Ever had a moment when you are suddenly shaken and woken up from a seeming slumber? When you feel like you can see more clearly? A time when you felt your life was spinning out of control and you needed a wakeup call? No? You must be doing everything right then. Good for you!
Well my answer to all those questions is a big resounding yes. I knew I was not doing things right at school. I was going into class with my cases on just done mode – I would stay up late or get up early in the morning to rush through the ones I did not have time for the previous evening – and would go into class and wonder how others had time for such in depth analysis on ALL the 3 cases of the day – all in one afternoon! Things came to a head when one Wednesday, 2 weeks ago, I just did not wake up in time for my first class of the day.
I had been up late the previous night trying to read up my LO case. I wanted to wake up early the next morning to review the DA case for the day (I had been planning to ask my DA professor to call on me that class - my class participation sucks). I wanted to be ultra prepared so that I did not end up looking foolish in front of my class. I guess my system protested the following morning and I don’t remember doing this, but I must have turned off all the 3 alarms I had kept on and gone back to sleep. Next time I woke up, it was 8:45AM, and I had just missed my first class of the day. I walked into class 5 minutes before first coffee. Of course I met with the professor at his office a day later to explain. And he was so understanding about it, that it made me feel guiltier! I felt worse as concerned classmates asked me if I had missed class because I was ill…
What I am getting at here is that it’s the hallmark of the Darden curriculum. It throws so much information at you and so fast that you get blinded with all that is going on. You find yourself scrambling to be at all places and finish all your work. You find yourself becoming myopic, with the only conversations you have with classmates being the cases of the day. Then pre-recruitment activities begin – tightening up your resume, getting you career objectives ready, meeting with SY coaches – and you are wishing you could be at two places at once. You push yourself so hard and then one fine day, your system revolts, like mine did. In my 4 years of undergrad and 2 and half years of work, never have I missed an appointment because I couldn’t get up in the morning. I was a little shaken, but a friend put things in perspective for me – he made me realize I was pushing myself too hard.
When I go corporate 2 years from now, I know that the one thing I will learn way better than even Crystal Ball or breakeven calculations will be time management. Darden’s rigorous curriculum and its forgiving teachers and students allow you to make those mistakes here (rather than in the workplace) without judging you. Though it does not excuse indiscipline, I think this once, I was safe.