Before Pre-Term, during Pre-term, and throughout this semester, I was given a plethora of advice and predictions from 2nd years. Some of this I was skeptical of, but in retrospect, it all seemed prescient.
They said not to spend too much time on academics. I was skeptical. They were right. While the classes themselves are very rewarding and taught by brilliant and passionate faculty, often the work outside the classroom is not about learning the field, but about checking boxes to placate TA rubrics. From playing “where’s Waldo” with the 5Cs of a marketing case, to integrating and perfecting a PowerPoint worked on at separate times by 7 different people, the pursuit of GPA is too often the pursuit of frivolity. Optimizing should have you spending time elsewhere.
They said you would learn the most from your peers and make best friends for life. I was skeptical. They were right. I am genuinely dismissive of clichés such as that, but it is totally true that at Wharton, you learn an incredible amount from those around you. In any random small group dinner, you hear the most up-to-date industry information from the most impressive professionals in the world. That alone is amazing, but add in that these people become close friends, and you have something absolutely incredible.
They said not to wear anything nice to White Party. I was skeptical. They were right. This should be self-explanatory.
They said I would frequently don a costume. I was skeptical. They were right. Thus far, in addition to regularly presenting myself as a bumble bee, I have donned a blazer and spandex American flag short shorts, dressed head-to-toe all white party clothes, costumed myself as an unprofessional physician, and rocked out as an 80s hair-band lead-singer. In the future, I foresee ugly sweaters and bull and bear outfits.
They said clubs and student life would be incredibly rewarding and time consuming. I was skeptical. They were right. I have learned an incredible amount analysis from WCAI, received very useful advice from PEVC group dinners, and feel enriched by every Tech Tuesday I attend. I had the best coffee in my life at a Coffee Club bloc party, and super-useful advice on academics from India Club’s (the best club on campus) course match hotline. These activities are also engrossing. I know extremely driven professionals who spend 30+ hours a week prepping for hockey matches they play in tutus, and industry leaders who spend even more time per week writing for follies (these folks should know that I can put their pictures in overexposed). Student life here is something you are told about, but have to experience to believe.
They said time would fly. I was skeptical. They were right. I remember the pre-term Olympics like it was yesterday. I am already nostalgic. The first semester feels like one amazing week of my life. I want this to never end.