I don’t want to get too philosophical here, but the current happenings in my internship have me thinking about the cycle of life, projects, internships and the MBA. Frankly, any experience seems to fit this basic framework:
1) Excitement and nervousness for the upcoming activities
Be it preparing to go to undergraduate, the first day of work, returning to get an MBA or preparing to fly to India for an internship the mind goes through a fairly predictable process. There’s lots of thought about the future, guesses on the environment, fear that it’ll all go terribly wrong and finally excitement for the it to start. Assuming the new activity is something that is wanted (as opposed to prison sentences for instance), this is normally a positive part of the experience.
2) Arrival and adjustment
So the sands of time final expire and it’s time to start. The moment Mom and Dad leave the dorm room and head home, buy books, empty your bank account with what is known as a ‘commitment fee’ or checking into the hostel the first days are filled with new experiences, getting lost and meeting new people.
This is the time where acquaintances are made and often sets a precedent for the time to come. While not fully forming relationships, one does start identifying friend (and possibly foe) during this time.
3) Steady State
The newness has worn off and things are running smoothly. One finds routine rather it being the morning cup off coffee, Spanish podcasts on the bus or eating Indian breakfasts at one of the many dining places on campus; things become ‘normal.’ Friendships develop from acquaintances and everyone starts feeling adjusted and comfortable. During this period, time will move from slow to warp speed.
4) The Sunset
I currently find myself in the Sunset part of the framework. This period is marked with a change to the steady state normally brought on by people departing or the programme ending.
Over the next couple days most of my close friends fly home or leave the programme to travel around India. It’s sad but something I’ve been through before and will most certainly go through again (NYU and the end of the MBA). These are never particularly easy with final hugs, handshakes and promises to keep in touch.
The memorizes start, as well as, reminiscing about the earlier times.
The bonding and friendships that develop from these programmes are amazing. Quick friendships come from shared interests, fears and experiences and can last a lifetime. The Sunset may be the worst part, but at least the memories remain.