Monday, March 9, 2009

A Friend's Advice

A good friend was visiting me this weekend. He is in his fourth year of a six-year graduate program. When we started talking about my upcoming transition to business school, he urged me not to get too wrapped up in the grad school social scene and to make sure I have a life outside of school.

He lives in a fairly large city and prior to our conversation, it hadn't struck me as strange that he never mentioned any good friends who are in his program. All of the people with whom he socializes are non grad school friends and I learned from his advice that this is a consequence of a very deliberate choice. His stance is that, save for a couple individuals you really connect with, you should treat your graduate school classmates like business colleagues rather than like new frat brothers.

I think he makes a fair point, though I'm not sure I completely agree with it in the business school setting. My friend has definitely chosen one end of the spectrum, which, for me, would be limiting and counter to my personality. I plan to make a sincere effort to develop new professional and personal relationships with my classmates. However, I will heed his advice to some degree because I know it was prompted by his understanding of my tendency to veer sharply to the overly social and overstimulated end of the spectrum. Also, I am wary of neglecting my academic interests and my relationship with my significant other. Hopefully I can have a balanced experience somewhere between the two poles.

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