Virtual Reality

During my second year of business school, three friends and I started up an impromptu weekly group gathering, which we titled the “Virtual Friends Club”, or VFC for short.

The origins of the VFC started after we went through our very last course selection process. BU, unlike a lot of other b-schools, employs the first come- first serve method. Basically, there is an online website that opens up at 7 AM the day of registration. You have to wake up early, sit in front of the computer, wait for the clock to count down, then start frantically clicking away in the hopes of getting the classes you want.

It’s not the best system in the world. Clearly.

Many popular classes can get filled up in 4 seconds. Nope, that wasn’t a typo. 4 seconds! I was pretty lucky my first two times going through this process, but during my second year I got locked out of one class that I absolutely needed in order to graduate with my dual MS-MBA degree.

WHAAAAA????? You mean I suffered through two years of intensive courses, a heavier course load, and restricted electives to have that all count for nothing???? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Needless to say. I was not the only one in this position. Although we had petitioned the GPO to add more sections of locked-out courses, we wouldn’t hear back on that for a few days at the very least. So there we were on a Wednesday afternoon, sitting around a table in the grad lounge. I knew it wouldn’t help at all, but I was compulsively refreshing the course add/drop page every minute. Long faces abounded.

Then– a stroke of genius! Instead of sitting around wallowing in misery at school, we could be sitting around SOMEWHERE ELSE wallowing in misery while holding a BEER! (* Note– after you start spending upwards of 8-10 hours or more a day in school, you take any opportunity you can to get the F out of there! *) We promptly packed up our stuff, trudged across the street to Scoozis, ordered our drinks, then hauled out our smartphones and laptops once more.

Slowly, we started emailing. Posting on Facebook. Responding to the person sitting right next to you via text or FB message. It was, I will admit, fairly ridiculous. Four nerdy grad students, sitting in a circle, giggling to themselves as they communicated– with each other– online. And so the VFC was born!

We ended up convening the VFC every Wednesday afternoon after that, for the rest of the school year. Good times.

So the point of the story is– it’s hard to detach from school, and even harder sometimes to detach from your crackberry, iphone, droid, laptop, etc. But don’t let that get in the way of hanging out with friends. Because once school is over, people start scattering, and groups like the VFC become purely virtual. Enjoy being nerdy, enjoy being a student, and take pride in spending time doing things that may seem weird. That’s what you’ll remember after school ends.

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