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.
- Everyone should check out my instagram art acco- okay I’ll hold off on the shameless marketing. 😛
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!
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