Looking back: 5 things I would tell myself if I were to do first year all over again

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  1. Get involved in team activities: Don’t limit your team activities to class assignments. There’s tons you can do in teams or groups – from sports to club boards to introspective discussions. Find a group of like-minded classmates and regularly spend time doing things you enjoy. Being affiliated to a team will make navigating your social and extra-curricular lives much easier!
  2. Stretch with a purpose: Stretch experiences are very quintessentially Wharton and at some point you will find yourself doing things you never imagined yourself doing. What you may not think about is what you want to get out of such experiences. For instance, your goal can simply be “I want to dance on stage in front of 500 people” or it can be “I want to dance on stage in front of 500 people so that I learn how to be okay with making a fool of myself”. The slight difference can lead to surprisingly different outcomes.
  3. Don’t breed insecurity: When you get to b-school, you suddenly find yourself in the company of 800+ super smart and highly accomplished peers. As a result, you often end up questioning your own feats. Insecurity may start kicking-in as you get a few rejections from the multitude of fellowships and leadership roles at school and jobs or even friends and love interests. Know that a lot of you (us) are in the same boat. Be warm, inclusive and conscientious.
  4. Be yourself and allow others to be themselves: Don’t try to fit in. Be yourself – that makes you you and that makes you stand out. Give others the space to be themselves too – don’t be quick to judge people. Everyone has a story that has made them who they are. Get to know them before you form an opinion about them. While it is often not possible to get to know everyone well, it is also not necessary to have an opinion about everyone.
  5. Take the time to know yourself better: Every now and then, reflect on your goals and your priorities, your needs and your desires, and allocate your time accordingly. This can not be repeated enough. It’s very easy to get lost in the myriad of things to do at Wharton. Make sure you carve out time for yourself. If you don’t want to introspect alone, you can always find someone to do it with. Welcome to Wharton!

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