As year 1 closes in, I've begun struggling with what I suppose is some sort of quarter life crisis. For many of us in banking, life to this point has been a constant series of "successes"--do well in high school, go to a top college, break into a top group on Wall Street--with the next target being a coveted buyside gig.
Lately though, I've begun to seriously question what the point of it all is--sure we get paid a lot of money, but not enough to become independently wealthy anytime soon--we're still wage slaves busting our ass primarily for the benefit of some other dude's wallet. And on top of that, the work is more often degrading than it is challenging or engaging--which I'm reminded of every time I fill out a working group list or change the font size in a presentation. Even the more enjoyable parts of the job such as modeling are only so interesting once you've done them a dozen times.
Is the buyside really the promised land or just more of the same? I'm rapidly losing my interest in going into PE as all my friends a year or two ahead agree it is basically Banking 2.0. Are hedge funds really any better or will I just be a professional footnote reader making slightly more money for slightly less work?
And what's the cost of this relentless devotion to the rat race? We've all made pretty significant sacrifices to get where we are in life... soon I'll be 23 and I wonder how much of life I'm missing, 22 was spent behind a computer monitor becoming intimately familiar with powerpoint and excel. Is that really the wisest way to spend what is left of my youth?