Finding value out of a slump


Diving headfirst into any experience causes fatigue, and I think my most recent change has been no exception. Most of the time, we start something and invest so much time making sure we understand what is going on, that we don’t take much time to step back and reflect. But there comes a time to take stock – inventory and catalog what we’ve learned and who we’ve met, and I think that time has hit.

At HBS, we have something known as the “November slump”: the excitement of meeting new classmates is over, the frenzy of midterms is in the rear view mirror (oy), and we’re gazing toward a very long, dark winter. But on the other hand, I feel like I’ve only just started finding my groove. Here are a few thoughts on how to re-energize during the slump, and some themes that will help get over the hurdle before the end of the semester.

  1. Recognize that we have just scratched the surface of getting to know one another. There’s this sense of “shiny new toys” when you meet 90 new people (or 900, depending on your scale), but we still don’t really know each other. I’m energized by the idea of going deep into friendships with so many people, and learning what makes these people tick. I’m starting to recognize the extreme value of the connections made at a place in which you are surrounded by such brilliant, disparate minds. I plan to draw energy and inspiration from the process of getting to know everyone more meaningfully.
  2. Start something. The wake up –> class –> case reading –> repeat cycle is the necessary framework structuring my day, but I’m quickly learning that I need to do more than just this to keep myself fulfilled. Starting a project and solving a problem that feels meaningful and juicy keeps my mind racing and provides a nice reprieve from the daily grind.
  3. Get out of the bubble. I’ve kept this running mission of meeting 2 new people a week for the last few years. I love hearing different perspectives, and so I will continue to challenge myself to do this both within and outside of the HBS community. Furthermore, I enjoy exploring new cities and I feel like I’ve barely gotten to see Boston. Whenever I feel like I’m in a rut, changing physical setting gives me perspective.
  4. Connect great people. I feel as though I’m adding value when I can connect two people who would benefit from knowing one another. As small as it seems, making those introductions can be a great way to rekindle friendships and connections, while simultaneously feeling like you are giving back. Making connections
  5. Keep questioning. if something feels wrong, it’s probably wrong. Challenge assumptions and be discerning. It’s ok to push back, and in doing so you are probably making your surroundings better for everyone else, too.

Theme of the week: 27!

Finding value out of a slump

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