SEMESTER SERIES: KIRK SMITH – “Can’t repeat the past?… Why of course you can!”

“Can’t repeat the past?… Why of course you can!” – Jay Gatsby

Many times in our lives, we are told that we can’t relive our glory days. We don’t get do-overs for important events. In business school, however, you do. Goizueta’s Student Activities Board (SAB) recently put together a semi-formal dance for the entire school; one of two such events held throughout the school year. While there are many social events held throughout the year or organized by students (see trips to Talladega, tailgates at football games, dinner parties), SAB is in charge of organizing formal interactions between the classes on a regular basis. KEGS is a perfect example of an event it organizes.

But back to the semi-formal! Some people treated this as the equivalent of a modern day prom. There are at least three reasons why prom when you’re in your mid to late 20’s is a million times better than your prom when you are in your teenage years:

  1. You have your own money to spend– Well, kind of. Most people are attending business school using debt. There are scholarships available and Goizueta is working to increase the amount available to students each year. However, many people prepare for living without an income for two years well in advance of them actually arriving to Atlanta. As a result, people take advantage of unique opportunities to do something different. For example, a group of classmates rented out a party bus that took them to dinner, toured Atlanta, and dropped them off at Atlanta landmarks for fantastic photo opportunities. Not only was this a great way to explore the city, but also bond with classmates outside of the classroom. Not being reliant on your parents and still being able to engage in fun activities is one of the great experiences of business school.
  2. There are people who are married– For the most part, you aren’t going to meet fiancées or husbands/wives at a prom in the United States. At Goiuzeta, roughly one third of the class has a significant other with them. Being able to meet a classmate’s partner and see who they are helps build your relationship with the classmate. Many of the partners attend social functions throughout the year, but semi-formal is one of the largest attractions. Many of them even came from out of town to attend! If you love meeting people, this is one of the best ways to do so…in between dances.
  3. You’re older– Ten years can make quite a big difference in your approach to life. Yet it is always nice to revisit a portion of your life to see how much you’ve changed. For me, teenage years were rough. At semi-formal, there was no pressure to fit in, have a date, or seem “cool.” Everyone came as they were, danced the night away and thoroughly enjoyed themselves!

One of the reasons I attended Goizueta was the people. Semi-formal was even further confirmation that I chose the right school.

The pictures speak for themselves.