It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

Today was a beautiful and yet terribly sad day.

The time ultimately arrived to part ways with me beloved research lab, the most difficult part saying goodbye to my mentor who I've come to admire and adore over the past two years. I saw him get married, watched his eldest son graduate, stood by his side as he rose through the faculty ranks, listened to him when he needed it the most, and formed this everlasting bond with him - something no one else in the lab can rival. He is more than my mentor. He is a friend, someone who I deeply respect and can approach about anything. He is a fountain of wisdom and a beacon of light in my life. I'll never forget him.

Out of all the lessons I've learned from him, one truly struck a chord with me. It was when I practically burst into his office screaming that MIT accepted me. He obviously rejoiced, perhaps exhibiting more emotion than myself. After all I became like a "son" to him. But after we settled, letting our highs subside, he sat me down and told me one of the most profound statements I've ever heard. Getting caught in all the hub bub of getting into a "US News-acclaimed" school, it's easy to forget about the real essence of college. He opened me eyes, however, allowing me to finally advance past the superficiality of brand-name schools. Sure, I got into a great school. What does that even mean though? Nothing, if you don't work for it. He told me, "College is a tree of opportunities, ripe for the taking. You must take advantage of every possible one you can. You've got in, but that's only the beginning." It's easy to live in the fantasy that the "college name" will mystically guide you in life toward success and endless treasures, but because of my mentor, my friend, I'll never forget that every accomplishment is only another chance for opportunity, another means to achieve.

Being the gracious and kindhearted man that he is, he treated the entire lab to a wonderful lunch at our city's premier Chinese restaurant. We all chatted for hours, discussing the memories, the good times we all had together, and of course they gave me the obligatory reprimand that they'd hunt me down if I did not visit.

We were all a close-knit bunch - my second "family" if you will. Today I bade farewell to all that.

Things are changing. I know that. I even understand that. I may be grasping, practically dangling, onto the last threads of the life I've grown to love, but regardless, in three days I'll be in Cambridge at the start of a new epoch.

Maybe in all the craziness of these last days, it's hard to remember how life without change is boring, dare I say, even pointless. I can't help but smile that the end of this chapter ushers in a new phase of my life full of bountiful opportunities and friends just waiting to be made.

Today was a beautiful day and I loved every moment of it.