For when tweeting isn't enough

Where I’m Headed in Life

Posted February 1, 2012

The other day, I was browsing a few discussions online. I read one specific discussion about a guy that was dumped by his girlfriend because she thought he wasn’t going anywhere in life. He now has a masters in accountancy, works for a Fortune 50 company, and is making $70K+. It would almost sound as if the girl made a mistake or bad assumption about him, but some did not see it that way. They felt that his ex-girlfriend may have had a different idea of what “going somewhere” meant. Where is he going personally, creatively, or emotionally? He has the job and the money, but does he really have the life? Soon after, another person’s response to the discussion caught my attention.

This will probably be buried in the older comments, but just hear me out man..

I got my computer science degree and was hired by a fairly large company right out of college as a software engineer. I make an income comparable to yours and I get to travel overseas a few times a year for work. I am 30 now and have been working here for 7 years.

I made the mistake of letting a career determine where I was headed. I used my career as an excuse to forget the rest of my life goals and dreams. You end up making a good salary, but yet you end up paycheck to paycheck because you buy into consumerism, rack up bills and probably have a mortgage.

If you are in a similar case, then your ex was right. You are going nowhere. Why? Because you are already there. You have chosen your path of a career man and that is what you have to look forward to for the next 30 years.

While some people strive for this type of thing, a lot of us don’t. Do I really find it enjoyable to spend my days in an office working for someone else? I saw where I was headed. When I looked into the future I saw myself driving to the office everyday. You know how damn depressing that is?

Then I realized I actually have a choice. I sold my townhouse and saved up a bunch of money. This year I’m taking a break from the corporate world for a while to chase down some dreams.

I’m just saying it’s quite possible this is what your ex meant when she said you were going nowhere.

After reading this, my mind went completely blank. Suddenly it wasn’t about the guy and his ex-girlfriend anymore, it was about me. For the past two years I have been studying Computer Science at one of the top engineering schools in the nation thinking that graduating meant instant success and guaranteed life happiness. I’m not worried about finding a job after graduating; the economy needs engineers and scientists. The problem is, I have spent this whole time thinking that I’ll get a great job, make a ton of money and just magically be happy for the rest of my life. I worked for both Circuit City and Best Buy, repairing computers for the past five years. I felt happy working for them at first, but as the years passed, I started to feel more like a slave. I wasn’t happy anymore. Because of this, I had this mindset that being a programmer or software engineer for a big company would be far more rewarding and would make me happy. But the question is, what guarantee do I have that I won’t become a slave again? After thinking about it, I’ve come to realize that I have have no guarantee. I have no assurance. I have nothing.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have a plan though. I’ve always had the same plan, but I’ve come to accept that it isn’t as concrete as I thought it was. My degree is important. It’s my priority and I will not give it up. I need to earn this for myself, as well as my family. My mom blessed my with this wonderful life, it’s only fair to give back and assure her that she can life the rest of her life in peace. After that is done, I will focus on my life. I will create life goals and dreams for myself and follow them. Just wait, one day I’m going to play a role in helping the world through the use of software and computing, and in return, the world is going to give back to me by allowing me to live my life in true happiness.

Another semester

Posted December 14, 2011

Another semester has come and gone. This may only be the third semester I’ve been here,  but it’s been the best one to date. A lot of excitement, stress, and insight has been rolled up into this past four month period. Yes, there were lazy moments, but those can’t really be avoided no matter how much determination you start off with. This semester has made me much more smarter, active, and ironically, more malnourished. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t eating well until I returned home for Thanksgiving break. Compared to how I looked back in high school/early college, I’m getting kind of skinnier. I’m 22 years old and I’m at the point where two packs of ramen noodles aren’t enough to sustain myself, even for a snack. I have a kitchen and I’ll try to make full use of it from now on.

It’s still really difficult to wrap my head around how rapidly this semester passed. The months were like different chapters to me, each with a different theme.

September: School Spirit

The beginning of the semester defined what it felt like to be an Aggie. Everyone is excited to come back to College Station to get re-acquainted with their buddies all while making new ones. Before school starts, Northgate becomes packed every single night and everyone is just having a good time. School then begins, but nobody is worried. Football season starts rolling in and hypes up the entire student body. The term ‘exam’ is the last thing on anybody’s mind. This year is the first time that I attended any TAMU football games and I’m glad that I went. I spent a good amount of days yelling and getting my skin sunburned with everyone else at Kyle Field, something that everyone should experience every now and then.

October: Relax

October felt like a more relaxed month. Everyone is finally used to being back again, the school spirit hype is starting to get controlled, the weather is starting to get cooler, and it’s time to start focusing on studies a bit more. Midterms are approaching, but people don’t appear to be entirely too stressed. Overall, the environment is just simply relaxing.

