I find myself sailing in uncharted seas. I’m sure I’m not the only one to be taking these routes, but I’m certainly not paddling with the rest of the boats anymore. I don’t typically associate myself as a follower of the crowd, but I always liked have a point of reference on the horizon should I start taking on water or feeling astray. For those of you who don’t know, I’ll be graduating in May with a BS in Computer Engineering from RPI, and the next day (or whenever they think I’m done with that program) I’ll be joining a graduate program in the Computer Science Department to pursue an MS in Computer Science. I’ll talk about the Computer Engineering vs Computer Science transition in depth in a further blog.
Around me, most everyone I’ve come to know is graduating. My fellow freshmen from 2006 are going to be graduating and a bunch of other “delayed” students will be graduating and moving on as well. I’ve finally come to think of it, the group in which I interact with most has remained fairly steady for the past 2.5 to 3 years… we’ve only had a small handful (3?) graduates who’ve left the Rensselaer Community and this year the opposite situation seems true; there are going to be like 3-4 of us still around here. All technical considerations aside, next year will be a proving year.
Tonight was the last RPI TV meeting of the semester, many members who are graduating (and leaving the community) were recognized and afterwards went out to engage in celebratory activities of some sort. While I don’t tend to engage in such behaviors, I’m torn whether I should consider myself a true graduate or not and/or have a rightful place at the table. Sure, I’ll be walking across a stage in a few weeks and getting a piece of paper that symbolizes my work, but I’ll still be eating in the Rathskeller come next fall. To jump back to a previous thought, I think past generations have had this slightly easier, there has been a strong supporting group (i.e everyone who is graduating this year) that was around to interact with after they’re designated class year left; I’m left with much less.
What strikes me is not that I’m going to be in a situation without many friends, because I don’t call too many people “friends,” but I will be in a situation without too many people I’ve established lines of communication with or have strong work relationships with. Earlier this week I found myself exploring the lack of an echo response when communicating with someone who will be around next year; and these sort of worries and incidents are not isolated. Maybe I just lucked out with the acquaintances I made several years ago. I will remain optimistic that things will rapidly scaffold themselves together when the time is right.
I’ll take a brief turn to talk a little bit about alcohol consumption, which will likely serve (like many things in these blogs do), an a metaphor. I don’t consume alcoholic beverages while most people do. I’ve concluded this may create slightly uncomfortable situations in “pubs” and “bars,” especially those typically serving the college-scene that expect many patrons to consume alcohol. I do wonder if this time of year people engage in these deindividualizing practices more because they too are fearful of the future under the guise of fearing the present. If you’ve been admitted to RPI or any college for that matter, and especially if you are four years into a program at such a school, there is a high probability you know how to learn and what you need to do to sufficiently complete a final exam or a final project. You’ve done this a 7 or 8 times and this year probably isn’t any different. I postulate drinking because one is worried about exams serves only a superficial excuse to avoid exploring the deeper issues at play, like future life plans or potential social ostracization. I think its safer for us to do dinner.
On a slightly less abstract side of life, my latest mission is to secure living quarters for the fall semester and beyond (spring semester). Unfortunately I won’t be able to camp out in BARH A110 much longer, and the options officially extended from RPI, like many things around here, come with lots of paperwork with no guarantees. Moving off campus seems to be the next logical step, which of course I am looking into months after most of the living facilities have been snatched up. I shall continue to search online to find a suitable place for someone like myself to live in. Having no experience, this is slightly worrisome, but I’m sure I can figure something out… someone famous once indicated there are always opportunities for new experiences.
Good night moon.