Thursday, April 8, 2010

A year ago today I got into Yale

One year ago today, I found out I got into the Yale School of Management, but you probably know that because there's a big-fonted title above these words that says so. Unfortunately, I don't have my actual reaction to the good news on tape, but it was more or less the same as the lady's reaction in the video above.

I'll never forget it. I was a volunteer for a hospice service and was visiting my patient, Pete, who had Parkinson's disease. He was a character ... sometimes sweet, and sometimes the conveyer of highly inappropriate observations or suggestions, like that I should try to have sex with the black nurses. Anyway, I left for the day and was driving back to work when I got a call from Bruce, the director of admissions at SOM, and he said I got in! Well he said I sorta got in. My admission was actually conditional, contingent on successful completion of economics and statistics over the summer, which I did do, of course. But I was nevertheless ecstatic.

Little did I know what hell was in store.

KIDDING! KIDDING! Sheesh. No, seriously, I stand behind my decision completely. I mean, it's not a cakewalk -- grad school is an odd, artificial, sometimes stressful situation. It's not all well-dressed smart people drinking cider before a squash match on a gorgeous fall afternoon, like I thought. It's also early alarms and three cups of coffee while cranking out a problem set as freezing rain taps on the window in the dark. It's both those things.

And that's OK. The real proof of whether this was a good decision will come about in about 5 or 10 years, when I've launched into my new career. But even if my career flops and I hate what I end up doing, I wouldn't say that in and of itself means going back to school was a bad decision. I was dissatisfied with how things were and made a huge change; the alternative would be to be unhappy and do nothing about it, and I think that would have been a bigger mistake than anything else. So, yeah, a year later, I'm still ecstatic I got in.

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