Almost Done

I’ve been struggling to decide what to write for my last two blogs: something funny, maybe more reflective, what lessons I’d share with future interns? In the end, I’ve decided to just be open about my experience this summer.  

At the start of the program, I came in with the mindset that I was here to earn skills for my degree (Software Engineering) and to get to play around with virtual reality stuff. Immediately, I was overwhelmed. I was learning software I never knew existed at a speed that was way too fast for my introspective self. I was thrust into a new environment with a bunch of strangers and expected to spend every waking moment with them. Literally, the only time I got to be alone was in the bathroom, which creates a very stressful situation to an introvert that NEEDS alone time to recharge. It was my first time moving out and my first time with a roommate. I drove home every weekend for the sense of something familiar and a chance to breathe.  

Then the first few weeks passed, and things got easier. I grew closer to my roommate and learned that she is an amazing person. Kris, you are one of the strongest and sweetest people I know. You’ve experienced so much, and you’ve used both good and bad to grow. I bonded with my teammates, and I’m going to miss them so much. Ayman, you are incredibly skilled in design and software. You’re not afraid to be yourself, and you’re a dedicated worker. Nadya, I enjoyed doing our MCA project together, sharing birthday treats, and just chatting. You are so smart and creative, and I hope your future plans pan out as you hope. 

I survived the software sessions, and now I can say that I have “experience” in those programs. I settled into a daily routine and found my research work stimulating but never impossible because I always had the help of my team and mentors. I got to ride a bike again, learn how to cook for myself, explore campus, and meet a diverse group of people. 

I knew the internship would have to end eventually, but now that it’s here…I don’t know. I guess I’m ready for it to be done; things have been starting to wrap up lately. But, that means school starts soon with new classes and classmates, I’ll need to move again to a new building with new stranger roommates, and I’ll have to experience Iowa State as a transfer student. I’ll miss my team, the other interns, the VRAC faculty and staff, the lab, and the consistency that I’ve built up here. It’s not like I’m going far; I’ll be back on-campus in a few weeks for class, but it won’t be the same.  

Change is hard to accept, but I’m glad I spent my summer here at VRAC.  

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