I started my undergraduate in 2015, meaning I should be graduating around this time of the year — except I graduated last year and jumped straight to the industry.
To say that I have never regretted graduating early would be a lie. Most times in the past year, I kept telling myself that I should have taken the extra year in college. Only recently I spent some thoughts on the inverse: what would be taken away from me had I not spend the last year out of school?
Apparently the answer is plenty of valuable people.
In hindsight, I should be more grateful for the people I managed to know in the past year. Tons of smart, ambitious, and compassionate people. Many of them I look up to, whom I wouldn’t have known by now had I stayed in school.
How many? Too many to be written in this post, but below are the stories which I’d consider uncommon.
One of the engineers in my first team at work. She had been working in the company since early 1997 — her tenure in the company was longer than I had been alive. She taught me many technical things, but the most valuable lesson I took was being a team multiplier, that if you ask for guidance from the right people with the right way, every problem will find its solution.
She retired last April, which means that (1) I have now been on Earth longer than she was in the company and (2) I wouldn’t have met her if I took the extra year in undergraduate.
A co-worker whom I work closely with. He’s someone who constantly challenge me on being better in everything. Easily one of the people I synchronize well with, especially on how can we make this better?
We share a lot of thoughts and judgement about our past and to this day, he gave me the best kool-aid to my worries: life in early 20s is weird. We embrace the weird sides of each other.
Internet stranger whom I have yet to meet in real life, but we managed to find each other in a time where I wasn’t very happy with my situation then. I had some faith, like a little candle, that things will be better in the days to come. Little did we know, my situation was very much like what she experienced a few years ago. In a couple hours of talking, she basically poured gas to my little candle — almost as if she had known little Wilson (when he was so idealistic and optimistic) and straight up slap that image on today’s Wilson.
I would not trade the encounters with these people (and more) for an extra year in college and I look forward to the day that I will repay their generosity.
A quick snapshot of me these days:
- Education as an accessible resource remains a topic I deeply care about. I’m still curating my thoughts on this, which is also one of my “things to look forward to” in the coming years.
- The rabbit hole of productivity goes in very deep. Currently halfway through Will Larson’s An Elegant Puzzle and his blog on privilege was driving my draft on this blog. Noticing your privilege is a lot of work, work we’re obligated to do.
- I still get wild pleasure from seeing
docker-compose upof multiple services without errors.
- I used to think that my jobs have ruined some things for me (programming language, framework, etc.), but only recently I get to play around with those things outside of work and shifted my judgement. I’m looking forward to more things I thought were ruined for me and try them in a different context.