So...fellow reader...you may or may not have noticed that I basically stopped making blog posts like almost a month ago XD. The truth is that I kinda got lazy...and the thought of wanting to post something more substantial than just cute pictures made my creative juices run dry... -_-'
Well...since I'm now back in school, I guess I have a bit more that I can post about.
Thanks to a program offered at my university, I had the opportunity to work an engineering job for 16 months between my 3rd and 4th years of completing my Bachelor's degree. This experience greatly changed my perspective on the academics that had previously dominated my life. The academic environment and the work environment are completely different (doesn't take a genius to figure that one out). One thing that they do share in common is the necessity for self-motivated learning and effort in order to get ahead. I've always had the aspiration of working on the cutting edge of technology, so I've spent a long time wondering if I should pursue this through academics (masters -> PhD -> academic research, etc), or if I could somehow involve myself in R&D in an industrial setting. During the time I spent working at AMD as a software engineer, I learned a rather important lesson about innovation. There are many ways of innovating, not just from an academic or R&D perspective. I learned that even within the scope of applying existing technologies for the development of new products, it is possible to innovate by discovering new optimizations, in other words, how to use the existing technology better. Having the chance to get some hands on experience on this type of innovation really opened my eyes to a new possibility for me to pursue in the future. I've realized now that my own self-motivated interest to innovate does not depend entirely on getting a PhD and pursuing a life inside a lab. It's important to keep pushing forward and improving how we use our currently available technologies, so that we can get the maximum benefit of the effort put in by the people at the forefront of these technologies.
Sadly...the 16 months I spent working also caused me to forget a lot of the things i learned in my first 3 years of study...which is now coming back to bite me as I start my 4th year. I have to go relearn linear algebra...statistics, and whatnot...I'm a bit anxious about whether or not ill be able to succeed this year. My general lack of confidence impacts me in pretty much anything i do T_T. Anyone who's been playing league with me the last couple weeks (aka the people im in a ranked team with) will tell you that confidence is something i struggle with quite a bit. Its a problem that stems from my tendency to place higher than reasonable expectations on myself...and then failing to meet those expectations. I'm trying to deal with it by making a conscious effort to evaluate the expectations im setting for myself...but i also have a tendency to forget and just default back to my usual behaviour >_<
Anyways...im going into 4th year having very little confidence in my ability to do well...which is going to hurt my prospect for graduate school. All I can do at this point is to just study as much as I can and hope that I do well enough to keep that road open...as it stands right now...my prospects for that are pretty slim...and its rather disheartening -_-'