24 hours, in a room with 8 people from different backgrounds, made me learn the most important lessons in my life.
In the two-week break between leaving my job and flying here to commence this wonderful journey at Oxford, I kept thinking about the clubs or activities I was going to join. I found out about the nominations for the Peer Supporter Team and thought to myself, “Why not?”
I was a little nervous taking the responsibility after getting selected. Firstly, because it was a huge commitment and responsibility, and secondly, I didn’t know anyone. It was the first time I was going to be interacting with so many different nationalities – and I was expected to support them when they were down or low (I still am trying my best to do that!). I remember, I verified my decision to join the team from an amazing Alumnus, who without even any second thoughts, told me to go for it. I am glad I made that decision because it was the best start to this new chapter of my life. The deep discussions about people, behaviour, perceptions and values made me realise I am so unique yet so common. We had 4 sessions of approximately 6 hours each in a quiet room and I learnt in those 24 hours ‘Who am I?’, ‘Why am I the way, I am?’ and that ‘Listening is the best gift you can give to someone’.
Now in this second month at Oxford, the horizon of that quiet room has expanded and now I feel the whole of Oxford city is my safe space. I am accepted the way I am. Quite frankly, all of us were overwhelmed and most of us disliked “Networking”. What do you mean when someone says, “An MBA is all about Networking”? The idea of talking to 329 of my classmates and getting to know them, remember their names and ask them a few generic questions, seemed so crazy and energy draining. But, when I look back, I don’t regret going out of my comfort zone and doing that. I don’t regret it because now I am surrounded by familiar faces and a few of them seem like I have known them for years. There is always someone greeting me, wishing me good luck, supporting me, or acknowledging me. I want to boldly claim and admit that the freezing cold keeps trying to bring our enthusiasm down, but we are all standing strong together.
Recently my very ambitious and hardworking friend from my school, who is successfully running a startup, asked me to share the concepts I am learning at MBA.
I thought about it and I couldn’t think of any one identifiable shareable learning. This experience as a whole is the biggest learning, and has made me a more confident version of myself. Fighting flu, fighting FOMO, fighting the ‘comfort’ of comfort zone, fighting perceptions and fighting the fear of getting lost in the world of successful people (Impostor Syndrome), this is my real learning so far. People around me, classmates and professors, are the best teachers. At the end of the day, when I go to sleep with so much stress of completing assignments, preparing for placements and being away from family, all of that goes away and what I get is a peaceful night sleep because I know “I have chosen wisely”.Back to top of article