How I Spent My Semester Break: Prediction vs Reality
By Matt | January 22, 2013
Here at Babson, we are just getting back into the swing of things after a much-needed and much-deserved month-long break between semesters, which included the Holiday season. Instead of boring my readers with a full breakdown of the prior semester including favorite classes, what I learned about financial valuation, and a lengthy discussion on the principles of financial accounting, I figured I could provide something a little lighter: a much shorter breakdown on how I assumed I would spend my time off, and how I actually spent my time off. Without further adieu, here we go:
Prediction #1: Take some time to seriously reflect upon what I learned in the previous semester, and how these fundamentals and frameworks can be utilized going forward in real-life professional situations.
Reality #1: My brain completely turned off the second finals were over – it was mush. That being said, I still think I’m in much better shape than before school – I can’t look at something I’m buying without thinking about the potential profit margin on the item, and I find myself analyzing the net present value of potential “investments” (being a broke grad student, I’ll use the word “investments” broadly).
Prediction #2: Continue to be productive with any free time I have – research companies I’d like to work for, further work to increase my network, and prepare cover letters for summer internships which I likely won’t have time to prepare when I’m back in “school-mode.”
Reality #2: For the first week of break, I definitely had issues sitting around for periods of 15 minutes without doing anything – I literally had this feeling of guilt in my stomach. Let’s just say that feeling subsided a little more quickly than I wanted it to…
Prediction #3: Use the extra time off to finally catch up on reading those books I wanted to over the past few months (reading for leisure! It happens!).
New Dennis Lehane!
Reality #3: I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t read another thing. The only item in my hands were a remote control, cold beverage, and between the hours of 12-1 pm and 7-8 pm daily, whatever terribly unhealthy food was within reach (No – there was no breakfast – most days I woke up too late).
Prediction #4: Finally get back into exercising after somewhat of a frustrating temporary hiatus during 1st semester.
Reality #4: See Reality #2 above.
Prediction #5: “Recharge the batteries,” as they say – get away from the cold, take a week off on some small island in the Caribbean, and have a drink or two while getting a nice tan.
Reality #5: -I worked at my old job 1 or 2 days a week to get some extra money, had the pleasure of looking at each and every one of my classmates (so it seemed…don’t bother arguing otherwise) taking a week (or two) off on some small island in the Caribbean, while never leaving the frozen tundra of New England.
So that about sums up my semester break experience. Although I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I had planned, in hindsight, I’m actually not sure I would have changed that much about it. It was a much-welcomed break from the intensity of the Babson MBA program.
How did others spend their school breaks? Was anyone more productive than I was? Where did YOU go over break?
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All of us spend the holidays in different ways. Some of us have family traditions involving meals, gift giving or religious ceremonies. For others, the holiday break means traveling to be with family or for a getaway vacation. For others, the holidays fall short of “what they’re supposed to be” — for one reason or another.
How will you be spending the holiday break?
On the Expatriate Life blog, Jan Benzel writes about what it’s like to be away from home for the holidays for three years in a row:
The day I love most – Christmas! — is the day I’m most dreading this year. Three years into an assignment abroad, I’ll be spending my third Christmas away from home. I’ll work on Christmas Day; there won’t be much to do. I’ll have dinner with friends who are also far from their families.
In thrall to the chance to live overseas for the first time I had somehow missed the fine print: that I’d be working throughout the holidays each year. Or perhaps three years ago, Christmas at home didn’t feel as urgent as it does now.
On Dec. 25, technology willing, I’ll Skype with my daughters. They’re grown up enough that they no longer expect the wonder world under the tree, but like me, not grown up enough not to miss the cooking, the wrapping, the Christmas music. They’ll have that this year with their father in New York. I’ll call my mother, and my siblings. I’ll miss my own father; he died in March.
Students: Tell us …
- How will you spend the holiday break?
- What will you be doing? Cooking? Reading? Playing video games? Traveling?
- Just like Ms. Benzel, many of us don’t get to spend the holidays exactly the way we want to. Is there somewhere you would rather be? Is there someone you would like to spend the holidays with, but can’t?
- Ms. Benzel is an expat, which means she is an American living and working abroad. She would rather be home with her family for the holidays, but instead she has to spend Christmas in Paris. Many of us would love to spend the holidays in Paris, or travel somewhere else exciting, but instead we’ll be home as usual. If you could travel anywhere over the holiday break, where would you like to travel?
Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.