I always get a little nostalgic when it comes to the end of (academic) year. It is definitely really exciting to finish up classes and projects, as the day gets longer and warmer.
The past year has been hard, and I managed to pull it through. I know you don’t care about the little details of what I have gone through.
Thesis defenses, final project presentations, final exams, and graduations.
This year, I need to say goodbye to a very good friend of mine, who put up with me throughout the year, and comforted me whenever I needed it. The one who would save me a free boba from study break, put it in the fridge, and texted me, “I got you a free boba. Whenever you’re done on campus, feel free to drop by my room.” The one who would go to WholeFoods and buy me an extract black elderberry to improve my immunity system and make sure I take acetaminophen every 6 hours so my fever went down. The one who would accompany me when I was on bed rest, order a porridge delivery, buy me bananas (because that’s the only thing I could eat). The one who would spend at least 6 hours every week to go through machine learning problem sets with me and still say, “If you need help with your final project, let me know. I am sure you understand the math behind the algorithms, but I could lend you a hand on Python. It must be hard to take this class while relearning how to use Python.”
The one who would never think twice to say yes whenever I asked, “Do you wanna get dinner together outside? Or should we get a takeout and eat in my room?” although, the only thing I wanted was a company.
Congratulations on your graduation. It has been 7 years since I started MIT, and I always see people come and go. I have gone through farewell dinners countless times, and I never felt this bittersweet.
Malika, thank you for putting up with me the past… 4 years? We met in India that summer and I taught you how to handwash your clothes. Even though I took the bed and you took the cot in Kerala, you still shared your birthday cake that your mom sent you from New Delhi that summer. It was a black forest, and we hid it because there wasn’t enough for everyone. The one who always shares memes, cute koala pictures, and her suitcase space to bring gooey butter cake from Missouri. The one who loves Korea so much, and went there twice for a summer internship and teaching high-schoolers in the winter, and went to BTS concert 5 times so far; but she never forget to bring me cute Korean socks and my much-needed face masks from there.
And of course, the only person I know who would have a special saving called ‘Rolex fund’, because you want to buy a Rolex.
I am going to visit you in New York this fall, during one of the weekends, maybe when MIT gets a little bit unbearable. Congratulations, I know MIT was really hard, and you were considering of not continuing it, but look at you! You made it, with your master’s of engineering, too! PS. A late-night GongCha run will never be the same after this.
Stefi, thank you for coming to Harvard this year (and ditching LPDP for that). I feel really humbled to get to know a person who did her undergraduate in Singapore, worked in Japan, before joined a startup in Indonesia. My first impression was, “Oh, this person is so successful and has her life figured out,” which turns out to be… not so true. I think it is really hard to find an Indonesian here who shares similar concerns and thoughts, including viral trends in Indonesia, from Syahrini-Reino to Jokowi-Prabowo. Also, all the late-night talks, with precious Makaroni Ngehe you shared so kindly 🙂
I wish your master’s is a 2-year program, instead of just 1-year, so I can have a friend to work at night with me next year, while eating risoles or Chipotle. Your risoles is really good, though, thank you for cooking that several times for us. Thank you, for also arranging dinners and get-togethers, so I don’t feel so left out anymore by Indonesian community here in Boston. I am also really thankful that you also joined Boston Cendrawasih, and learnt how to dance Gambyong with me, and made it to MIT’s Instagram.
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🎤 🎉 Last weekend we celebrated the OneWorld@MIT event featuring an Infinite Talent Show & Food Festival where the diverse talents and cultures of the MIT community were on display for everyone to enjoy. The acts included everything from Bhangra dancing to a cappella singing to magic. #ThisisMIT Photos by Jake Belcher and Gretchen Ertl #community #mit #celebrate #takeabreak #stressrelief #dance #food #celebrateculture #festival #massachusettsinstituteoftechnology #oneworldmit
Congratulations on your graduation. I know you will do well, you are brilliant and very-well-networked (something that I really need to learn from you). Even though I don’t usually go to Jakarta unless there’s urgent matter (like renewing visa, for instance), I will try to visit Jakarta to meet you. Good luck with whatever is ahead of you, jangan galau soal jodoh.
Both of you, thank you for crossing the paths with me. See you soon, and I hope I won’t miss both of you too much.