What to expect your first year at Booth

Class of 2018, You made it!!

You’re about to start the best two-year journey of your life, which is also very likely the most expensive two-year vacation of your life. But don’t worry about that for now.

You’re excited and you should be, you’ve just joined the best business school in the world. You’re probably wondering what it’s going to be like and what to expect. Well, you’re in luck… I was in the same situation last year and can give you some insights.

In the course of the next few weeks, you’re going to introduce yourself more times than you can count to more people than you can remember, including the multiple times you will re-introduce yourself to the same person. You will also learn more names and faces than you thought possible—unfortunately, you’ll also forget a sizeable amount of them. But it’s OK, you’ll all be doing it. So will we (second years), when we finally get back to campus!

Some of you will make fast friends and have your personal ‘cohort’ in a few short days while others will have just a few close buds by the end of the Fall Quarter. Remember that while quantity may seem like the way to go, when you think about it, it is quality that matters. You want relationships that will last decades after you’ve left school, so follow your path to meaningful connections and do what works for you.

With just 9-12 hours of class per week, it looks like you will have tons of free time. Wrong. There’s always more to do than there is time to do it. Your time management skills will be tested to the max. You will wonder how to squeeze out 30 minutes for that call or how you accepted invitations to conflicting events.

FOMO is real. You can deny it all you want, doesn’t change the fact that it exists and that you will feel it. If you’re lucky enough (read: comfortable with saying ‘No’ and not feeling bad about it), it will be infrequent.

You’re going to be overwhelmed. Several times. There will be times when you think you’re the only one in your class who has no idea what you’re doing. Again, that will be OK because there will be a lot of your classmates thinking the same thing and very few saying it. It will be better than OK because you’ve got a support network that can help you get through it. Staff, faculty, alumni, and students.

The staff and faculty have been here for a long time. They’ve heard the issues you have, they’ve dealt with others in similar situations before you. They know what you need and they are willing to help. All you have to do is reach out. Recent alumni and second years have gone through the process you’re going through. They know how you feel because chances are that one of their friends or themselves felt the same not long ago. They’ve committed to three back-to-back events because they thought they could do it, they took advanced classes for the foundation courses because they thought they remembered their undergrad studies, they’ve made a couple of bad decisions that they had to undo. Regardless of what it is, you’re in good company.

So, throughout this two-year journey and beyond, when you need a friendly face or a shoulder to lean… We got you.

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