Final exams kick off on Wednesday morning with a bang- Corporate Finance at 9 a.m. They didn't just creep up quickly this time, they jumped at me out of nowhere and left me unwittingly stunned with their proximity, rendering me speechless and moreover, sleepless.
This time, as I open my books and scan my notes while tapping away on my overused calculator- I’m praying that I know enough to get me through, pleading with my lucky stars, and searching for the best (and most altruistic) candidates to help me prepare. This is one of the key discoveries I’ve made during the MBA- that no great feats are accomplished alone. Furthermore, one of the most valuable lessons (a lesson I learned the hard way) is that who you study with is just as important as what you are studying, why, and when.
It’s about 4 a.m. on Monday morning and I’m only now considering sleep, while deliberating between attending morning classes, staying home to study, or sneaking in the few hours of sleep I know will make a world of difference come Wednesday.
I could work out a few more problems- but Net Present Values and Internal Rates of Return are all sounding like same thing to me right now, and the formula for growing annuity may as well be Chinese.
So what am I doing? I’m writing.
It may be the last thing that will help me pass my exams- but it brings me peace. It keeps me connected to the life I once had- where I followed what I thought I should be doing- where my heart took me. Furthermore, it keeps me sane.
With scraps of paper filled with foreign equations strewn about my room and books I would much rather use as door stops highlighted (nay- massacred with neon shades of green and pink and yellow)…with dog-eared pages spread strategically over tables and chairs throughout my apartment…with about 200 windows open on my computer from wikipedia definitions of perpetuity to practice problems and the answers that don't seem to match no matter how many times I do them, I’m taking a moment to be me. Because this whole quantitative analysis thing- as much as I’m trying to be THAT person- is not coming as naturally as I had once hoped. (Although I have to admit that on the rare occasions I come to the end of a 2-hour problem with the right answer- the satisfaction is pretty intense).
So here I am, sitting up in bed, listening to my long-lived “writing playlist,” while the rest of Western Europe is sleeping, letting the words of the world in my head spin themselves into semi-coherent sentences and spill onto a page. And finally, after far too much time and admittedly, a few tears and an abundance of anxiety- I feel like me.
I just wish I could stay here a little longer.
But exams and numbers call…and once again, I must put aside those things that calm me and make me feel whole- so that I can attempt (and hope) to make it through another grueling term-only to begin another- and eventually, graduate with an MBA and figure out a way to turn these numbers into art- or turn these words of mine into numbers- and share something significant with the world…because isn’t that what we are all here to do? Maybe I’m just going about it a bit differently.
With that- I’m going to take a select few of these thoughts and share them- and hopefully have the chance to remind my fellow classmates- to take a little time for yourselves. And do something you loved doing before you got to school…and I promise, when you wake up tomorrow morning- or on the morning of the exam you fear the most- everything you are working towards will make a little more sense. Goodnight.