College student just wading through life.

Note 32


It has been an eventful few months. I have acquired a research position at my university, as well as a job! So things are on the up. Honestly I think it was more of a me being cooped up in my room problem than anything. Meeting new people, doing new things, working to become more active within my life. I have a really optimistic outlook right now. I think I could put a little more effort to my studies, but things are ok right now. I am cautiously happy, a little stressed, but I have an idea of how to keep moving forward. I'm excited to keep growing. I hope that to whoever reads these words in the future, heck it might just be myself, that the remember this moment. Where, after a year and a half of feeling stuck and not really seeing any growth, I'm slowly coming into my own. I feel like I've slowly returned back to where I should be. My studies are ramping up, and I know I can do well. Well, I need to do well. But I know what it takes. I can do, and be better. But, I won't be afraid to take things slow. I need a solid foundation, otherwise it'll all come crashing down. Here's to improvement.

Note 31

If there's any oI'm writing my college applications and if there's any one moment I'd love to talk about but it's probably not worth the hassle it's when I got bullied. I feel like it was such a huge part of why I am the way I am now, and it just feels wrong to not discuss it at least a bit. But i have no idea how to approach it. So, here's the raw unedited story, and maybe along the way I'll figure out how to use it :D

High school. A key few years in the life of a student. It decides a lot in terms of the next 8 or so years of your life. The university you attend, what you plan on studying, and in a way, your life after college as well, although perhaps not as much. Butterfly effect I suppose. But, going in as a 13 (14?) year old I didn't really understand this so the first semester I just cruised by. I was smart enough to get low A's without really any studying and the bare minimum effort when it came to homework so I wasn't really pressed about it. But it seemed the small number of friends I had made around me were already ahead and since I considered myself to be one of the smartest in my class, I decided the next semester would be better. And it was. I figured out how to study for the classes I was in and had very good scores. I even began to stop playing video games/watching video game streamers as much. I was growing up, even if it was just a little.

Then came sophomore year. You see, I was on the rowing team and after your first year on the team, you become a Varsity Rower. Cool name, but means little. It just means you're a part of the real team now. There, one senior decided to pick on me. Day after day. To be honest, at the time it didn't feel like I was getting bullied or mistreated. But I was. And now I could tell that my subconscious hated what was happening. I'd get poked, jabbed, hit, told to do things (not like inappropriate, well perhaps other than one incident i remember) and put simply made his "bitch". But on the surface, I went with it. I thought I was stronger than I was. As that fall semester went on, the habits I had formed my freshman year started to crack, eventually becoming rifts. My grades dropped, my addiction to video games had been reignited, and by the end of the semester I had thought about suicide once if not multiple times a day.


There was one night, when I just sat on the floor of my room, silently weeping, holding a knife. I think 13 reasons why (the television show on suicide) was popular around that time and so it felt like a lot of kids were suicidal. So that thought of being alone wasn't really on my mind. What stopped me was thinking about what would happen after I died. What my friends and family would think. What would happen. You see, if I'm going to be honest I think if I was dumber, I would've killed myself there. If my subconscious didn't bring up those thoughts, I think that would've been the end of my story. If I hated my family or if it was the other way around, that would've been the end...

Nowadays, I don't think I'm happy but it's not because of any one person or thing, it's my own drive to becoming that person I was at the end of my freshman year. Returning to that place where I had fun studying. It feels like this past year, I've come back around to the end of that fall semester freshman year. I'm just starting to figure things out, and I don't want that to stop. I don't know, maybe it's a bit of an abrupt end to the story. Sure, I'll go on.

The semester after, I came back to the rowing team after holding out for about a month. The bullying seemed to slow down purely because everyone realized that I was a valuable asset to the team, and losing me would mean a disaster of a season. I guess the couple of years following, I never really did figure out how to study again, especially with the addiction of video games weighing so heavily. And after applying and getting rejected to effectively all the colleges I applied to, I did a lot of introspection and came to the conclusion that this event in my life set me back about 3-4 years. Pretty significant portion of my life considering I'm only 20.

I got off track so I'm just going to end it here. Bye :)

Note 30

I did not do well this quarter in terms of grades. Oh well.

