Hello, Second Year. It’s me, Sierra. I have a feeling we’re going to get along just fine. Having a terrific summer made me temporarily forget how much I enjoy Darden…how many amazing friends I’ve made over the past year… how to function on 5 hours of sleep… and how much fun life is here!

Amazingly, it’s already been a week of classes back in the Darden Bubble. Second Year is all electives, and  when we picked our classes last Spring I decided it was a good idea to take one challenge/stretch class per quarter. My Q1 finance course is just that, and after struggling through 3 classes with a bad case of “really, really REALLY don’t get it” I did something odd. I didn’t drop it in favor of something easier and more palatable. I thought about it seriously, as I can’t imagine needing to know how to price bonds, swap interest rates or calculate forwards in “real life.” For some reason (stubborn much?) I don’t want to skate through SY. I mean, I do… but I don’t. When else am I going to have the opportunity to do this? Of course, being me, I have to compare making a bundle of interest rate swaps to stirring eggs into pancake batter one at a time (stir…smooth…stir…smooth) in order to understand, but that’s ok, right?

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all three of my watches broke in the last 2 weeks. It’s like they’re purposely on strike to mock me – truly, time management is turning into my biggest challenge. I remember wistfully thinking how much free time my SY friends have last year when I was a FY…and comparatively, I do have a lot more unstructured time. Free time? Not so much. Some days my first class isn’t until 2.45 pm, other days it starts at 8 am. As the structured “Plan With A Capital P” type,  I’ve been getting a bit intense and worked up about not getting everything done as efficiently as I’ve wanted to…. until one of my professors mentioned that he encourages everyone to live by Rule #6. What’s Rule #6? “Don’t take yourself too seriously.” I may get it printed on a bracelet to wear instead of a watch…