October marked the month that I started to get more involved with Epic Movement. Being with Epic made me realize that I lost a lot over the past year in terms of spiritual guidance. When first left Killeen and came to College Station, I knew that TAMU had a great and strong Christian environment, yet I was too occupied with everything else to notice. Epic has not only reminded me of who I am as a Christian, but also helped me feel more at home.

November: Stress

Things are starting to finally swing in full motion now. Professors are starting to pull out the big guns and students are finally starting to feel the heat. People are still spending time with each other, but dealing with schoolwork seems to be the priority. November may have a small Thanksgiving break in the middle, but it’s more of a ‘catch up opportunity’ than an actual break. Schoolwork continues to pile up and everyone seems to be going crazy deep down inside which sometimes leads to not wanting to do anything.

No matter how crazy November gets, it’s still okay to take it easy. It’s not the end of the world and your final project isn’t really due until next month anyways, right? I spent a good amount of time (perhaps more time than I should have) taking it easy. Taking time during the weekend to wash windows and reach out to the community in historical downtown Bryan with Epic was very insightful. You come to learn about about the lives of local business owners and how they help contribute to the Aggies and TAMU. Going to a Gander Smith concert for your Delta Gamma computer science buddy isn’t a bad way to to take it easy either. ;)

December: The End

December may not be that long, but all it takes is half a month to finally wrap things up. This is it. Everything that you worked hard for is about to pay off. It’s just that these finals are in the way. It feels like an eternity spending the month to study for finals, but once you leave the classroom from your last final, it’s done. It’s all over… just like that.

Suddenly, everyone is leaving. That’s when you realize that it’s time to say goodbye and give your last minute gifts if need be (Christmas is just around the corner after all.) Winter break isn’t as short as it was when you were in high school. I won’t be seeing many of my buddies again for an entire month. So now, it’s time to sit back and take the time to reflect on the great memories that this past semester has brought me.

Final thoughts

To every single last person that has come to into or has been in my life this past semester, whether it was for part of the semester or the entire time, whether you felt close to me or not, I just want to say thank you. The hometown buddies from Killeen, the community of Epic Movement, all of the evil geniuses from Computer Science and Calculus, and even the people from previous chapters of my time here at TAMU, thank you all. It means a lot and this semester couldn’t have been as awesome as it was without you guys! THANK YOU!

Boring Final Project

Posted December 1, 2011

Man, I remember that awesome final project I had to make last spring for CSCE 121. (Seriously check it out, it’s pretty cool.) It was really hard, but fun to make nonetheless. This CSCE 221 final project on the other hand is the snoozefest of the semester. I’ve already been working on it for 16+ hours yet not much has been done. It’s going to take a few miracles, shots of caffeine, and White House lobbying tactics to get this monster finished. My presentation for this slugger to be done on a time slot this Friday. I think I’m going to have to request to have it pushed to a Monday time slot.

I finished two exams this week. The anxiety produced from waiting for my grade is killing me. Words cannot express how much I hate this time of the semester. I hate CSCE 221. No, I hate EVERYTHING. #grinchmodeactivated

Fall semester so far

Posted September 9, 2011

The end of the second week of school is nearly coming to a close now. It’s hard to believe that only two weeks have passed already when it feels like a month. It’s definitely a shift from the lifestyle I lived back at home when I was counting down the days to leave. Time waddles slowly whenever you’re too busy paying attention to it. I can’t even begin to count the amount of new people I’ve met already. It’s awesome how little you have to do in order to meet people. Just one little “Hi” to a girl, and then they will talk for an hour (maybe two at clubs/parties. ;) My first two months at TAMU from last year don’t even compare to the first two weeks of this year. I made two goals for this school year and so far, the results speak for themselves. I’m doing more and being more of who I am. I wanted to write about my goals earlier, but like I said, I’ve been pretty busy ever since coming back to College Station. I’m actually fitting this writing between studying and leaving to meet up at a party later. So here goes, I have two primary goals that I want to focus on during my time here at TAMU:

1. Focus on studies

My educational career has gone through many ups and downs over time. Anybody who knows me well enough or actually reads what I write here knows this. This year, my classes have been chosen more wisely so that I can get the most out of them. Whenever classes are in session, more of my time is spent studying on campus than it is at home. Home should only be used to get some rest, not to loaf around and do nothing. My game plan looks strong and my mind is more clear. I want this more than anything in life right now. It’s going to happen.

