On Confidence

The Little Train that Could

I drew this picture! Please don't use it anywhere else without asking me first.

In my freshman year of high school, I hardly talked. I always assumed that other people knew better than I did, so I listened to what other people had to say and learned from them. I never took the lead in class projects; I never proposed ideas. I let other people do the thinking, and I simply carried out their grand visions. In theater, I respected my directors' decisions, and I went into auditions under the assumption that I would never be given a part. There were other people who were better than me at acting, and my only strength was my ability to work hard and follow directions.

The Class I Just Don't Care About

a picture of pets, the best domesticated animals around

Pets are the best example of domesticated animals and one of the most adorable topics of the seminar.

Every semester, I’m required by my honors program to take a one hour seminar. This semester, by a combination of late registration times and a small array of interesting seminars, I ended up in a seminar on animal domestication. Now, I am not the slightest bit interested in animal domestication. I have nothing against biology (in fact, I prefer it to physics), but this very specific topic— domestication of animals— is not intriguing to me. I only signed up for the seminar because I had no choice; it was the only open seminar that fit my schedule.

Scheduling Your Life

a sample weekly planner with time blocked off for classes

In my experience, there are two types of college schedules you can end up with after going through the nightmare that is registration. The first type of schedule is the balanced schedule: you have a few classes every day, perhaps all in a row or evenly spaced out through each day. The second type of schedule is the lopsided schedule, with all of your classes on two or three days and multiple days during the week when you have little or no class. Here are some positive and negative aspects of both kinds of schedules.

The Balanced Schedule

Interning at a Small Company

Small companies can offer speed, freedom, and growth in their internships.

Around now, the bigger CS companies are making their internship decisions, leaving many students either ecstatic that they finally got their dream job or disappointed in their lack of success. As someone who had no success last fall in finding internships, I know what it feels like to watch everyone else succeed and wonder if you'll manage to net an internship at all.

The Importance of Outreach

Wall-E Mindstorms

The Wall-E robots that we use in our classroom programs

I have always enjoyed helping others. There's something exciting about seeing the happiness on someone's face when you help them get through a really tough homework problem or give them advice for a tricky situation they're in. I especially like giving advice to people who are younger than me because I feel more qualified to solve those kinds of problems having already been through those earlier stages of life.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of UT Computer Science, The University of Texas or any employee thereof.

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