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10 Things I Learned from Attending School Full-Time at Home

1. I never wake up before 10am
2. I play hours of video games a day, not being held accountable by the environment of hard-working peers
3. I feel more relaxed and healthy
4. I do not attend a single lecture live and constantly overestimate the number of videos I can binge in a day
5. I underestimate the number of random YouTube videos and TikToks I can binge in a day
6. Not only is it difficult to follow through on school/project-related stuff I set out to do, it's even hard to follow through on "fun" things like books or TV shows - instant gratification (like short videos) seems to dominate my attention (or lake thereof)
7. Exams don't feel like exams, but I don't perform as well as a result
8. I don't miss going outside as much as I thought I would - perhaps I find home too comforting?
9. I don't take risks
10. I need to go back to Berkeley to get the spark back - plus I miss in-person interaction with friends

(BONUS) In the meantime, I need to messag…
Recent posts

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…

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.

Highlights:
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.


Recruiting:
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…

Inside Phil Knight's Memoir: Shoe Dog

Phil Knight wrote Shoe Dog after he retired to provide a glimpse into the difficulty of starting a company as prominent as Nike. 
His memoir is captivating because it provides minute details about moments that proved to be incredibly pivotal in the success of Nike, yet he also captures his struggles alongside his successes. If anything was to be taken as a lesson from the book it would be that making correct decisions when you don't know the answers is the real trait that CEOs of successful companies have. 
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…