But, I think I definitely improved in terms of what I need to do in order to be successful in an academic setting. Going out and studying in an environment where everyone was just working hard rather than where there was a ton of discussion and chaos was really helpful.

Whenever I try to write it feels really awkward. I just can't seem to get all the things I feel onto the page. I want to so badly just pour what I am onto the page but it always comes out as awkward and like stuttery? Like when I try to write this college essay which is really more of a creative writing assignment, I want to relate it to myself following the prompt. But, I feel so stuck and anything else I write feels like an unnecessary extension. And I haven't written much. I probably won't get in anyway. My grades are a dumpster fire in comparison to what they should be. I wish this whole school thing was a bit easier. There's just so many other things I want to try before committing myself to just academia and then a job. I mean, I realized that I want to do cognitive science with more of a focus towards computing/AI. But committing to it means really delving deep, understanding things like deep learning and how to code it. But I just don't feel ready. I still love video games. And it's always been something about video games. But time continues to move in a linear fashion. I can't go back. But there's nothing else I'd love to do but go back. Desperately.

Note 29

I spent most of the day working today. Outside my dorm room. Felt good. Ending this semester with a final push. Hope it goes well.

Note 28

The more I think, the more my to-do list grows, the more my dreams seem literally impossible, and the more my head hurts. I can't focus, I can't do homework, I can't live normally. It's all just so hard. I need a break. please.

Maybe I'm fucking bipolar. I have such good highs, awful lows, or maybe it's adhd. fuck if i know. i have too many questions, and no answers.

who the fuck has the answers.

Note 27

I've decided that I'd like to study abroad next year, whether it's in the fall or spring semester. Preferably a Korean university since I'd like to see what life is like in my ethnic country. Really that's the only reason why, plus it'd be interesting to see what kind of students get into Korea's top universities and kind of measure myself up to them. Which in a way is a really weird reason to go. As if I'm trying to prove to myself a couple of things: 1, that I am as smart or smarter than the average SKY university student, and 2 that even though my university is lower ranked it's like not my fault or something? I don't know. Now that I'm thinking of it, maybe it's dumb. In any case, it's more so to live in the country for a bit since I've really never been. Unless we count a couple month long stay there when I was 5. The only concrete memory I still have is accidentally being given soju and not water during a dinner. lol.

I think my main issue is that I'm not really confident in my self. I'd like to think I have high self esteem/pride but lately and over the course of the past year and a half I've been questioning it a lot. I've noticed that I realize things just a little too late, which causes problems for me in the future. Knowing this is a step in the right direction I suppose, but taking steps to correct this is insanely difficult. It's basically asking me to sort of ditch the life I currently live in order to achieve the life I want. Whatever that is.

I have no clue whether CS is still right for me. I don't want to realize too late that I hate it and would rather be doing something else. I don't want to waste my remaining years at university, coming out the other end with just a piece of paper to show for my four years. I do not want a repeat of high school.

I sort of brought up self confidence because it feels like my high achieving friends at top universities are all very sure of themselves. At least on the outside. Obviously they're still my age and probably struggle with similar problems, but from the outside looking in, their self esteem and confidence is just so much higher than my own. Plus it feels genuine. I feel like my confidence is fake. And until I gain that confidence I don't know if I'll find what I want to do.

I suppose I could backtrack from what my dream occupation would be and try to find something close or adjacent to it that seems like a reasonable job that I can get through education. Ok. Dream occupation: play video games and get paid for it. That would be great. I could live how I'd like, doing the thing I love, all while getting money. I suppose a job close to it that I could get with a college degree is perhaps some sort of testing? Like quality assurance. Not really sure what I should be working towards in education to move towards that though. Even then I don't really know if that sounds super appealing.

I could just be an indecisive dumbass. Mhm. Yeah, definitely a possibility.

But, until I realize what I want to work towards, I can't be applying to universities, or thinking of studying abroad, working towards an internship, or even doing class work. Without understanding who I am and through that what I want to work towards, how am I supposed to find motivation to put in any effort? All the bullshit you see in TV shows where a person's motivation is for their family or revenge just seems a bit much. I don't see how those can be motivating enough for you to just work. At least for me. It could completely work for other people. Not to discredit anyone who is going through that at the moment.

