The last couple days have been full of reflection. In addition to academics, what type of experiences do I want to have during my time here? What activities whould I take part in, simply because I will enjoy them at the present time, and which will prepare me to be the type of person I want to be in the future? Which activities can I put off for the future and which are unique to the grad school life?
Let's start off with the basics: I need to stay in shape. I will try to do yoga regularly as I feel awesome and awake during and after. I really liked surfing the other week, and what better place to learn than the home of the Beach Boys? There are a few more activities that sustain my happiness: good food, sleep, playing music, and a regular dose of religious experience. I realize that some activities would be fun, but are simply not priorities right now - like the sailing class I just quit. Of course, I want to have some time to spend with new friends in small groups or on-on-one to form deeper relationships as well.
As far as preparing for the future: I'd like a more focused career direction. I went to a career visioning seminar the other day and came away with this advice. Do not stress about not being sure of your passion. Follow your interests and gather more information. Passions take time to develop and can even change over time. I do want to focus on gathering more information on various careers: VC, private equity, ID, etc. My personal development needs include leadership in general and specifically public speaking.
I don't need to do it all at once, and maybe some things are better saved until after I graduate.
In other news, I heard the EU ambassador to the US / former PM of Ireland speak. His main points - the EU is important because of the size of its trade with the U.S. The EU is an important historical development, and its biggest potential threats are ignorance of history among its member countries' populations, and politicians who blame the EU for their own failings.