The world around me seems to whirl these days. One week ago, I graduated from MIT. People I've known during the last four years have been dispelling to various parts of the globe one by one, day by day. California, Canada, Indonesia, Seattle. Some will be back again. Some will not, or if so only to visit. pika is a continuous bustle of activity as the summer has commenced and it has filled with creative and adventurous MIT students who've suddenly found themselves having free time. A hammock being built on the roofdeck. Thrice-weekly icecream forays. Common areas overflowing with people playing musical instruments, chatting, and messing around on laptops. Summer's warmth has arrived, bringing with it farmer's markets, strawberry picking, and swimming expeditions.
While it's wonderful to get to meet so many new people living in a college environment, I can't help but feel sadness thinking about everyone who's left. There are always more friends to be made as new people arrive, but old ones moving away leave bittersweet memories, and the new relationships are always a bit different as the age discrepancy between me and others changes. Or the me-the-ephemeral-collection-of-thoughts-which-when-regarding-other-people-sometimes-involve-the-mentor/mentee-distinctions-caused-by-one-party-being-older-or-more-knowledgeable-than-the-other-at-least-in-certain-areas changes. The end of a semester always feels like this, but this year even more so as the people I started university with start down new paths.
For me, that was going to involve staying on at MIT to complete a one-year master's program, the "M.Eng." in electrical engineering and computer science. That plan, too, has changed. I've deferred the degree and accepted a full-time engineering position at Ksplice, an exciting early-stage Linux startup here in Cambridge. I'd been working at Ksplice part-time since January before joining full-time immediately following graduation. Ksplice is the realization of ideas I saw being born on the whiteboard at SIPB when I was a freshman, and it's fun to see that play out in a small, ever-changing, low-bullshit company.
All in all, there are many more exciting things down the road, and, working at an MIT startup, I haven't even escaped the MIT/Cambridge reality-distortion bubble yet. Still, it's tempting to resist change and let myself romanticize the good old days, hoping to catch every person I've ever enjoyed spending time with and hold them down here forever. That's not the way life works, though. Change happens.