But, knowing really what I'd like to work towards means setting my environment up for success. I have no reason to attend a top private school if my only goal is to just play video games. Might as well go to a cheap university with academics easy enough that I can get A's while trying my hardest to "blow up" on the internet. Right? But this logical side of my brain keeps telling me that it's a dumb idea, and I'll likely regret doing this. Because fuck going to a low ranking university when I literally can aim for the top. Bit of ego appearing I suppose.

Another problem is, is that I sort of enjoy cs. But it's the next step to where I do real work, or projects that actually take a bit of time and effort that makes me hesitate. I don't want to shy away from this field if it's because I'm being lazy, but I also don't know if it's something I really want to pursue. The appeal of money honestly isn't strong enough to drive me to do Leetcode, make projects, aim for FAANG companies or HFTs. But then I also do want to aim for that. I want to be making a lot of money, working for a super well known company, being impressive. Who doesn't? Don't answer because I know damn well a lot of people don't.

I don't like this spot I'm in. It's not enjoyable. I'm sort of picking the route my life will go in for at least the next 2+ years. And that's scary. I don't want to mess up. Obviously I'm still young and have time to mess up. But I'd also just like to make the right choice for once. I feel like I'm in this position now because I've made so many incorrect choices. Eventually you'd think I'd learn. I guess I'm a bit dense.

Damn I wish life was easier. I'll probably completely ignore school work for the next couple of days while pretending that I'm thinking about this, while keeping my mind busy by playing games or watching people play games :D. Till next time.

Note 26

I am writing this while procrastinating on homework and the 5 lectures i need to watch in order to complete it, along with one of the supposedly hardest coding assignments so far. Wonderful. I think I'm slowly settling into a rhythm, but honestly I still have a lot of hesitation in terms of what I'd like to aim for after college. I think pursuing something in ML/AI would be really cool and interesting but it doesn't feel "right" you know? Even this minute sort of rhythm I'm sort of starting to feel out for this quarter is just that: minute. I'm struggling honestly, and even though I have in person classes, it's rough to attend them and it becomes so easy to just not go.

I got an invitation to join this professor's research which is really just a recruitment for people to work on his open source project of which I've seen very little PR's in the last few months. Which is a bit disappointing considering, but I suppose I'll have to work on it to some point so I can at least discuss it in interviews.

School is so fucking hard. I wish it was easier or I could just shift my brain to focus but that's just excuses I guess. Or am I just double crossing what is really happening and I do have something wrong with my brain. Possible. Unlikely, but possible.

I just wish it was a bit easier. Working my way up to a better school, a better internship, a better job. There's so much work to be done to move up the ladder, but it's so easy to fall. Sometimes I feel like the rock bottom motivator above all else is this excessive amount of pride I had from being told I was smart when I was young. I feel like I should still be living up to that. And not being able to do so just feels awful. Whether that's a toxic mindset or a decent motivator is to be decided, but for now I guess it'll work as motivation.

I can be better. I can do better. And I will become better.

Note 25

Hello internet. I'm currently at school. With everyone having returned onto campus, it's definitely different from last year. I'd like to cautiously say that it makes the school better, but the negatives definitely outweigh the positives. I'm still looking to transfer schools, but I'll actually be looking to attend reasonable universities with higher acceptance rates for transfers. Currently the list is Northwestern, USC, Vanderbilt, and possibly WashU but holy god that school is so boring. Apologies if any of you went to WashU but their website actually just puts me to sleep. In any case, these schools are reputable and have higher acceptance rates for transfers. I'll also be looking at my state school since its computer science department is quite good (i can suffer for 2 years, it's fine).

In terms of cs, I've decided to pursue AI/Machine Learning and Cybersecurity. I think these two fields interest me the most. I'll probably put more focus towards AI and cybersecurity as a hobby purely from an income perspective since I don't think I'll be able to delve deep enough into security for me to be making an "equivalent" amount to AI when accounting for work put in. I have a tentative plan for this year to boost my application so hopefully I'll end up with better results this time around.

