Jordon Peterson woke me up

It is funny how unproductive my last year has been. Reasons for it are countless, but my spiral into no-work-land can be easily described: I watch around 4 - 6 hours of YouTube every day, play Rocket League for  2 - 3 hours, try to work for another hour, and the rest is left to food, cleanliness, and sleep. Oh god did I make it easy for myself to describe my life in the past year. Well, to make myself feel better/worse, this schedule does morph into "only" 3 hours of Youtube and a deleted Rocket League during a week before Finals, but I don't think that constitutes anything. All this had given me a 3.914 GPA, and a half Junior standing at UCSD. Writing this brief description of my life makes me disgusted at myself, and here I am turning to what had worked before to try to correct my path.

Reasons for my downfall

What didn't help was the discontinuation of this blog. I stopped writing when I went to UCSD because I thought it was a waste of time: I kept writing about what I should do or think instead of taking action, and I felt sickened by the double standard between my words and my actions. But without a progress bar or a record of my thoughts, I start from zero very often and allow distractions to take me at my most vulnerable. 

What didn't help was how classes are barely teaching me anything new. Out of the 19 courses that I took, 3 were somewhat new to me, 9 were formula plugging, 3 were writing courses, and 4 were intro to programming. While I am glad I had it easy, it is not exactly productive.

What didn't help was the child-proof environment of UCSD, where watching recorded lectures at 3 - 4 times speed or just reading PPTs was enough to get an A. Not that I want to be forced to try-hard on courses, but this gave me a false sense of accomplishment that took away my guilt of incompetence and the feeling of being unproductive. 

What didn't help was how I won the first competition I went to in college. Messing around and making a web app made me feel useful, but the only thing the competition taught me was that I was good enough already.

After all those excuses, I feel obliged to take responsibility. What I listed was what didn't help, but not what was the reason. I myself was simply lazy. I felt I had achieved enough because I achieved more than the people around me at UCSD. Although I did look at why I am stranded at UCSD (because I didn't achieve enough [or at least in the right manner]), that evidently didn't motivate me enough.

This all wasn't a sudden realization. I felt incompetent all year long. I tried to stop my downward spiral by starting projects on the side to learn by myself countless times(1). But evidently, it didn't work. Well, I am attempting to write an OS right now, but we will see to that. 

What I am going to do

Throughout the past year, although unproductive, I did lay out more of my future plans. I once thought, "if UCSD isn't useful now, I should stop complaining, and start trying to change it". There is a very well-established club in UCSD called SEDS for rockets, and they aren't playing around. It was the first club that I applied to and got rejected. And in an interview for the second club, I was too brutally honest and said that it was my second choice. Surprise, I didn't get in. After that, I didn't think building necessarily small robots for soccer or climbing stairs is anything constructive (though I do think I will learn some stuff), so I stopped with the club stuff. But now, I've got info that SEDS has OS developers for their rockets. Although I don't think there is an open position for it, I am trying to make myself competent in that area.

In addition, I have figured that I should try to graduate in 2 years if the administration would let me (I need to ask for an additional 4 classes each quarter to make it). I am here for the degree, for I am too much of a pussy to face the job market without it. If UCSD is giving me false confidence and circumstances doesn't change, I would try to leave it as soon as possible. And, as the people in my dorm say, "Cs get degrees", now that's the spirit. 

If I succeed at all that, the "themes" for my long-long term goals are manufacturing, and automation. I do have much more detail pertaining to it, just that they are all too vague to be articulated (aka. I don't know what's going on). 


And there's that. I marked an anchor in my journey and would hope that this blog thing is the cure for my false sense of confidence. Now, it is time to get back to work.

1: I tried making an ESC controller, an OS3d printed some stuffwrite a website, and getting a minimum wage job

Another thing for another competition (not the one mentioned in the paragraph) that I also won in summer 2021


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