It was just last week that it dawned upon me that P1, the first out of the 5 INSEAD semesters was already over! And when I received an email reminder about this article, I thought what should I write about this place, this unique INSEAD experience that hasn’t already been shared before.

INSEAD is arguably the fastest year of your life. Here I was, a couple of months back strolling through the campus, not exactly knowing what and how much to expect of the times ahead. As the semester started, we began our journey with a Global Drinking Evening, wherein each person brought the most special drink from their place for everyone to taste. I would be honest – I was too busy partying and meeting people to take pictures, but this is a snap of halfway through the evening. And that very first evening gave a perfect glimpse of how the time here is going to be – CRAZY!

Global Drinking evening – Alcohol from 50 countries!

Be it the academics, the numerous parties, the recruitment events, the club fairs, weekend trips around Europe or the simple experience of meeting a new person over lunch or dinner – there are so many experiences, so much to take in, that the FOMO effect is bound to take over. You feel like doing everything in the fear of missing out a wonderful experience.

Amidst all this bustle, we are already through P1, and one of our professors (who gifted us this beer bottle in the last class :-)) mentioned – “I am sure all of you are going to do great things in your life, and there will be shitty times in your life, but always believe in yourself and make yourself and INSEAD proud.”

The last lecture of P1!

As I sat pondering over, I realized that it’s important to realize and define your INSEAD experience for yourself. It’s easy to get lost with the pace of things here, but it’s important that to realize the opportunity and privilege we have got. INSEAD is a living example of reciprocity ring. Any industry, any company, any profile, any personality type, any hobby – you name it and you would have more than 1 person in your cohort who would spring right up to help you out! Thus, as you dive right into the experience, it’s important to come with an aim – to realize what you want to make out of this experience. It could be meeting new people, traveling, trying out being a different person, finding your startup co-founder, or changing your geography – but it’s important to have the clarity otherwise the life here is so fast that you won’t even realize when it’s already the time to graduate. The opportunity here is incredible and unique, and it’s entirely up-to you what and how much you make out of it. So yes, have your dreams painted in your head and I am sure INSEAD is going to make that canvas a reality!

Couple of my friends commented at one of my initial photos that the campus looked deserted, and I realized that it was probably the only time I have seen this place quiet. This clip from our Master Strategist Day very well summarizes the craziness of the place and how easy it is to be unable to spot yourself. Here’s to gearing up once again for an awesome year ahead, an year which is going to be a game-changer, an year which will have all the craziness but still be that boon which blesses my life and helps it take an entirely new turn!