The things you put first are not always obvious at the start. Mohammad spent the last few weeks of 2020 focusing on family and friends.

I remember my first solo trip to Europe. My bags were packed 2 weeks in advance. I had all my bookings in place at least a month earlier and I was super ready way in advance. And that was for a 3-week trip. However, a few days before moving permanently out of my home, I still hadn’t thought about what to take with me! My bags were not packed, my pre-work wasn’t finished and I hadn’t secured a temporary place to stay until our apartment in Lausanne was ready. Just the thought of this made me stress even more.

Since my acceptance to IMD in March and up until my last day at work, the whole IMD experience felt surreal to me. I was overwhelmed by excitement for having made it into this prestigious and unique school. I would need to familiarize myself with the country and get to know my future classmates and flat-mates. But it hadn’t really hit me that I would be leaving an entire life behind; family, friends, and places that I might not be able to see again.

Leaving your job after years of working 60+ hours a week can be too much. Having too much free time after struggling to make time for a haircut was not an easy transition. But I chose to spend those few weeks making lasting memories with the people around me. I enjoyed barbecuing with my family, playing with my nieces, going out with friends and ex-colleagues as much as I could.

December made me realize that I didn’t have too much time, I barely had enough to say goodbye.


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