With graduation just two weeks away, I had originally planned to write this blog with the theme of “where I’m from, where I am and where I’m going.” I was excited about this idea because I think after any significant milestone in your life, it’s important to look back on how your experiences have changed you, and what that will mean for your future.
Besides the people I have come to know and love, one of my favorite things about life in a cooperative is getting to try new food.
For those unfamiliar with the co-op system at UT, we are hinged on two basic principles. The first is that we vote on issues democratically, and the second is that we all take part in shared household labor.
This Saturday morning, I volunteered at UT Austin’s Girl Day. This is an event designed to help girls gain enthusiasm for STEM fields in order to hopefully shrink gender disparities in these fields in the future.
My part in this massive event with thousands of attendees and volunteers was fairly simple. I showed visitors a few lines of C++ code they could manipulate, and cheered them on when their edits led to holiday lights attached to an Arduino board changing color.
In 7th grade, I had a math teacher who told the class homework should be done in complete silence. That meant no TVs on in the background, no headphones in our ears, and no friends to talk to nearby.
So I took his advice, and began to sit down at my desk trying to work as if I was in a monastery. This was the beginning of a struggle and dislike of math that lasted for the next three years, and only ended when I began to relax my extremely harsh “no distractions” rule.
This May, I will be graduating. I will be twenty years old, and have completed my degree in just three years.
When people ask me about how I did this so quickly, I think that they often assume it’s because I’m somehow smarter than other people in my field. This is absolutely not true. I just mapped out my degree plan very effectively, and found alternative ways to earn some of my credits.
My grandma is someone I really look up to. When she was about my age, she was operating telephone switchboards for Ford Motor Company, braving harsh Michigan winters, and probably making lots of people feel crazy for thinking they could beat her at Euchre.
The summer before I started my computer science degree, I set the goal of making an app and getting it on the Apple app store. I’m graduating in May, and so far it still hasn’t happened
My future career has been something that I’ve put thought into in nearly every stage of my life. When I was in pre-school, I wanted to be an “office worker” because I REALLY liked bubble wrap. When I was in fifth grade, I wanted to be a lawyer, because I visited the courthouse downtown in Los Angeles and was really impressed by the architecture. When I was just starting high school, I wanted to be an architect. Now, somehow, I’m a computer scientist.
My classes, and probably yours too, are probably getting pretty tough right now. You may have just started in CS, and are wondering if there is any way you will ever get through the rest of the major, especially considering the rumors that float around about taking operating systems. Or maybe you’re in high school, reading over the course list that you’ll have to take if you decide to come here for college, and don’t recognize half of the words it contains. I don’t want to define a ton of ways to be uncertain, but do want to bring up the fact that nearly everyone is anxious about something right now.
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