July 11, 2023 (updated)
(This post has been rehashed and shortened)
This year starts off with graduating from Polytechnic. After a few sobering months spent living overseas, I was eager to complete my final semester at school. I came to understand through my time in poly that doing well in exams wasn’t really my thing. I was so burnt out and tilted from being stressed about my academic performance… By the time I graduated, it really didn’t feel as important to me anymore.
Grades don’t matter, but…
They sort of do. It’s really difficult to undo what years of being in the education system has drilled into my pscyhe. Self-comparison along with the fear of falling behind are still very much second-nature to me.
Life really opened up a lot more for me when I took academics less seriously and started asking myself what I’d rather be pursuing.
“both the science and engineering you will need for your future will more and more often be created after you left school.” - from The Art of Science and Engineering
We ought to be more concerned about our own education, school is the bare minimum. I have never felt more alive and in-control of my life since adopting this mindset.
The group of friends I made, we mostly stuck together throughout the years to work on school projects. They were the most eccentric bunch I’ve ever been around, and it was truly a weird combination. But things clicked very well between us, and I have to say, it was probably the most fun I’ve had in my school life so far :)
Our unconventional approach to assignments have resulted in some of the most explorative and improvisational programming I’ve ever done. I deeply enjoyed figuring out how to program video games from scratch, and wrangling CV libraries with AI face recognition models in my final semester.
Do I regret going to Poly? No. Had fun and moving on.
It was nice to have some time to myself after graduating, but I soon had to prepare to enlist in the Army.
I’m having mixed feelings about having to put my life on hold for 2 years. Being confined to life within the Army, there’s honestly not much to look forward to. Despite this, I’m feeling motivated to make the most out of it.