I wasn't going to say that plan but fuck it, most people on here seem to be working adults. I'm planning on cold emailing a bunch of AI professors (preferably working in NLP at UCSD). Hopefully one of them is nice enough to let me work on the grunt work at their lab. That'll be a really nice boost on my application plus for internship applications. I'll also be looking to do project teams with the AI student group on campus, hopefully for both fall and winter quarters which should be a significant boost on my application if we produce something meaningful. This coupled with my classwork should be enough to keep me busy even if I'm suffering a bit.

I should probably try to write more and spill my thoughts when I'm busy in order to remind myself of my goals and what I hope to achieve. Although whenever I say that it never happens huh. Well, enjoy the 2 for 1 this month!

Note 24

It feels like it has been a while, but it's only been about a month. I've finished my job at the Amazon warehouse and I will be studying at home this quarter. I still plan on taking computer science courses but I think I need to think bigger picture. I still have no clue what I'd like to pursue in the future, and. it feels like I'm lying to myself by saying that becoming a software engineer is my path.

A video I just watched by a psychiatrist who focuses on helping video gamers says that I should instead realign what I do in college to fit what I'd like to do in the future. And that future job/goal should come from what I'm passionate about. It's a bit cringey but I honestly only care about video games. I don't really enjoy much else, and escaping into that world interests me more than anything. Obviously I think this goes for most people. Video games are meant to be fun and entertaining, it's not like writing code all day long is the most fun thing in the world. But the mental stimulation from coding literally cannot compare to video games. I love competition and winning, and programming ultimately just doesn't have that. I think the closest thing would be becoming a hacker. Which I've thought about and I'm not really sure if it's what I want to do.

I have a habit of getting somewhat interested, and if there's an easy path to figure things out and obtain at least the basic knowledge to get started I'll just breeze through. But, I also can drop it really quickly if it becomes too boring. That's what I think will happen if I do hacking. I mean clearly I should give it a try before dissing it, but I still would love to pursue something in video games. Preferably not making them. I have zero interest in coding video games. Maybe this quarter I'll really give it my all doing this hacking thing. But I should try to keep the video game industry in the back of my mind. It definitely seems like something I'd love to try.

In other news, I start school again in a couple of days. Here's hoping that this quarter will be a good one. Going to try and put in a lot of work this time around.

Note 23

Well, I think I'm going to continue this programming thing. I still don't know DS and A, but I applied to an internship at a FAANG company with the help of a referral. I know those don't really do much and I need to put in a lot of work myself, but at least it'll get me read!

Being busy with finding housing for the next school year, work, and just general life has just left my head spinning. I just want to relax and play video games but I know that eventually the interview will loom forth and if I don't put in the work now, I will completely fail it. I really need this internship (both for experience and finance wise).

I just feel so self destructive. There are so many times where I feel as if I know what the right actions to take are, but my brain just completely refuses them. It's like the dopamine hits I get from playing video games just completely override everything else. My idiot brain even wants to bring my pc to school even though I have a functioning laptop. I keep wanting to beat my brain into submission, but instead it whoops me every time. Like just now, I chose more expensive housing because I wasn't sure if I was comfortable being around/taking care of kids for about 9 months. 9 months, that would be it. It would just be some driving, I wouldn't be forced to take a job, 9 months. But I just really, really wanted to have a room where I didn't have to worry about kids. WHY. ME.

In any case, I need to wake up in a few hours. I MUST STUDY. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, BRAIN. WORK WITH ME HERE.

Note 22

I feel lost. Especially in terms of what I'd like to do career wise. It feels as if most of the people around me have sort of solidified what they'd like to study and how they're planning on using their studies to find a job. I still don't know what I'd like to do. I found that being a product manager could be interesting but honestly I'm not sure if I'd even like the role. Of course the response to this could easily be "oh you haven't even gotten a job as one yet." Well, neither have any of my friends but they've already chosen their paths.

Perhaps I'm just a late bloomer. I went to the doctor for a checkup recently and I've grown a bunch even though I should be slowing down. Maybe I'll use that as an excuse for now. It really sucks that I feel so behind. I don't want to feel like this. I want to feel as if what I'm doing is working and I'm working towards my goals. But I literally have none. I want to transfer but, shit, I don't even know what I'd transfer for. Well, it's more so a financial reason transfer if I'm going to be honest.

