I recently started reading a pretty famous book called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Even within the first 30 pages or so, the book has been very thought provoking, especially on one of the most complex topics in human psyche: happiness. Specifically, the book has made me think of the link between happiness and money.
Ever since I have been a student money has been tight - we have skimped on buying gadgets, going on more vacations, fancy dinners, clothes, gifts etc. But to be honest, I do not miss things as much. Even within these uses of discretionary money, there are certain things that bring more joy to me than others. Most of them being experiences; a vacation which allows me to relax and rejuvenate, a massage that fixes my back, a memorable dinner. 'Things' on the other hand bring much less joy - unless of course, the thing is a book, which is a different category altogether.
While money has been tight, learning and friends have been plentiful. Kellogg has just been an awesome place to meet new people, make friends and acquaintances, and at the same time, learn a lot from both peers and professors. I find it hard to find anything else that could replicate that experience.
So what will happen when I do go back to work? I definitely have a list of gadgets I want to buy - a kindle, an iPad , Apple/Google TV, a larger television. I am sure they will bring some element of happiness. But hopefully, I will keep this learning in mind and instead spend on other items: like on vacations, and on building a large savings balance so that I can at some point afford to start my own business. Hopefully I will not forget the lessons of the cash-crunch of student life.