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Being a Bad Student

For the first time in my life, I didn't finish a school project by the deadline (a secure file store project for CS 161: Cybersecurity), even though it was collaborative and I had a month to do it. This probably isn't a huge deal, especially in the midst of a pandemic scare, but academia has always been one of the main priorities in my life and I don't want to develop an overt sense of complacency and spiral in a bigger hole of neglecting schoolwork. In this short post aimed at self-reflection, I will break down the factors that contributed to this outcome and keep it in mind for future endeavors.

1. Trying to build a finished project on the first try The project began with a week-long brainstorm of a design document to implement. This part went fairly smoothly, as we checked up with TAs and took advantage of office hours to improve upon our design in multiple iterations. I think our biggest downfall was then trying to implement all the features at once, in a coding langu…
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A Semester Halted Short

Wow. If I thought Fall 2019 was a whirlwind, 2020 has been a typhoon so far. It's a semester where I pushed myself to the limit, the worst span of health issues in my life so far, and just all-around as eventful a span of 2 months as I've ever experienced prior.
What is Happening with the World January was absolutely insane even before the Spring semester was back in action. From Australian wildfires to heated conflict between the United States and Iran (not to mention lesser covered events like the Taal volcanic eruption and persistent flooding in Venice), it seemed like a new shocking world event was occurring every single day. I am not someone who is always very updated with current events, but it was hard to miss these. 
Then, 5 days after the semester begins, the basketball legend Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash and sends the world and a period of grieving. Many of my roommates are huge basketball fans and some even grew up in Los Angeles watching him, so without …

Rewind: Year 2, Semester 1

I just finished a mixed sophomore semester at Cal.

I call it mixed because it had many ups and downs. Academically I failed, but I learned a lot more about myself in the process of the failure. I learned that I enjoyed and hated recruiting at the same time, and I learned that it will be difficult for me to derive satisfaction from the career I previously wanted to. But let's hold back from that and show some highlights of the semester.

Moving out of this:

into something more like this:

Our apartment was the perfect place for our group to cultivate stronger relationships through In-N-Out runs, NBA2K19 battles, and competitive ping pong tournaments.

Looking for an internship for the upcoming semester was my main priority for the summer and I was very lucky to have locked down an offer that I am incredibly excited for. Working for a company like Nike has always been a dream because of the sheer influence the brand has. Although recruiting was a painful experienc…

Reflections on my First Semester Sophomore Year at UC Berkeley

I now realize Freshman year was not my first semesters of college; my Sophomore year was. These past 6 months changed me more than any other time period in my life. It's when I truly became independent, took a workload past my comfort zone, and embraced all that I've failed and succeeded at in UC Berkeley. 

Work and Internships:In Freshman year, I took for granted how difficult and competitive it was to find a summer internship, and as a result, I did not land any offers and settled for taking summer classes instead. However, my summer at Berkeley set me up for the fall semester better than I could have ever imagined, bringing in plenty of new friends, opportunities, and experiences in my life (which will be visited in much more detail later). For example, I won the "Outstanding Academic Intern Award" in Summer 2019, which led to being hired as a course staff tutor during the fall. As a result, I am closer to my goal of becoming a TA someday and was much more hireabl…

Reflections on Burnout

Since my "Balancing Time" blog post, I have not gotten my life together better. Rather, I believe I have been spiraling down an even steeper hole in trying to do even more things at once. To put simply, these past months have been one of the most exhaustive but eye-opening months of my life, and I wish to reflect on it now that I have a little time.  The biggest paradigm shift I have had is in my view towards academia, as something not as prioritized in my life as self-development, extracurriculars, or finding a career path. Excelling in school has always been one of my biggest pride points, something I always had control of and something that never worried my parents (unlike my Counter-Strike addiction). This semester I've struggled much more than any semester before even with arguably more interesting classes, although I have done a good job keeping my cool despite exam outcomes. However, I don't want to forget the words of my friend Nathan - don't mistake &qu…

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The story can be split into three specific parts: the startup phase, gaining traction, and post-IPO. 
During the startup phase it was apparent that Phil Knight had the tenacity and resources to enter the shoe industry because of his father's connections and his own in Bill Bowerman. One of the most unique aspects of Phil's life is the way he handled relationships with various people. He had an odd relationship with his father because he didn't believe that 'res…

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For the first time in my life I watched a documentary for fun. The Netflix docuseries called Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates was incredibly insightful in helping understand the non-profit work that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has done and the reasons behind the work.

The documentary was split into three different episodes that focused on three specific efforts that the foundation has worked on: 
1) Diarrhea in third-world countries kills millions and millions of children every single year. Bill isolated the reason for this problem to be the lack of a sanitation system that many villages and cities had. His solution for it was toilets that worked without water or power combined with a sanitation system that would burn human waste and convert it into power and its byproduct of steam into drinkable water. 
2) After the eradication of smallpox, most people considered polio to be the next disease that needed to be eradicated. The eradication of polio has been a mass…