Mike's Third Try

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Gradual Transitions

I've been thinking about some of the major transitions in my life, and how I've somehow managed to make them all relatively gradual. I came to Boston to work at IBM -- for a summer, when I knew my same old life in high school would be waiting for me after a couple short months. Then when I started MIT, I was already familiar with the area from having worked in Cambridge for two summers. I remember exactly how I started: I was at work one day and realized it was the first day of orientation, so I took a stroll from the office over to the student center and signed in. And I've been around here ever since -- including the summers.

The end of my college life has been even more gradual. First there was getting my bachelor's in '05, after which many of my friends left but my life stayed essentially the same. I spent a term after that as an alum at the Sigma Nu house (which means I didn't have to go to any meetings, or really participate in any of the fraternity activities) before I moved into an apartment and started living on my own -- so that was also a gradual transition. Then I got my master's, and a few more of my friends left, but I kept working on the same research in the same group. To keep my funding going, my professor had to hire me. And here I am, a professional with a job title and a salary and a dental plan.

What I'm getting at is that even though I know I've matured a lot in the last five years, I wonder how much I've missed out on by almost never having had the experience of changing my life to a completely new and unfamiliar place. I suppose orientation and rush at MIT were the closest I've had to this kind of experience, and it's probably telling that I remember that period as one of the most exciting parts of my life. I remember the exhilirating sense of having no habits or routines to restrict me; nothing at all to do but to explore and to meet the thousand other people in the same situation. And even though it seems quaint now that I know how those unlimited possibilites were ultimately determined into all the classes and degrees and friendships and rivalries and hookups and heartbreaks since then, I'm saddened to know that I might never have that feeling - of unlimited possibilities - again.

I really love it in Boston. But maybe I should get out of here, for my own sake.


  • At 8/23/2006 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Boston will always be here. But you won't be young and unattached forever.


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