2. Reach OUT

Last year here was great, but it could have been even greater if I wasn’t so lazy. I failed to go to events, meet new people, reach out to others, and be as social as I could have been. That’s not going to happen anymore. Relations and events aren’t handed to me on a silver platter. Nothing in life is free. I have to go out there and grab it myself. So far this year, I’ve been going to as many events as I possible. Football games, shows, parties, meetings, events, etc. It’s so much worth it and I’m glad to be making the effort. I also joined two different organizations. The first is Epic Movement, which is an Asian-American Christian fellowship group that participates in Bible studies, group activities, and leadership opportunities. I’m still establishing myself with Epic, but the people that I’ve met already are very kind and outgoing. The second organization that I joined is the TAMU student chapter of AIGA, a design group that seeks to inspire with the value of good design and share the greatness of visualization, whether it’s through posters, digital media, etc. Many members are visualization majors and I’m content enough to believe that I might be the only Computer Science, or even Engineering major in the organization. I only see visualization as a mere hobby to be honest, but I hope that with AIGA, I can improve on my freelance skills, use them to reach out to others, make a difference in the Visualization department, even though I have nothing to do with it education-wise.

The challenge: Balance

So far so good, but keeping a balance between these two goals is definitely going to be a challenge for me. I will need to use my better judgement to know when it’s time to hit the books and when it’s time to relax. I feel that I’m confident enough to believe that things will go differently this year for the better. It’s time for me to do more and leave my mark. This year is going to be great, I’ll make sure of it. Time is really valuable at this point, so with that I have to GO. Until next time!

End of Summer 2011, No Life?

Posted August 17, 2011

It’s been a really busy summer and the lack of postings here proves it. Although nothing exciting or adventurous happened while staying in Killeen, I have to say that this has to be the most accomplished summer I’ve had so far. The 4.0 GPA score for 10 credit-hours alone is enough to give me a feeling of satisfaction. This summer has left me with a few thoughts here and there…

I’ve come to realize that I’m tired of being told that I need to “experience life.” I’m sick of people telling me to do this and that because “life is short” and I should do it before “it’s too late.” I don’t want to hear this anymore. There’s nothing for me to “experience” in life right now in my current state. I realize that such actions result in simply being ignorant toward what I need to do in order to live the rest of my life properly, which is finishing my degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. I no longer want to put my education at risk because I was too busy “living life.” It was never worth it and I won’t do it again.

With that said, I still understand that people need to breathe every once in a while and take it easy. I’m not exactly a robot, so I will take breaks. But from now on, every drop of blood, sweat, and tears will be committed towards finishing school. No matter how many exams I have to take, homework assignments I have to submit, or hours I have to study, I will commit to it to the fullest of my abilities. I will undoubtedly slave away because at the end of the day, seeing the highest scores and grades next to my name is so much more worth anything else I could have done during that time frame.

It may seem like a lot, but this is such a minuscule chapter of my life right now. If I can give up just 4 or 5 years of my life to education so that I can live the remaining majority of my life with true happiness, why wouldn’t I do it? Why wouldn’t I want to graduate as an engineer, earn a six-figure job, help my mom retire, buy her a new house, by myself a new house, support my (future) family and children, and travel the world all while helping move the world forward with the work that I do? It’s just day and night.

Since it’s technically the end of another semester, I decided to upload an updated degree plan. I don’t think anything like this is too personal to share, so I’ll be uploading an updated one at the end of every semester just to milestone and look back as the classes change from red to green. Looking at my degree plan, I’m thinking that I’ll be graduating in 2013, more than likely the winter. This is what happens when you don’t go straight to a university after high school and waste an entire year of college on 23 useless credit-hours that don’t go toward your degree plan. I guess that’s what happens when you “live life.” ;)

But yeah. Summer is over! I’m ready to leave! Killeen, I love you (kind of)but you’re bringing me down. I’ve been here too long and I will probably never be here for this long ever again.

Last Summer Here

Posted July 24, 2011

I would think that summer time would allow for more free time, but I was mistaken. This is my busiest summer yet. While I haven’t really done anything exciting, I’ve stayed busy taking 10 credit hours of classes and working ~16 hours a week. Hectic? Yeah, just a bit, but it feels good knowing that I’m making up for lost time and failed opportunities. I haven’t had a summer this productive since 2008, right after graduating high school. I regret wasting time these past few summers, but it was an experience to say the least.

After this, I will have no reason to return for next summer. There is nothing left here that I need. Future summers will be spent in College Station until I graduate.

This picture is a sloppy reflection of my summer. A simple way of showing what I’ve been up to. I’ll be slightly glad when it’s all over. I feel that fall semester can’t come soon enough.

Also, I understand that I haven’t been really updating an keeping up with the site, but just know I stay pretty up to date with my Twitter. It’s a good way of seeing what I’m up to whenever I’m away from the site and it’s really the only social networking service that I use.

Hello Ruiz. Theme designed and created by yours truly.

Made with Wordpress, Bootstrap, and lots of love.