May 23, 2011

Goodbye and thanks for all the fish

Just over 24 hours ago I finished moving out of my room in Lafayette. It wasn’t as heartbreaking as I thought it would be, probably because I was busy trying to fit all my stuff into the back of a minivan (it all fit, just about).

So here I am, a college graduate. Somehow I made it through four years of college, got two degrees and got into an awesome graduate school. I’m at a point where I’m looking forward to an interesting and exciting future, but I’m also sad at putting an end to a very good period of my life. I’ve heard that college is the best four years of your life. I’m not sure if that’s true (ask me again in another 50 years), but I can understand why people would feel that way.

In four years I’ve made great friends, found amazing mentors and had some amazing experiences. Sure, I have some regrets and I’ve had some bad experiences, but the good more than outweigh the bad. Whether it’s doing interesting research, making up my own independent studies or going on trips to Italy with friends, Lafayette has been four full years of growing and learning experiences.

Right now as I spend time with family and take a few weeks off, I can’t help but think of my friends half the time. In many ways, the most important thing I’m going to take away from my time here is the wide network of friends and contacts that I’ve made. When I started here I thought that the main draw of a small liberal arts college was the close contact with professors. While that’s true, the chance to know and be friends with so many other people from varied backgrounds with lots of different interests is a no less important benefit. I’m going to be just a few hours’ drive from Lafayette for most of the next few years, but I’m going to be much farther from most of my friends and the times we shared.

Talking about the next few years, I’m starting at Cornell in the fall. My time at Lafayette was mostly about exploring and figuring out where my interests lie. My time at Cornell will be about improving my skills and pushing the boundaries of my knowledge. I’ve only had a chance to visit Cornell once, but I have a good feeling about it. From what I’ve heard of Cornell, especially the Computer Science department, it seems quite similar to Lafayette — a tight-knit community where people hang out together and form a community, and that’s something I value.

This is going to be my last post on this Voices blog. It’s been a good year of recording my experiences. I’ve had a good time sharing my last year at Lafayette and I hope you’ve had a good time following along. Goodbye and thanks for all the fish.

posted in Shrutarshi Basu

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