I'm graduating...

Hey! This is my first post on this website, I hope there will be many to come. I just wrapped up my final semester of undergrad here at MIT, and one of my last classes was 6.1040: Software Studio, a class designed to be a design oriented class where the final project was creating your own web-app! You can check it out here.

Although this is just a static website, I was inspired to create a domain where I can showcase my work, as well as voice my opinions on certain topics in a forum that isn’t just my friends’ group chat. I don’t intend this blog to be strictly professional - for now, I want to have fun and have an area where people can get to know me 😄.

For my first blogpost, I want to talk about graduating, and my parents. Graduation has been a long time coming, and today marked the final day of assignments and classes of my officially last semester as a CS undergrad at MIT. MIT was hard, and it forced me to adapt and learn quickly- not only about my studies but about myself and how the ol’ pink matter operates up there 🧠.

But I don’t really feel any sort of remarkable achievement or deeper meaning about myself today. Going to college and graduating was always going to be part of the playbook, coming from a household of immigrant parents and being the first kid in the family to attend higher education, it was always instilled that college graduation for me in an inevitability. Instead, I feel the deeper meaning for us- what my graduation means for my family’s story. For my parents who immigrated to the US with nothing- taking on the quintissential, cliche, but no less arduous and frightening Asian American immigration story- my graduation is validation. The years of facing constant anxiety- financial instability, not being able to speak English to the bank teller, quitting their jobs to start their own business, sitting at home in the dark with their 17-year old boy trying to figure out how the FAFSA works- I can’t even imagine how they must have felt during those times.

My parents have no idea how college works- my mom is from the Korean countryside, growing up riding motorcycles and helping out on the farm. My dad grew up more urban, but because my grandfather left early he didn’t have a financial support system and had no choice but to go to the States after high school and the army. These two people were able to weave through the unfamiliar streets of an unfamiliar country, and eventually through pure desperation and two long decades, put their kid through MIT.

mit first day
August 2018, first semester at MIT
brothers and mom
2021: Me, My little brothers, and my mom
From the left: Kevin (17), Me, Raymond (19), my mom
Written on December 14, 2022