Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Of our elaborate plans, the end."

OK, so it’s been a while since I last wrote and for that I apologize. If I had a valid excuse, I would probably mention it. Truth is, I don’t. Whether it was the fact that “Christmas Break” was three weeks long and I did nothing but eat, drink and be merry- or the fact that I decline to admit to myself that the MBA is reaching its end and therefore am refusing to acknowledge anything of the sort- I have barely opened my laptop since finals.

Now, after an idyllic Christmas in Rome, an absolutely perfect New Year’s in Cortina and many long and lazy days eating my way through Italy- I find myself back in my sub-zero Barcelona apartment- complete with a new family of roaches who seemed to have made a home of my kitchen cabinet. Nonetheless, we are two days into the final term and I’m already short on sleep. This deficiency, however, is no longer due to absurd amounts of work and early classes. Instead, I am now losing sleep as a result of the knowledge that in less than 10 weeks, I will be graduating.

School commenced as it always seems to do after any sort of break…classes began as seamlessly as they ended, we welcomed the new faces here on exchange, said hi to our old friends, dusted off our computers and dug the course books out of our mailboxes. I’m not worried anymore about making it through- If I’m still on the roster after the first year, I am confident that I will be a permanent fixture in ESADE until I am handed my degree.  What I’m worried about is the imminent end. On March 26th, we will be official MBA’s. That’s exciting. What’s not-so-exciting is March 27th. “The Morning After.” I will wake up…and then what?

Of my classmates, I think only between 5%-10% have post-grad job offers. And of the remaining 90% of us, there are a good number who are still unsure of what they want to do and where. Although I do wish the best for my schoolmates and their futures, it makes me feel much better that I am not agonizing alone in this quiet disorientation.

It seems that throughout the last four years of my life, I’m continuously heading towards the end of something and the beginning of another.

I’ve heard, read and described the life of an MBA student in countless ways. From “incredible whirlwind,” to “bizarre ride,” MBA students around the globe assume a broad array of emotions throughout their programs. To me, its like I’ve lived an entire miniature life in this finite period of time. In the all-too-short 18 months, I’ve experienced more than my fair share. But the part I’ve loved most about it- is all the many little beginnings and endings wedged in between the margins of the one big beginning and end- the day we began to the day we finish. It’s almost as if- in this one imposing pink building on this one quiet street in this one European city, we have all lived a whole life together, complete with a dawn, a period of growth, a dusk, and a new family that we probably would not have chosen but have grown to love. Now that we are approaching the ultimate end of this part of our lives- all the slightly inconsequential beginnings and endings begin to take on more significance and I have found myself trying to cram as much as I can into the next two and a half months. I’m already starting to miss parts of my life here in Barcelona.

My best friend said to me as we were discussing job searches on the way to school today, “Our little party has come to an abrupt end.”

I couldn't have put it better myself.

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