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Has it been four years already? Good grief. It seems like just yesterday I was watching Looney Tunes and eating Cocoa Pebbles straight out of the box. I think it’s a sign I’m not quite ready to grow up — because that’s exactly what I was doing yesterday. I mean, sure, I’ve been living on my own for a good portion of the past four years, but in a relatively structured environment, with plenty of external financial support (thanks, Mom and Dad). To say that college is a better approximation of real life than high school would be like saying a defective toy boat is superior to a working one as an approximation of the RMS Titanic. Yes, it’s technically more accurate, but there really isn’t a substitute for the genuine article.

The passage of time being what it is — that is, mostly forward — this fall will find me relocating to Los Angeles. I’ve already stopped adding twenty dollars at a time to my Charlie Card, which is as real a sign of change as it gets. Truth be told, I’ve never been to the West Coast before, and although I’m not expecting a mystical land of red carpets and vaguely reasonable street layouts … well, a guy can hope, can’t he?

Honestly, I’m equal parts terrified, excited, and sad to be leaving Boston for the big city. I’ve lived in East Coast suburbs almost all of my life, and living in the Boston-Cambridge metropolitan area has been an incredible experience. Even if Boston doesn’t feel massively urbanized, the breadth of experiences to be had here has really — to use a college application cliché — “expanded my horizons.” If nothing else, the place is big enough and influential enough to attract big-name movie stars (if only for the occasional visit) and more than one Starbucks, a feat the town I grew up in has yet to manage. Yet now I face the next step up, a sprawling metropolis where all of the exercising I did getting lost in Boston will quickly go to waste, and the hub of American studio cinema. It’s going to feel weird living someplace where I can’t meaningfully call myself a “movie geek.” At least I should learn a lot about film culture. Either I’ll get to see a lot of movie stars, or I’ll become one of those people who constantly has to deflect the assumption that I see a lot of movie stars.

If nothing else, the weather in Los Angeles should be a nice change of pace. No more of that annoying drizzle falling even as I’m writing, too heavy to ignore yet too light to swim in. No more 30-degree temperature swings from one day to the next. No more freak snowfall in April. Nope, from here on out, it’s blazing sunshine and smog thick enough to affect your gas mileage — if the secondhand accounts I’ve heard are to be believed, at any rate. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my accumulated winter wear. Maybe I could knit it all together and make a tea cozy for the Mrs. Potts parade float at Disneyland.

Everything about Los Angeles aside, though, I really do feel a bit sad to be leaving MIT. I’m worried I won’t be able to find nerds at every turn the way I do here, my designs on attending Comic-Con notwithstanding. I’ll miss that small, sheepish feeling I get when I tell people I go to MIT and they react more excitedly than I expected. I’m going to miss knowing for certain that I’m surrounded by kindred spirits. After all, that’s the reason I came here in the first place. I can only hope I’ll find a similar sense of comfort where I’m going. I suppose I’ll have to see for myself. So long, people of MIT. It’s been great. I’ll be back someday … right?