Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Foreign Accents

With most the deadlines for people hitting dates in the next month and half, there is clearly some tension seeping into the MBA communities as announcements are awaited. I would obviously like to consider myself an exception, and for the most part I am managing quite well. I am not stressed about the notices from them, I am stressing about how I can arrange to visit them, and then stressing about the possibility of doing so permanently.

I am going to have to either the last game of the season for my team (top of the table clash, no less, in fact it will most likely be for the title if we win this weekend), or going to have to miss the end of season ball. I can’t miss the end of season ball, as it will be my soiree if everything MBA goes right. Which also means that if everything goes right, this will be my last game for the Saints. At least for two years; possibly forever. Thinking about this kind of change really brings it home to me the scale of what I am planning.

I have never been a person of a large group of friends, but the guys from my team are amongst the best people I have met. Two years of sport and partying, involving some very drunken nights of discovering that sambuca doesn’t mix well in a 10 pint jug, that gin in the jug gets everyone going crazy, that I am really unfortunate at arrogance, quite good at three coin spoof (especially with ghosts), and can about hold my own in games of aliens and its variants. The bouncing coin game is still a loss to me. There was the alleged falling asleep in a club (I don’t remember this), the whole of the festival where I had my drinks spiked, and drinks in town where we had to carry a few of the players home. In true stereotype of this fine land, there is a concurrent theme. We got promoted both seasons too, but that is a side issue (the fact that this season in the league above the other that it has been an easier year is an unexplainable side-issue).

Some applicants seem to choose to apply to local places, and others look to improve their status and wages in moving overseas. I am in the third camp – the group that decides that going somewhere entirely different (country, attitude, choice of cars, temperature of beer, climate – everything) would be the best way forward for me. There is nothing wrong with where I am at all. I have one of the best business schools in the world nearby. I just feel that this whole thing should be a change. And actually flying out to see the schools is the first time I have actually thought how absurd my plan is.

It will be a big change – one in which I will be Best Man for my man T in Ibiza during the summer 2008, with me being somewhere in the US. One where my photographer friend, who is kipping round mine at the weekend, will probably want to visit even more, but will less likely give me a weeks notice. One where Mr Chow and his lovely lady won’t be able to invite us to a cheese and wine evening of such surreal carnage, where I will bump into a friend who’s phone number I lost when I got mugged and thought I’d never get again. Ten years of good friends are all soon to be a huge flight away (school friends aren’t under any consideration here as they number a cool zero). I knew all this when I started, but as it moves closer to being a reality it is becoming more of a wrench. Not one that I will back away from, but one that I had not realised would be quite as difficult to me as it most probably will turn out.

So everything becomes a stress about friendships. I am going to be hugely absorbed in School if I go, because all my friends will be made from arriving at day one. It is like going to University all over again, but this time I am somewhat more assured and confident in my abilities. I told the gf how I would be disappointed if I didn’t top one class while at school. She laughed. I need these kind of objectives for going through this, as I am inherently lazy if I don’t give myself targets.

But most of all, I will be making a new group of friends, away from enforced relationships and all that is typical now. I know it isn’t so bad – I went to University in a city I had never been to in my life, and was selected purely by a mixture of the sensible (it was a top rated course), the reasoned (it was sufficiently far from home), and the absurd (on page five of the viewbook there was a picture of a bulletin board with a poster on it of a band I liked playing a gig). This time I almost feel like I am overpreparing.

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