Has this week truly been so busy? Don’t you feel that way? The pace has really picked up; it’s hard to believe that we’ll be six weeks into the semester. The faster things go around here, even though it is sad, the more I feel like I learn and get value out of this experience! This week I remembered a few important lessons that I feel like I forgot, so I wanted to share them.
For example, this week I had my first test for CS115. It came faster than I realized, but surprisingly, I’m not panicking about it. Six weeks ago, I was doubting my choice to jump into this class. With no prior coding experience, could I handle the workload and pace? The first week of the semester, a lot of people were giving me the advice, “If picobot is bad, drop out of the class.” Picobot took me four hours, but I wasn’t sure if that was bad. Did people solve it faster or slower than me? Could people actually solve it by themselves in 1 hour? All I knew was that if this activity took me four hours, that every lab and assignment in the future would take me at least that long. “I should have taken 105,” I think sometimes when it gets tough, but I push through. I pay extra attention compared to my other classes, and ask my friends what things mean during lecture if I can’t understand (such as when references are being made to other languages or earlier level classes). But as time goes on, I realize I’m not that far behind. For example, in lecture this week, our professor asked someone what function pulls certain values out of a list. I knew the answer, but the person he asked didn’t know it would be filter. That person won’t read the paper, so I’ll also say that they were vocally salty about it in our next class. I wonder how they’re gonna pass the test. I just hope the test is straightforward and not an intricate maze-like the other thing going on for me:
APO Big/Little week also occurred this week. Since Monday, we’ve been receiving clues to help us figure out who our bigs are. But truthfully, the only thing I’ve figured out is that everyone is potentially lying to me! On the first day, I thought I knew who it was: someone who I had interviewed, and a really cool person. Sort of like the person I want to be? Social and outgoing. On top of that, a person who knows them well told me, “Oh, so and so really liked you.” What did it mean!? I agonized over it for the whole night. The next day, I received confusing food. It was so delicious! But it confused me. I received pumpkin spice cupcakes, and my big self-identified as “basic”, a stereotype for one of the families; but not any of the families I was guessing between! My roommate, who is already a brother, totally wasn’t helping either, always giggling yet declining to make a comment, saying “I will neither confirm nor deny that,” to any of my speculations. Finally, yesterday I received a pair of earrings that were definitely from India. For sure. So after some Facebook stalking, and clues I had traded information with someone else for to get, many hints were pointing to a person I had never met. We’ll see! Everyone’s been telling me that this person is really amazing, but in general I’ve learned that I can’t believe anyone this week. I’m too gullible to discern what’s true and what’s obviously a lie. Whether it is the first person I thought, the person I think it is now, or a random guy trying to impersonate someone else, the future that we’re all waiting for will eventually come. Maybe it’s not a future we think we will like, but after some time, the future becomes the present, and the present is pretty okay! Not knowing your future is exciting. The element of surprise, hopefully being pleasantly surprised, lingers in the back of my mind.
The main takeaways: don’t underestimate yourself. Even if the future looks rough, pull through. After it’s over, you can feel accomplished that you made it through. And also, feeling uncertain about the future and your path is okay. You really never know how fate will change, how the universe can flip your world around, in a good or bad way. When times are bad, refer to my previous advice of pulling through. It’s a really positive, freshman-style Catch 22.