First Semester of Sophomore Year.
The last six months have been unprecedented with both good and bad experiences. Going into my second year of college, I now faced the challenge of getting into my major. It turns out getting into Berkeley is only a small part of my academic “battle”.
From the beginning of the semester, I had anticipated a heavier work load and a greater deal of stress but was not prepared for the onslaught of assignments to come. I found very quickly that this semester was nothing like my first year of college. It was as if someone had taken the dial for “Difficulty” turned it a complete 360 degrees in the opposite direction.
Upon completing this semester, I realized that I had worked harder than I have ever before. The most frustrating part was thinking – rather truly believing that I was hopeless. That despite grinding every day for four months, that I would be beat out in a very competitive environment and not admitted into the field that I have been so passionate for.
It was around this time that I began to reflect on my confidence in my abilities. I began to realize that no matter what grades I got, no matter what the professor told me, no matter what my diploma says on it, I define who I am, what I do, and what I believe. As simple as that sounds, I began to solidify my passion for computer science and believe that no arrangement of words on a piece of paper could change that. Despite being flooded with an abundance of new information this semester, I believe this to be the most valuable lesson.
As grades were released, to my amazement, I had passed with the scores that I was aiming for. Suddenly, something that seemed so useless and a waste of energy proved to be worth it. The greatest part of passing wasn’t the grades itself but the remembrance of the frustration during the course and now the final result. I had beaten the giant beast that had knocked me down so many times in those previous months. Knowing this, I’m willing to do it again.
North America Zoroastrian Congress 2014
As a Parsi, I often am distant with the religion and at times question some of the religious practices. Nonetheless, I was very glad I attended this year’s Zoroastrian Congress. It was exciting to meet new faces that shared similar backgrounds to me from around the world. I met some really incredible people and formed strong friendships in such a short period of time. It was a positive experience for me that made me appreciate the community and collectiveness of my religion. I guess you could call me “ZoroProudKurush”.
Consumer Electronic Show 2015 -> Hoover Dam -> Grand Canyon -> Los Angeles -> San Diego
Immediately following the congress, my friends and I attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for the second consecutive year. We took two more members than we did last year and the experience was different in many noticeable ways. For starters, we had a great hotel! We stayed at the Plaza Hotel, a nice place for its price. What was great about this year’s convention was the fact that we had a car and did not have to rely on the taxi schedule (Sad that Uber is still being blocked in Nevada). Because of this, we decided to make a completely spontaneous and impromptu trip to the Grand Canyon. Although the four hour drive through the dessert was rather long, it went by quick with the great crew I was with. The trip to Arizona was well worth it. The Grand Canyon is by far the most magnificent, beautiful, and remarkable scene I have ever laid my eyes on. If you have not been to the Grand Canyon, I highly recommend you make a visit sometime in your life. Words can’t adequately describe the beauty of this remarkable Canyon.
We ended our trip by traveling back to Los Angeles and down to La Jolla and Oceanside, San Diego. Unfortunately, we were met with some tough weather and didn’t get to truly appreciate the great city of SD. Although wet, I did enjoy experiencing the meditation garden. For those in the area, I’d recommend experiencing the nature there. The atmosphere was very calm and relaxing and much needed!
The last six months have flown by faster than any time span I can remember. I’ve learned and gained many amazing experiences, many outside the academic field. As cheesy as it sounds, believing in yourself and having faith that you will succeed is a crucial aspect of success. I’ve also found that, at times, impromptu trips are the best. And that the Grand Canyon is definitely something I want to see again. These experiences have led me to be more confident with myself and the future. I look forward to tackling future beasts and exploring new lands.
I’ll end this entry with a quote that got me through my tough semester: