Back to School

Back to School

I’m 24 years old and can’t believe I’m picking out clothes for school tomorrow. I glance at my watch and it’s slowly ticking past 11:30 pm. I’m teaching an Excel workshop tomorrow, meeting our incoming class of first year students for the first time in a classroom setting. I want to look professional, yet not overdressed. I want to be prepared, but not overly knowledgeable.

A stack of my business cards are laid out to my left as I sit at my desk, meticulously packing my computer and other accessories into my GSM-branded carrying bag. I certainly don’t want to forget anything on my first day of school. Notebooks, pens, and paper are all neatly arranged on my desk as I finalize preparations for tomorrow.

It strikes me that I haven’t put this much effort into preparing for school in well over a decade. Actually, school doesn’t even fully start for me until next week. Why am I putting so much time and thought into an orientation activity? My head starts to nod as the answer hits me – I care.

I care about this first day of school more than I’ve cared about the first day of school for many, many years. It’s not so much that I want to impress the incoming class, but rather that I want them to feel welcome into our community. It’s not often that first impressions carry such weight…

I also care to see my own second year classmates as well. Although summer was a nice relaxing break from textbooks and lectures, it was also an extended time away from a group of people I genuinely enjoy spending time with. I found myself missing my friends and the campus culture we’ve created in just a few short months.

This is how I know I am attending the right school. The people, the community, matter more than anything. I’ve always been told that business school was about establishing a good network, and nothing has made this particular point more obvious than last few giddy and nervous hours before my first day of school.

Somehow, at 24, I’m 7 again. I’ve picked out my best clothes, packed up my bag, and am preparing for a good night’s sleep. Back to school. I’m excited.