6 Steps to Recovery

aka the post-INSEAD blues

Last week, one of my closest friends and an INSEAD 15D sent me a message out of the blue — “I’m still struggling post INSEAD”. My reply — “I’M still struggling post INSEAD”. It’s been roughly 1 year and 3 months since I graduated from the Singy campus as a proud ‘14D which means it’s been 1 year and 3 months of reminiscing about the best year of my life (most often during a lackluster day at work or after several glasses of vino with other INSEADers).

Why you ask? Quick recap of my 2014. I…
Lived in 3 cities 
Traveled to 10+ countries
Made friends from 50+ nationalities
Slept an average of 5hrs/night 
Completed 2000 case studies (or so it felt) 
Sang ‘I Follow River’ at least 2x a week
Had a life changing moment once per month 
…the list goes on

So the question that begs to be answered, “How do you recover from this 12 month high?” Are INSEADers destined to be in perpetual withdrawal once they graduate or are there steps they can take to remedy these feelings of loss, powerlessness, anxiousness, lack of accomplishment, etc?

I Googled “6 step program for recovering from INSEAD” but couldn’t find anything so here I embark on this task to develop one and sign myself up as the first participant.

1. Knowing we are not powerless. Memories are never lost, especially with digital photos, google drive folders, and emails. Know they are there and accessible when you want (Message Duc Dao if you need access)

2. Reflect often on what we learned. The good and the bad. About ourselves, human nature and even from our beloved professors. (eg. Is it a rabbit or duck — Management Decision Making)

3. Appreciate that we had the opportunity. We’re a small small subset of the world. We’re lucky human beings. (welcome week, chateau parties, national weeks, endless fomo, cabaret, chartered planes, private islands, grad trip — only we know)

4. Keep in touch, like really. Not to reminisce but to make new memories, have more epic nights, share happy moments, and reach out for help. Facebook pictures and posts are great for keeping up to date on distant people’s lives but not a substitute for conversation nor representative of how people are really doing.

5. Challenge yourself like you did at INSEAD. Remember how out of our comfort zones we were every.single.day and survived? Keep it up, it’s what drives people like us.

6. Help others have this experience. Pay it forward. Chat with eager applicants, sign up to be an interviewer, attend prospective student events.

and a bonus step

7. Have something to look forward to. Mark ‘Summer Ball 5 year Reunion’ down in your calendar!

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