I hit the submit button for Harvard the morning of Jan. 11th, with just a handful of minutes before the deadline. The Harvard essays were definitely tricky, but given that it was my final application, it really wasn’t that bad. I had already come up with most of the ideas that I needed from doing all of my other applications. Therefore the Harvard app was more like putting a puzzle together than building something from scratch.
People usually refer to applying as a race, hence the finish line reference above, but really it’s more like figure skating. You give your all during a relatively short performance, you’re exhausted afterwards, you’re rated by a group of judges who will be looking closely at your mistakes, and whether or not you win depends on how well everyone else did.
After I made my final click, I turned around and stared at my apartment. It looks like a bomb went off. Laundry is backed up, dishes piled high, and garbage bags waiting to be thrown out. I’m usually pretty good with keeping my apartment clean, but the past few weeks have obviously been an outlier.
As I started thinking about all the things I could get to, now that the applications were out of the way, I started to feel a surge of energy through my body. Having sacrificed my health, my time, and to some degree my sanity, I was ready to start taking back my life. I began composing a to do list. I started with all the things I said I would do after completing the GMAT and never got to. Volunteering, tennis, and working on my blog were the major themes.
I went to bed at 6 pm last night, the first night I didn’t have an essay or GMAT test looming over my head in 6 months. I woke up around 6:30 am. I don’t think I’ve ever slept that long before. Since I usually don’t get up that early, I decided to go work out. It was the first time since I submitted my Haas application that I saw the inside of a gym.
My first priority is to get back in shape. During my GMAT studies and essay writing, I ate a lot of junk food and conceded to put my health awareness on hold until all the work was over. Now that it is finally over, I need to put my money where my mouth is, and thus stop putting unhealthy crap in my mouth. I’m going to try playing tennis at least once a week and make sure that I get at least four workouts for the week total. I’ll also be cooking more of my own food.
In terms of volunteering, I definitely have a lot of things to catch up on. I took a short break from my duties during the holidays by now I’m psyched to jump back in.
Both my apartment and car are a complete mess. I’m probably going to need to spend a weekend just cleaning and might even need to get my car detailed. My apartment floor is covered with backed up laundry, drafts of essays that I printed out, and a pile of GMAT books I still haven’t sold yet.
Everyone has a love hate relationship with the GMAT and applying to business school. When we’re in the midst of it, we become stressful and we complain. But when I look above at all the “to-do” items I’ve listed, I realize that my life would be pretty boring without it. I’m really not sure what my hopes and dreams would be if going to business school was not in the mix.
Applying to business school was a colossal investment of time and energy, an investment that may or may not bring a huge return. But it definitely filled a void in my life and gave me something to reach for. It gave me something to channel all of my energy into and show a side of myself that I could be proud of. I have no idea where this journey is going to take me, but for now, I’m glad that I started it.
This post is adapted from Random Wok, a blog written by Mako from Silicon Valley. You can read all of his posts at Random Wok.
Previous posts by Mako at PoetsandQuants: