To my soon departing 2nd years: hey there [seductive wink!]. To the first years who don’t know me: I’m a combination of the angel and devil sitting on your shoulders. I’m the encouraging voice inside your head when you really want to speak to a gal at the other end of the bar, but your liquid courage has yet to kick in. I’m the cheerleader when you’re looking into the mirror at the department store who says, “damn girl both those shoes make you look fly, splurge and buy them both”. Simply put, I’m what you think deep down inside. And now, for one last time, I’m going to drop some knowledge from beyond the graduation grave.
I can attest that while the glow and absurdity of Wharton life is strong, it will sadly come to a premature end.
Don’t waste a second
I remember a couple of months before graduating, a bunch of my classmates started saying things like “I am so ready to get out of the Wharton bubble and back to the real world.” First of all, gross. The Wharton bubble is sweet. If you can’t find fun in 90+ clubs and countless social activities then let’s face it, you’ve lost in the game of life.
Second, that outlook is a short-term view. In what world can you get loans from financial institutions to spend two years learning from some of the most preeminent thinkers of our age (have you met the magician formerly known as Adam Grant?), travel around the world (Bienvenidos a Colombia!) and dance enough to work off all of the booze in Philly? Answer: never! [Ed. Note: weird mixed metaphor but YOLO amirite?]
I refer you to the Jewish Sage, Adam Sandler: “stay here… stay as long as you can… for the love of G-d, cherish it.”
To hammer home the point: Thursday for you vs. Thursday for me
9AM for you: Roll over to slam your fist down on the sleep button.
9AM for me: Jump on the NYC subway 1 train to make my way from my swanky, bachelor chateau in the West Village to my investment banking office/prison.
10AM for you: Who needs another management class to explain how to be a business person? You’re crushing life. Eff that alarm. Snoozing is for losers. Fall into a deep sleep. Dream about receiving accolades for your boat race prowess.
10AM for me: Get chewed out by the MD for forgetting a comma on the presentation. No seriously, that happened.
1PM for you: Feel refreshed and ready to rock and roll! Cruise over to the gym to sweat out that final bit of last night’s shenanigans. Look great!
1PM for me: Run to grab some lunch, the highlight of my day. Woah! That’s what fresh air smells like? Get excited about $10 salad with two proteins and unlimited toppings.
5PM for you: Head to Pub. Crush 10 beers. Hit on your ex-fling’s newest bff to see if you can rile up some weekend drama. Watch model tryouts, drag show or Follies raffle. Life is tough.
5PM for me: Head to the gym, finally get some peace and quiet. At least I won’t become a fatty sitting behind a desk for 16 hours a day. Damn, those biceps are looking fly. Too bad I haven’t been to a party like Camarote where I can show them off in months.
9PM for you: Swing on over to your favorite restaurant (obviously Mama Palma’s if you have any taste at all) for a super boozy small group dinner.
9PM for me: Finish up supper at my desk…in the office. Get super excited for $25 of free food. Actually, it’s not so free, as I’m still chained to my desk.
2AM for you: Finish up whatever aggressive dance party has been thrown by whatever club is up on the slate. Go home… not alone… damn you’re sweet!
2AM for me: Well today is finally over. I could hit up the club like a real baller banker but, let’s be honest, after a whole day of crushing models I don’t have the energy to spring for bottle service.
So obviously investment banking is probably at the opposite end of the spectrum of business school when it comes to free time. But as long as you stay in touch with friends and maximize your off time, working actually can be pretty entertaining. Instead of listening to representative situations of how you would implement best practices to maximize output of some fake firm in the comfort of a learning team, you’re actually doing it. For realz.
Unfortunately, you can’t press snooze on your alarm more than once or twice, but let’s face it, when that paycheck comes in at the end of the month, those zeros are sexier than a dame in a shot girl outfit. Yeah I went to fucking Wharton!
Mindset is the way to success
I was fortunate enough to have my great-grandmother live to the ripe old age of 101. Besides having surprisingly great stories about when movies cost 5 cents, she also had a great outlook on life. Nana’s philosophy was that if you feel like a kid, think like a kid and act like a kid, then you’re a kid. Kids are always happy.
While in Wharton, or out of Wharton, be a kid.
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