I have sat down to write this post a dozen times in the last few months. Pen to paper, hands to keyboard, thumbs to touchscreen - every time I try to put down the experience I have had since I arrived at UCLA, I falter. Not because I don't have enough to write about but because I don't know where to begin.It's just been one quarter so far, but I already know why they say college changes people.
To keep myself from being overwhelmed and to avoid spewing out a book-length post, I am just gonna write about the most remarkable things I have experienced here.
The moment the professor of my 'Intro to Programming' class bounced to the podium, I knew the class was gonna be fun. When a man in his fifties talks with the boundless energy of a five-year old, it's damn admirable. When he holds the attention of a couple hundred teenagers while explaining what a variable is for two hours, it's worth an ovation. I have been coding for some time but I attended each lecture just for the enthusiasm that the professor injected into the class.
And it's not just the professors, everyone I have met is incredibly passionate about their field of study. I have talked to students of music history, astrophysics and psychobiology and each one of them talks about their subjects with shining eyes and breathless eagerness. And being surrounded by such smart and motivated people, who strive for self-improvement everyday, just bolsters my desire to better myself as a person and a programmer. I couldn't have dreamed of a better environment for my higher studies.
My dad told me that the friends I would make in college would be the ones that I would remember forever. I feel the truth of his words now. Maybe it's the simple fact of having no one but each other as family in college, but for a nomad like me calling someone a friend forever is a huge thing. I have friends who would rush over to help me at 3 in the morning without a second thought and I would do the same for them. Of course, the midnight adventures all over UCLA's campus have helped bring us closer but I shouldn't write about them so publicly.
I mentioned I am a nomad. Living at the same place, staying at the same school for more than a year is an exception. You can imagine it being kinda hard for me to cultivate school spirit, but in just three months here, I have managed to lose my voice cheering for UCLA more than once. The time when we crushed USC at the Rose bowl, the game against UC Irvine where both basketball teams were neck-to-neck, I felt an exhilarating sense of belongingness. It must help that in every presentation during orientation, the speakers would congratulate us for being good enough to be a Bruin. That it was we who made UCLA what it was. The attitude of outdoing yourself to be a better person everyday is one they successfully infect everyone with everyday.
I understand that this post might seem a bit abstract to some, a stream of excited emotions to others but to detail everything that has happened since September would take far too long. Future posts will hopefully be more specific if they focus on specific events. For now, I will just finish with a simple thank you. My gratitude for this wonderful new chapter in my life and the promise of another fun-filled eleven quarters. I hope they pass a lot more slowly than this one did.
Hope you had a great year and the coming one is even better!