Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow. -Mahatma Gandhi
First of all, I CAN’T BELIEVE THE SECOND TO LAST SEMESTER OF MY UNDERGRADUATE CAREER HAS ENDED. Like, what the heck? I mean, seriously though! I am going to graduate with an Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in less than 6 months!
This semester has been such a hectic one, and I’m pretty happy with how it panned out.
I am very, very excited to say that I’ve joined the Hack@Brown core team as the Documentation Director. I genuinely believe that Hack@Brown is different from other hackathons, as we strive to create an inclusive hackathon by encouraging everyone, particularly beginners, to attend. We want every single attendee to leave feeling really proud of themselves, and the documentation team makes that possible by creating content that they can share with friends and family. We have big plans this year in terms of documentations, and I can’t wait to share what we have in store!
Oh, and in case you haven’t— you should totally sign up! We want to make sure each attendee has a great experience, which means that we’ll have really good food, tons of engineers working side-by-side with attendees, awesome swag, and basically, everything to make sure that you have a good experience.
After much thought, I’ve decided to start my professional career at Vistaprint! I don’t know which part of the company I’m going to be working in, but I’m very relieved that I don’t have to stress about jobs anymore. It’s nice to know where I’m going to be at a year from now. I also asked my recruiter about starting dates, and it seems that (hopefully) I will be able to start around late August or early September, which would give me about three months of a break before I start working. It’s scary to think that once I start working, I won’t really have any more long summer breaks, and that I actually have to think about spending my PTO days wisely. Dude, life’s getting serious.
Religious Literacy Project
Religion has always been a big part of my life, and as I look back on my childhood, I realize that most (if not all) the major events have been colored by religion in one way or another. Yet, there are still so many things about my own religion that I don’t know about.
Religion has been a big theme of this past semester. I’ve decided to get more involved in the religious community here at Brown, and it’s actually been really great. I’ve met so many cool people, and in a way, getting to know my own religion has given me a sense of excitement and peace. On top of that, I also did an ethnography on religion for my Anthropology class, and worked on an op-doc about Religion at Brown for BPR. Although ethnography itself turned out okay-ish, it’s the interview process that I really enjoyed. Even though it was rather time consuming (I had to interview 20 people, and they each took about 20 minutes), getting to know other people’s lives, and finding out what role religion has played in their lives was very fascinating. For instance, I learned that one of my friends was born in a refugee camp…can you believe that?! I mean, whoa.
Next semester, I will be participating in Brown’s Religious Literacy Project, which is a non-credit, student-run, semester-long ‘class’ meant to deepen its students’ understanding of world religions. The course lasts for ten weeks, and we’ll have professors as well as chaplains present five major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, so two weeks for reach religion. It’s quite embarrassing, really, how much I don’t know about religion, and although I know that by taking this class, it’s not going to instantly make me know everything about every religion, I think it’s a step forward.
Indonesian Network on College Hill (INCH)
Not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but last semester, a couple of friends and I started a new organization on campus called INCH. The Indonesian community in the Providence area was growing, and we wanted to make use of this resource and create an organization to spread knowledge about Indonesia. After all, Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world, the third largest democracy, and we also have the largest Muslim population. There are so many things about Indonesia that people don’t know about, and we wanted to change that.
We performed the Saman dance at the Legends of the SEA this semester, which I think it went really well! There is also a possibility we will be performing again next semester, at a venue outside of the Providence area, which is really exciting for us because: 1) more recognition for the INCH, and 2) with all the Indonesian jokes, rehearsals got pretty fun. We also held our very first official club event: a cooking workshop.
Academics vs Activities
I actually just realized how busy I’ve been this semester. Courseload-wise, I have quite a standard semester, with two CS classes and two non-concentration classes. If I didn’t have any extracurricular activities, this semester would’ve probably been rather boring, which, wouldn’t be because my classes are boring, but because I would’ve had so much time to kill. Butttttt I have had a lot of other things on my plate this semester. Aside from my classes, I have BPR, the Gamelan ensemble, yearbook, Science Center and WiCS photography, INCH (I’m the one of the co-presidents!), and most recently, Hack@Brown. Although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my extracurricular activities, I do think I need to prioritize more next semester, so that I’ll have more time for my academics as well as friends. Besides, it’s going to be the last semester of my undergraduate career, and I want to have more time to do other things.
Despite having spent three years as a college student, I feel like I’m still figuring myself out. I mean, I just turned 19, and 19 year olds aren’t supposed to know everything yet, right? There are so many things I want to accomplish in life, and I’m still trying to prioritize them. Deep down, I have this strong urge and aspiration to come home, and help revolutionize Indonesia somehow. I also want to explore the world, and learn to appreciate the beauty in life. On top of that, I aspire to excel in my profession, and maybe on the side also be a photographer/videographer who’s not half bad. There are so many places I want to visit, cultures that I want to learn about, people that I want to meet, and knowledge that I want to study…and I’m excited. There are so many things I want to explore.
With that being said, my theme for my 20th year on earth is exploration. I want to get out of my comfort zone, and try as many things as I can. Our time on earth is finite, and I hate to look back on life regretting things I didn’t do.
This year, I want to try new things, and really live life to the fullest.
(Featured image was taken during our Thanksgiving trip to Meredith, NH)