Fall Ball & FOMO

imagesSo last weekend was Fall Ball at Kellogg. When I heard about Fall Ball, I immediately imagined well dressed people with exotic accents talking about topics like world hunger and the digital divide… Boy was I wrong! Fall Ball was one big party filled with well dressed people (sorry I don’t have pictures) that didn’t talk about fancy topics. Instead they ate, drank, and danced a whole lot! It was pretty cool to see people letting their hair down in a very relaxed environment.

As is customary, a lot of people went to Fall Ball with their KWEST group or ‘KWESTies’. Since I didn’t go to KWEST, I joined some second year students of the Africa Business Club and we had a mini party before going to the actual Fall Ball venue. That was also pretty cool.

What was personally interesting to me about Fall Ball is that I didn’t want to go initially. You see I like sleeping… a lot… and Fall Ball was going to be in the evening. I also happen to be somewhat introverted. Now this doesn’t mean I’m shy, it means that I’d rather be at home on a Friday night watching a movie or chatting with a small group of friends instead of hanging out at a bar with a large group of friends. Being an introvert at business school can be quite challenging especially in the first year where you may not “grow your network” as much as your extroverted classmates. I worry about this too, but I console myself with the fact that although I may not have as broad a network, I am able to build deep friendships with a fewer number of individuals and that’s totally fine by me.

So if I preferred to spend time at home on a Saturday night, and wasn’t worried about “networking”, what made me go to Fall Ball? Well, apart from the fact that I got a “nudge” from a second year student, what really sealed the deal was something quite common in business school: FOMO, an acronym for Fear Of Missing Out. You see, when you join a group of highly talented and highly accomplished people in an environment brimming with opportunities, it is very easy to always feel like you’re missing out on something. This feeling is what is called FOMO, and it can make you do all sorts of ‘interesting’ things like recruiting for management consulting and investment banking at the same time… 😛

What does FOMO have to do with Fall Ball? Well, a few days before Fall Ball I was chatting with a recruiter and she asked me if I had attended the Halloween party at Kellogg called Hoot for the Homeless. I replied that I hadn’t and this dampened the trajectory of our conversation for a little while. Reflecting on this experience later on, I realized that I could go ahead and attend only the events that appealed to me, but this approach might make me miss more opportunities to connect with people within and outside Kellogg. So when I got a nudge from a second year student, I bit the bullet, went to Fall Ball, and had a really good time. And you know what? The next time I did chat with another recruiter, the very first question was “So how was Fall Ball?” 🙂

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