I’ve just finished the seventh week of my fourteen-week internship at Google. Google has been keeping me busy; it’s really important that I perform well, as I only have one more year of school left, and then I’m going to become a full-time software engineer! It’s too early to say whether I’ll probably get a full-time offer from Google, but I’m hopeful of course. My future plans are finally starting to crystallize.
In seven weeks from now I’ll be back home in Toronto for three weeks of well-earned relaxation before starting my final year of college. Oh, did I say relaxation? Ha. Actually, if I can just muster up enough self-discipline, I’m actually going to scramble to teach myself how to cook before I move into my downtown apartment. (Yes, the horrible meal plan at Vic was a deal-breaker for me.) Believe it or not, this place is only about five minutes away from LM and MP (where I have most of my classes) and the price is quite nice too. I just have to make sure I manage to sublet it during next summer, otherwise my finances might be a bit tight.
I haven’t really felt challenged during my undergrad. But good news: I’m finally done all my breadth requirements, and I have some space left in my timetable. I’ve always wanted to learn general relativity and quantum field theory, but they’re just so daunting to learn on my own. So I’m thinking of taking PHY483, PHY484, and PHY489. I was concerned about not being smart enough to handle these topics, but a friend of mine took PHY483 and assured me that it’s not impossibly difficult, so I might as well give it a shot.
But wait! What about CS? Well, yes. So, over the last year, I’ve become painfully aware that, while I’m a decent software engineer, I lack knowledge in many key areas compared to people who actually took CS in college. Some of those areas include: programming languages; databases and distributed systems; concurrency; and operating systems. I don’t like not knowing things, so I do plan to learn at least some of these things. Unfortunately, I’m only allowed to take up to three 300+ level CSC courses since I’m not a CSC student, and I’ve already taken one (it was a research project course, and I ended up failing miserably at it). But then I realized: why bother trying to cram CSC courses into my timetable at all, when I can take as many as I want during the summer online (e.g., on Coursera)? So that’s going to be my plan: finish my degree and then try to make up for that degree not being a CS degree. I’m sure I still won’t be as knowledgeable as a real CS major, but damned if I don’t do my best.
And then, in fall of 2014, I’ll start life out in the Real World as a software engineer. I’ve been a student for my entire life so far, and then suddenly, my responsibilities are going to shift. My mom always told me that, as a student, my #1 priority in life is to study well; and that’s something I’ve been very comfortable with, since I’m a good student. But everything is going to change soon. I’m nervous. But also excited.
I’m going to close this post off with an update on my love life. (Since, obviously, that’s the most interesting part, right?) My girlfriend and I broke up a few weeks ago. We split on good terms, and we’re still best friends, so yes, you can still invite both of us to the same event without making things awkward. Of course, breakups are never easy, and the last few weeks have definitely been tough. Coding is a lot less fun than it normally is; focusing on physics is sometimes impossible. But things are gradually getting better.