I honestly started this year without any expectations. I am a pessimist1 but I decieded to be more optimistic and hoped for this year to be uneventfull. In some ways I was starting to get comfortable with the mediocrity that was starting to creep into my life. But this year was far from uneventful.
I really underestimated the experience of getting out of college. College education for me was sort of an underwhelming experience. While searching for colleges I didn't really know what I was doing and there wasn't many people to guide me either. To add to this there was an overwhelming amount of misinformation and honestly I didn't know enough about college to discern the good from the bad. Needless to say I took some decisions that I wouldn't recommend to others (even though in a weird way things did work out for me in the end). By the end of it I didn't become the engineer I wanted to be nor did I know enough to make me feel safe about facing the real world but during this time I found people I actually liked, shared experiences worth looking back and started forming a picture of who I was or rather who I wanted to be. Of everything I found in college the thing I am most gratefull are the people I found, some them are the reason I haven't lost my sanity.
Getting out of college gets you unexpectedly, the first few days you just sit there as you normally would, because nothing really has changed. If you're like me and like to spend your time indoors by yourself then this time will not even bother you. You will go on with your life like nothing happened. A few weeks will pass by and you'll start to miss people that you used to see everyday. You start calling up on each other.
"It's been a while! Let's catch up."
"I miss college!"
"You know I am here for you right?"
"We should get together sometime..."
This goes on for a while and then people get over it. People move on. Like they should. As humans we asume that death is the end of life, like it happens once at the very end. I don't think so. I have died many times. The person I see when I look at pictures of me a few years earlier is not the person I am today. I do not recognise that person. He is not me. That person is dead, lost forever. We all go through this without realizing. Leaving behind parts of us in the ashes only to rise again as new beings only to burn into ashes again. This is life. This is also what happens when you leave college, you leave behind parts of you, sometimes willingly and sometimes out of necessity, hoping that you won't regret the decision. You look straight and start walking. I am not sure what parts of me from college I have retained and what I have lost. Right now I just hope atleast I get to keep a few people.
Getting a job
I have done freelance and internships before so I was not particaluarly worried about not being able to find a job or make a living. But I did want to have a full time job at place that had a decent remuneration and a lot oppurtunity to learn. It was an experience I wanted to have and I knew it was difficult to find a job which had both so I didn't have any hight hopes but I guess I got lucky and got a job at a place that I like where I get to do things I like and yes learn a lot. I don't get to do FOSS work as much which is a bummer but for someone without a CS degree this was a great opportunity and I was in the kind of circumstances in life at that point that required me to have a job. I was pretty anxious about the selection process but it went pretty great and I am genuinely happy about landing this job. Once I joined, I started learning a lot. I sort of fell in love with the Ruby and Rails. Rails is truely amazing. It is a great framework for beginners, lots of useful abstraction, lots of defaults that actually makes sense, lot's of great documentation and there's a gem for everything. Never have I been able to implement a token based authentication system as easily as I've done with rails. To be fair I have not worked with many backend frameworks. I hear the Pheonix framework is simillar. Most things in rails is just a keyword away, truly a batteries included expereince. I wish I had more time to just play around with it (Sometimes I wonder where the four years of college went by). Also the community is amazing. I found talks from Rails Confs and Ruby Confs that helped me wrap my head around things I couldn't until then or taught me concepts that were so fundamental that honestly should be taught in every CS degree and bootcamp. I also realized what mediocre code looked like and I didn't like how simillar that looked to the code I wrote. I went back to basics many times and started having this no compromise approach where I worked on a piece of code until it looked 'elegant'. What does 'elegant' mean? I don't know. Atleast for now. It is more like a gut feeling at this point. If I really try to explain it, I would say that elegant code should be simple, easy to understand and good at what it is meant to do and should do it without any side effects. That definition still leaves a lot to be desired but this is the best I can do right now without it turning into a whole another section.
Learning was a lot of work but it was so good and I loved every second of it. Everyday I find things that I don't know enough about that I probably should know enough about. Everyday I find new things to learn. I like the fact that I am paid to solve small puzzles, I mean that is what programming is. I am gratefull for the fact that I am paid to do something I love. I like the independence and freedom my job gives me. I love how it let's me take care of people in my life. Everyone should get a job they love doing. Would recomend 10/10.
The end of another year
As you get older your perception of time changes. You become more and more numb towards the flow of time. As a kid I used to find it very difficult to sit idly for an hour and then there's me right now wondering where four years of college went by. A few years from now I'll be thinking "Where did my 20s go?". It's a sad feeling. Year end is a weird time. I don't know how to end this post. I hope everyone finds peace in who they are and where they are 2 and remember, this too shall pass.
It is just something I developed internally from my life experiences. I personally think it is dumb to be pessimistic and if you take into account how previledged I am compared to most humans who walked and continues to walk this planet there's some form of entitlement beneath it all. What I am trying to say is, be hopeful, want good things and work for it. Hope and persistence is what really matters.
Because sometimes I feels true happiness and content is too much to ask for.