I can't even mope around for a day without getting yelled at by my mom, so I have to keep doing something. What that thing is, I don't know. Recently I've been working on a sort of web application that creates discord servers. I've been really stuck with the javascript portion. Learning it just seems like hell. I've also learned a bit of SQL which I thought would be super difficult but it's kind of self explanatory.

I just feel like I'm slowly losing this life I'm living. Not in a suicidal way, but more so emerging from a cocoon? I just have a feeling that I may end up dropping out of school and just living on my own, leaving my family and doing things from the ground up basically. I've been thinking of just leaving a lot recently. The likelihood is that I won't do it because it's scary and I doubt I'd survive.

There's just so much turbulence in my life. Things are changing, moving quickly, and I don't know if I can keep up, especially with the lifestyle I currently have. So many questions I'd like to ask, but I guess only time will tell.

Note 21

I have no clue what I want to do after college.

I realized my mom is still a tiger mom today. Forever trying to live vicariously through me, wanting to show me off, screaming at me for not fitting into her timeline for me. I don't know if thats a good or bad thing. I'm leaning towards bad.

I've gotten rejected from colleges, and now even jobs for the summer. I can't feel sorry for myself or mope because then I'll get yelled at. I have to watch what I say or I'll get yelled at. I have to become this robot, only doing exactly what I'm told to do. I feel like every day I'm just losing part of my humanity. My inner voice is fucking screaming. I don't know what I want to do. And I feel so boxed into this coding thing, that I'm not even sure I want to pursue.

Like, I just. don't. know. Why can't that be an acceptable fucking answer? I'm back to using video games to quiet everything around me. To muffle the voices and give me reprieve from the choices I have to make. Even for a little while. But that came to a close today.

With everything going just oh so terribly, it makes me wonder if I should even still be existing. Perhaps my existence is some sort of glitch, and the world is just making it harder for me to continue as so to remove my existence. Whenever I feel like I'm making progress there's this mental iron wall. I've hit it so many times. I can't go through.

Why is it so hard?

I just wish it was easier.

Note 20

I've moved past colleges more or less, and am just looking toward working to the future. I hope to become a product manager, earning enough to support myself as well as have enough to give my mom the luxuries she deserves. And I suppose before you read any further, I just watched a movie with suicidal themes and it really made me think about my own life. So, be prepared.

I've had suicidal thoughts before, well, i don't know how close they count to real but I suppose they did come up. It was around the time I started to slip up in my school work, roughly around middle school. I just started to care less and my mom would just get angrier and angrier. Something just didn't click in my head, not like it really does now anyway. I just don't, and still don't understand why I can't just do the work. It's all there in front of me, I'm smart enough to know exactly what I should be doing to secure my future. Hell, most of my high school friends are well on track to do this, attending some of the best universities across the nation, working throughout the summer to perfect their craft etc. And here's me just bashing my skull against the wall just to sit down and do my fucking homework. And this brings up questions inside of me, like what value do I bring. Objectively, what fucking value do I add. If I was removed from this world, what exactly would happen? Who would show to my funeral? Who would even be that sad? I just, have this enormous feeling that while, yes, I understand that offing myself is literally the worst way to handle any situation, there's always been this seed of doubt or possibly something else that just says I can disappear and life would move on. I feel like if i just removed myself from the equation, my mom could live comfortably not having to pay my massive college tuition, my sister would be able to live more comfortably and just focus on med school, and my friends would all just move on with their own lives. I just feel like an unnecessary character in my own life. It feels like I should be close to figuring out what I want to do. All my friends have, and they're moving with insane precision, speed, and just doing well. So why can't I? What is so fucking wrong with my brain, that it just can't change. I keep fucking running into this problem. It's like the one thing thats just in my way. Every time I just sit and think about it, I run into a fucking wall. I feel like I haven't changed at all in the past 6+ years. Who the fuck am I?

I will probably never kill myself. I'm too scared, too worried about the future to do that. But continuing to run into this wall again, and again, and again, and again without finding any fucking way through, or around it has left me tired. Maybe it's my limit. I don't know. And I just can't keep continuing down this path. I'm just tired.

