whatever happens will be great)!

  4. Tim says:

    On week 2 of FY, I asked Prof. Clawson, “What’s the hardest part about Darden?” “Q1, SY. You completed FY, you completed your internship, and you think everything’s going to be fine.” I didn’t believe him at the time …

  5. Enjoy your time with your friends and do only the things you truly want to do, that is the key to SY. And spring semester will be better than fall…

    Darden ’04 Grad

  6. missmba says:

    Thanks to everyone for your insightful comments.

    @Tim: I wish I’d thought to ask Prof. Clawson the same thing.

    @Amy: Thanks for the advice! I’m trying to do just that and keep things in perspective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s