After exchanging a few pleasantries I found myself in a cozy restaurant with a tall, dark, and handsome guy with a career Boothies would kill for. Exactly what a girl wants, right? And all it took was one right swipe.
Let's backtrack. I came to Booth for one main reason: to give my career a boost. The 65/35 ratio was just an added bonus, and, after being single for a while, something I was secretly looking forward to. In my first few weeks I took stock of what I had to work with: smart, handsome men, a community that loves gossip, and a self-contained milieu to ensconce it all. I knew it would be tricky to balance all of that with building a solid network and a good reputation, but I decided to brave it and keep an open mind. In the following weeks I got a few aggressive advances, a raunchy text or two, and the realization that navigating the dating scene at Booth would be even hairier than I was expecting it to be.
So I chose to take to online dating: it was easy and familiar. Despite the immediate lack of chemistry with my date, I realized we were living in different worlds: to him, things were getting routine: his work was getting boring, life had gotten mundane, and he was considering making a disruptive change; to me, everything is new and exciting; business school has been a thrilling ride, I had broken up with the routine of daily life for two years, and the world is my oyster. I had made my disruptive change over a year ago, and I wanted someone who could relate to all that: a non-business student could not.
It was back to the drawing board: what was the problem with dating at Booth in the first place?
It is not you, it's me.
After uttering that a few times last quarter, it dawned on me that it is not the bubble, but rather that romantically, things at Booth get really intense really fast. We live, work, and play in the same place, and relationships are accelerated at a rate that most people are not used to. Reconciling desires, aspirations, and reality is hard enough in normal life, let alone at the supersonic speed of Booth dating. However, if there is one thing I have learned at Booth so far is that I can handle anything thrown my way: with painfully hard classes and endless recruiting under my belt, why would dating at be any different? It's about managing expectations, communication, and proper execution (and maybe putting out occasional fires, like when you realize the two people you're talking to are roommates). These are some core competencies that future Booth leaders should have.
I think I won't be swiping for a while.