This post is a bit delayed, mainly because the day after graduation I left on an awesome graduation trip, but as they say, better late than never.
I have been waiting for this day almost since I started MIT. When I was a freshman, it was just a day I looked forward to. When I wondered if MIT was the place I was meant to be, I didn’t know if this day would ever come. When I came back, with renewed commitment to MIT, this day meant even more.
The whole day was long and exhausting. It started early and stressfully. I took an Uber to campus, and after a few minutes in the car, realized I had forgotten my MIT ID. Graduation instructions made it specifically clear I needed my MIT ID, not any ID, and Ethan saved the day by driving it to me. They made the graduates check in at 8, and then stand around until 8:45, when we were made to line up, only to wait for another hour until the actual procession started.
The procession took us around the track, which seemed strange but I hypothesize was an opportunity for them to triple check that we were in the correct order and give the procession a chance to spread out and line up evenly. All the graduates were four abreast and over a quarter of a mile long!! So many people! The walk through campus was lovely and gave me a chance to reminisce. There were people who couldn’t fit on Killian Court lined up waving and cheering, and they had even stopped traffic on Massachusetts Ave so we could cross.
Walking into Killian Court and hearing Pomp and Circumstance was surreal and emotional and all good things wrapped in one, thin, crispy bittersweet shell of ending. I found my family as I walked in, and then had the surprise of sitting in the front row for the ceremony. I think it would have been much more boring if I couldn’t see what was going on.
Tim Cook’s address was inspiring, but President Reif’s charge to the graduates was perfect.
Then the list of names started; I was one of the first to get my diplomas. The ceremony continued for hours, and I got a delightful sunburn for my efforts. All week the forecast had said it was going to rain, and then the weather was perfect and hot. Another win for the MIT Weather Machine.
Afterward, we took loads of pictures, after which we stopped by the reception for architecture, on the sixth floor of the MIT Media Lab. I got to see my advisor, and introduce him to my family.
All in all, the day was everything I wanted it to be.
Also, a note on the May Challenge (Yoga)—it fizzled out. It was difficult to find a space in my house where I felt comfortable. My room is too small, and the living room is too hot. I’ll be better prepared the next time I attempt this challenge.