It was almost as if you didn't even realize that recruiting was taking place.
On the Friday before on-campus interviews were to start, our cohort organized a bowling event and a group of second year students hosted a pre-party. Amidst midterms and interview prep, I was the only first year student to show up at the apartment. As I looked over to the makeshift bar on the kitchen counter, someone yelled out for a round of shots.
"So this is what it's like to be a second year?" I asked. Freddy smiled and paused as he considered the question. He was so far removed from the life of a first year - the coffee chats, flash cards, shaving - he probably had forgotten that his reality wasn't always schnapps and impromptu dance parties.
"Yeah, I guess it is," he laughed.
This was not an unusual interaction with the Class of 2014. Our classes are on completely different arcs that give us very little in common, and you have every right to be indifferent to us. Your clock is ticking to spend time with people you have developed meaningful relationships with, people that in a few months you may quite literally never see again. Juxtapose that with punks who complain about the sugar cookie in a free boxed lunch and, well, the disconnect should be obvious.
But that's okay. Because despite this, a second year student was always there to help when it actually mattered. LEAD facilitators spent many, many hours learning how to most delicately tell us that we lack empathy. Career advisors pushed us because, while our resumes were good enough to get into business school, the version we came in with would have been unceremoniously tossed out by a recruiter. And I am fully convinced that co-chairs for professional groups have the most consuming and thankless jobs on campus. Seriously, find a co-chair and buy him or her a drink.
From the important to the inane, you helped guide us through this wacky year. You coached us on how to best navigate a maddening recruiting process, but you also shared your cover sheet template because in hindsight our homework assignments looked so juvenile without them. And even though you probably hated us for putting so much effort into the fall quarter classes that we shared, you ultimately paid us back by helping the curve and checking out of spring quarter.
So on behalf of the Class of 2015: thanks, you guys. I imagine that next year it will be hard enough to justify putting on pants, let alone talking to the nth overeager first year about the summer experience. But we'll do it because you did it for us, and that means something. That said, we also may encourage people to be completely irresponsible with three days to go before the biggest test of their professional life, but hey - we have to pay it forward in all aspects, right?