At this very moment- I am sitting in my last MBA class, about to give my last-ever presentation with the help of my new best friend, “PowerPoint.” (Yes, I should be paying attention- but I have this knot in my stomach that won’t seem to go away- and the best way I know how to get rid of it is to write about it…)
I thought that this class, the last class, would never come. I did plenty of complaining about the duration of the process- but I think a small part of me was hoping to complain forever. I may have spoken about the end- but it never felt like it was actually going to happen- like it was just part of a plan that would never conclude. The end of the MBA was a far-off concept and the future- just a hypothesis.
Now- it’s here and as I sit in this familiar classroom with my MBA colleagues who were complete strangers a little less than two years ago- I feel nothing but sadness, a bit of regret that I’ve run out of time- and fear- of the unknown.
I don't want to repeat the sentiments I keep referring to…but what I suspected up until this point is true- that the nostalgia would kick in as the end approached. I have no unexpected emotions or thoughts to reveal. Although I do thrive on change and I genuinely believe that the “next step” will be great, I am overwhelmed by my own completely startling sadness.
My classmates have, against all odds, become my family- some sort of dysfunctional, bizarre family- but I love them- and I never thought I would say that. We have shared what seems like a lifetime together- the good, the bad, the highs and the lows. They may be sitting around me at this very moment but already- I miss them. I don't want to say goodbye.
And ESADE- the immense, arresting pink building, the classrooms, the ubiquitous blue chairs, the glass walls, the never-ending internet problems, terrible food, weak coffee- they have all become the elements of my home- the fixtures.
I was pulling up to school this morning and as I walked up to the doors with the big ESADE “E,” I remembered three years ago, when I drove up for my entrance interview and they were like the doors to a whole other world- the world of Business Education….a world that I was just thinking about entering. Now, those doors are as familiar to me as the doors to the house I grew up in- ESADE is a place I belong…where I can walk in and I can navigate the halls and the floors and the offices and rooms. I know where all the bathrooms are and I know how to work the light/sound systems for each projector. I know where the comfortable couches are should I need an afternoon catnap and I know where to hide when I don't want to be found.
Today is my last day as a student in this school and when I walk out of this building, I will be leaving behind another home- I will be leaving a home that I have grown to love very much. And that scares me…it makes me sad.
I think the point is, I may be ready for this to be over- I may have learned all I can learn from ESADE- but I don't want it to end…not yet.