2019 was a lot of things to me.

It was the year…

  • I befriended some incredible people
  • I reevaluated some other friendships
  • I completed a year of living alone
  • I landed a really cool internship offer via campus recruiting
  • I dove deeper into NLP and other areas of CS to better identify my own interests
  • I got surprisingly good at foosball
  • I was pushed far out of my comfort zone - which taught me quite a bit - as a developer and as a person
  • I felt the pressure to land a job
  • I received my first job offer!
  • I lived with some of my closest friends
  • I celebrated with my closest friends, who also received really cool job offers!
  • I wrote the last series of exams for my undergraduate curriculum
  • I started my own instagram art account!
  • I survived a month of zero junk food
  • I took the plunge into art and picked up many techniques
  • And I hit a thousand followers on my art instagram account, in 2 months!

Wow. Looking back, 2019 was likely one of the most eventful years of my life.

I’m sure many events will unfold soon as I move out of the hostel, dive into the industry, face the real world, but I did learn a lot over the last year.

I learnt many things about myself, the people around me, the things that need to change, and what I need to focus on next.

Off the top of my head, some of my takeaways from my personal experiences of the year were that -

  • Communication skills can have significant impact. I learnt that clear, concise communication, aside from being generally welcomed by all, also enables me to make a much stronger impression with the people I interact with.

  • It’s important to not be too critical on oneself. Everyone makes mistakes at some point, and it’s easy to forget that.

  • Hobbies are important. Aside from being an avenue to vent, relax or express myself - I’ve found that improving, or having a sense of growth or progression in regard to my hobbies, has helped me feel significantly more self-confident, and has also given me a reason to be constantly excited about the future.

  • Delayed gratification for the win! Lasting a month without junk food enabled me to feel like I could do whatever I set my mind to - which is a pretty sweet feeling.

  • Leave the comfort zone more often. This year, I was pushed far away from my comfort zone, in terms of technologies I worked with, and the domains I worked in. Every minute of those projects changed the way I approach problem statements, and I’m far more confident of solving real-world challenges now.

  • Being nice goes a long way. From having people vouch for my skills when I didn’t expect it, to having professors ping me to vet my interests in assisting them in their projects, I’ve found that being polite, respectful and diligent goes a long way.

  • Breaks are okay. With all the goals I’d been chasing, I kept forgetting that I needed a break. Burnouts weren’t uncommon. Thankfully, eventually I started recognizing burnouts and adjusted accordingly - but breaks are okay. Repeat after me. Breaks are okay.

  • Execution matters just as much as content. This was a common pattern I noticed, across many different contexts. I learnt that even if I have content to share, or something to show, the professionalism of the way I did it in, influenced its reception significantly more than one would expect. (Now now, don’t go all “Duh, Adi” on me - I was quite surprised by the extent of the influence of good execution)

  • Friends and family matter. I had some low points through the year and they’d have been significantly lower without family and my closest friends. This year showed me that I may be better off having a close, tight-knit circle of best friends than a wider, loose circle of many acquaintances.

And finally,

I’m racking my brain thinking if there were any more generally applicable lessons I learnt and I can’t think of anymore for now - so that’s all folks!

Happy new year!

For more of my work, follow me on:

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GitHub: https://github.com/RameshAditya/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/adityaramesh98