Note 19

I've officially been rejected by every school I applied to. Unfortunate.

I'm currently planning on attending my local community college next year to sort of "offset" the cost of college this year. It'll also be much more comfortable for me. I don't have much else to say. Bit sad, worried, disappointed etc. I suppose I'll just try again next year.

Note 18

So uh, I may have skipped an entire month. Looking back though, it was pretty uneventful. I just did the same thing over and over again for a month. I'm almost positive that my brain has rotted a bit from that haha.

I'm still waiting on college decisions even though it's been almost two months. Which I suppose is still reasonable but my anxiety says no. Ah well, I suppose I have gotten two decisions but I expected no's from them: Stanford and MIT. They were long shots anyway and I didn't want to regret not applying since there's always that small, small, small, ... well basically 0 percent chance that I get in but it's not completely 0 so... Still waiting on Northwestern, Rice, and Johns Hopkins. My anxiety is pretty much just through the roof and it's ridiculously hard to focus on anything else. I just want to know, you know?

I've decided that I'll drop out of my current university and attend community college next year if transferring doesn't pan out. It just makes way more sense financially and it'll help offset the massive debt that I racked up this year. Honestly, giving no financial aid to out of state students is just ridiculous. Understandable, but ridiculous.

In terms of coding, I'm learning Java this quarter and it's significantly more different than python. I definitely understand now how some programmers can pick up a new language pretty quickly, well probably besides lower level languages (assembly) that seems pretty difficult even for experienced coders. Java seems pretty cool I guess. Well, I'm not really a fan to be honest. There's so much like extra bits and pieces about java that kind of gets "known" in python. I'm finding that I really really like python.

I've been starting to learn machine learning. It seems like a really interesting challenge and something I'm really interested in learning. I'm not really sure whether to start using libraries like tensorflow/pytorch/keras etc. before doing more base level machine learning beforehand. I'm just starting with some basic tutorials and I'll try to make a simple project with that during the summer.

I also have to start thinking about internships and such, which sounds like such a pain. I still have yet to take a data structures and algorithms course which is pretty integral to programming (at least to my knowledge). So I guess I'll be learning that over the summer and trying to make some big project that utilizes it (maybe? idk the course).

my anxiety is through the fucking roof with these college decisions and honestly fuck them. im so fucking done with these schools sitting on their fucking asses and not releasing them. there's no reason after reading 40 thousand applicants over the course of 2 months that you can't take like a week break, come back and read another 500-2k applicants and move the fuck on. like it's ridiculous. how are you going to tell me to my face that you don't know when the decisions are being released. there's no fucking chance in hell that you're not done with reading them. you literally are given the same amount of time from january to march, and then from march to may. like is it that hard? because from what i can tell, it's not even like they spend much time reading applications and decide pretty quickly. what a fucking pain. i just want my decision man. that's all im asking for. i literally couldn't care if i get rejected everywhere, i just want to know.

Note 17

It has certainly been a crazy month. Well, I suppose not too crazy but stressful I'd say. I finally got my professor to turn in his letter of recommendation due to him thinking it was due a month later than it actually was. And now I'm just playing the waiting game.

I gotta say, the quarter system moves by super quickly. Not sure yet if I like it or not in comparison to semester, but as of now it's not so bad. One thing I have yet to experience though are midterms so it'll probably be a bit more rough this quarter as I have a couple of them. Man, online school is rough. I loved the idea of doing a bunch of work at a specific place and coming home to do whatever I wanted. I think that once covid restrictions lift and most people have the vaccine I'll try to return back to that lifestyle. It's so hard to study where you relax.

In terms of computer science skill, I'm looking to make an AI for tetris. I have pretty much no idea where to start, and after watching a few videos it seems pretty daunting. But rather than a chess AI which I wasn't as interested in, I think that this might be fun. The college covid website I was working on kind of fizzled out since my partner and I got bogged down with school work and extracurriculars. I will be learning java this quarter which should give me some more insight on coding, especially since it seems like that this class is moving way faster and goes much more in-depth.

Well, hopefully by next month I'll have at least gotten accepted to one college. Here's to never ending anxiety.