Looking Back on Junior Year
College really is almost over for me, isn't it?
I'm not quite sure the realization has entirely set in yet. It's still early-mid July as I write this, though August is looming is certainly looming in the distance. As with the last two retrospectives I wrote, the scenery is once again different, though this time only temporarily. I'm in the bedroom of the apartment that I've stayed at over the summer while interning with IBM. I'm still in Texas, but I'm in Austin and not Dallas. It's getting a bit late, but I'll probably take a break from writing this post to go cook dinner - I've gotten back into cooking during my time interning, and it's a pretty nice feeling being able to (at least given enough time and effort) to make anything I might have a hunger pang for at the time. Ambient noise this time around? Couldn't tell you, I've been writing this number with my earbuds in.
It's a scary kind of exciting to wonder and think about what will come after the next two semesters I have left, to mull over just what kind of trajectory I'll set myself on. Will I work at a Fortune 500, or a scrappy startup (that I possibly founded)? Where will I live? Where will all my friends from college go, and what sort of choices will they make?
I remember back around 2010 when I was first getting involved in robotics, with BEST.1 A quirk in the way I signed up meant I was initially on a team all by myself, and if you've ever done any sort of similar competition, you're probably wincing in pain right about now. I got to talk to two other teams who were graciously willing to take me in for the upcoming season, and in my rookie arrogance, considered going solo as a possible third option. While figuring out where I wanted to end up, I distinctly remember the feeling in my gut that I was making a choice of huge importance2 but at the same time didn't really have anything to go off of.
That's the same sort of feeling I suspect I'll have to deal with again sooner than later, and it's a bigger deal this time around. It wouldn't be too late to change my mind if I decide I dislike where I end up, but it certainly becomes a bit harder and riskier - and I think that's where the uneasiness ultimately stems from.
Ultimately, I think it's one of those things I just simply have to deal with; boldly make a choice to the best of my ability, and have the confidence that I can convert that into the life that I feel is best worth living. Hey, nobody ever said it'd be easy, right?
 - In an odd twist of fate, BEST's founders worked at Texas Instruments, the same company responsible for founding the college I'd enroll at some 6 years later: UT Dallas.
 - I made pretty heavy reference to my time spent in high school robotics while applying to the scholarship program at UT Dallas I ended up getting, and if my blurb over there is any indication, they considered it a pretty big highlight.