Bryan Hill

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Bryan Hill, MBA '15

Oct 3

Written by: Bryan Hill
10/3/2013 11:55 PM  RssIcon

The view around Sage Hall’s changed quite a bit in the past week or so. For the first years, finals start in about twenty-four hours, and it’s starting to show a little bit.

For starters, tables that for the first month of the Core were the sites of socializing and excited banter are now covered with accounting notes, economics practice problem worksheets, and stacks of marketing slides. Also, nearly every seat in the upstairs library is filled until late in the evening, and it’s gotten pretty tough to book a breakout room.

That said, things aren’t so bad. I spent yesterday evening at the home of two fellow first-years, and suddenly, while I was five hours deep into accounting practice finals, the three of us started discussing how important the proper perspective is to making the most of our time at Johnson.

Being the tennis junkie that I am, my thoughts drifted to the courts, and I recalled a quote from the King of Clay himself, Rafael Nadal. In recent years, Nadal has regularly become embroiled in four- and five-hour battles of tennis attrition with his main rival Novak Djokovic, and has on occasion waxed poetic about how he’s come to enjoy the trials and strains of his chosen occupation. Here he is speaking to the international media after his semifinal victory in this year’s French Open:

“I learned during all of my career to enjoy suffering, and these kind of matches are very special.
You don't have the chance to play these kind of matches every day."

Rafa, shortly after discovering he has a 9 a.m. accounting final

That’s exactly how I feel about the stresses of life as a first year MBA student. There are undoubtedly times when the obligations pile up and the schedule gets just a little hectic, but it’s always a good thing to remind oneself we’re here for exactly that reason – to be challenged, to be tested, and to better ourselves. After all, we’ve only got twenty-one months here in Ithaca, and had we wanted to walk a less strenuous path, we certainly could have done so. However, the rewards of the added burden are already clear: we’ve already become tightly bonded as a class, even to a point such that dozens of us chipped in and got shirts that our very own Arnav Sawhny designed to commemorate Professor Frank’s most famous witticism:

Breathe, and let the t-shirt be your guide

All that said, I can’t lie and say I’m not looking forward to fall break. After five hours straight working through lease capitalizations and monopoly market splitting, I feel a bit like I imagine Nadal does after a long time on court. Substitute brain cramps for leg cramps, and you'll pretty much understand.

It may not be “easy-easy,” but it’s worth it. Vamos.

(Hat-tip to Christine Rossi for the t-shirt pic)

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