When you first start business school, it will feel like you are drinking from a fire hose. Orientation is from early mornings to late at night and is overwhelming to say the least. I started to feel so guilty about forgetting everyone’s name, but at the same time, I met over 200 new faces. People understood, but I tend to hold myself to a very high standard.
Once classes started I questioned why I even thought business school was a good idea. Going to class, doing long case readings and weekly homework assignments was so outside my norm (and exhausting!). I wanted to be out socializing – making lifelong friends. Instead, people were too wrapped up with classwork to deeply engage. I felt out of place.
A couple of weeks in though, the clubs and orgs started hosting kick-off meetings. Speaking events started popping up and everyone was falling into a rhythm with classes. I recognized people that were going to the same events, and slowly started getting to know them. Engagement in extracurriculars means I am busier, but now it doesn’t matter, I am enjoying everything I am doing.
It’s okay for things not to feel right instantly. I assumed I was the only one having trouble fitting in, until I called a friend from college who had also just started a graduate program in another state. She was going through the same experiences, and suddenly I felt normal and knew everything would be okay. Lean on those who are closest to you and don’t feel bad asking for help. Completely uprooting your life can be a shock, but things will fall into place over time. Now, I wouldn’t give up where I am at for anything.
Kate Agnew is an MBA Student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) and Forté Fellow Class of 2016.