Finishing the 1st Semester

We’ve just finished final exams. That means – our first semester has ended.

Time went by surprisingly fast. It seems like just yesterday that we first gathered in our classrooms and introduced ourselves to each other. It is unbelievable that we have spent 112 days and finished almost a quarter of our life at HBS.

Looking back, the first semester was, in a word, busy. Just busy. I was always overwhelmed by the massive amounts of homework, the intensive classes, and the never-ending parade of social events. HBS intentionally throws out more work than students can handle, and consequently, we had to make decisions as to what to regard as priority and what could be ignored

Fortunately, when I arrived at HBS four months ago, I knew life at HBS was hectic, making it all but impossible to remember everything, and thought it wise to keep a log. Since September, I have been blogging here, as well as keeping a daily journal.  Spending 30 seconds every day, I have been logging my daily activities by the hour. Here is the aggregation of the first semester.

Time Spent

As can be imagined, the core of my life consists of class and study, accounting for 38% of my time. In the past four months, we’ve gone through 133 cases, meaning we have made almost 133 critical decisions as a case protagonist. Interesting thing – I spend twice as much time studying as I do in class. In other words, I’m studying 2 minutes for every minute in class. A finance guy would say that the self-study class ratio is 2:1.

Another remarkable thing is that I’m spending 8% of my time with my family, which is much longer than when I was working. At that time, I was spending just 3-5 % maximum. I’m also sleeping well. Since coming to HBS, I have been consistently sleeping 8 hours (33% of my time) a day. It is also hard to believe that when I was working at a consulting firm and investment bank I often spent the entire night at the office. Although I feel busier now, the quality of life at HBS seems much better than before.

I’m spending the remaining 20% on networking, events and meetings, and other daily chores. This time composition would be totally different for each student. Some focus on recruiting, others focus on club activities, and there are also people focusing on their own startup. The great thing about being a student is that everything is up to us.


Anyway, the first quarter of our HBS life has simply flown by. The next phase starts in the second week of January. And the End of Semester Bash Party starts at 10pm tonight!

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