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I'll figure it out Wed, Jan 26, 2022
I'll never forget being a 17-year-old kid visiting colleges with my mom, when we were invited to sit in on a random class to just get a sense of how things were.  The class was some sort of computer architecture class for computer science majors, which I didn't have any experience with and wasn't interested in at all, but it was the class that was happening at the time we were there.  I remember sitting there feeling a bit overwhelmed by the process of applying for colleges, feeling unsure of where I should go or what I should study or how I should know anything about any of that, and feeling completely dumbfounded by the class itself. 

But for whatever reason I had a moment of absolute crystal-clear clarity:  I would figure it out, and I'd be fine.  I don't know how I reached that conclusion or how that muddled series of experiences led to that idea, but I distinctly remember walking out of the class after a few minutes while the professor sort of joked about scaring us away, and realizing that those students in the class didn't just show up on their first day and dive into the most complicated topic imaginable.  There was some sort of process, some sort of series of steps that regular people took to wind up in that classroom at that school, all without having a mental breakdown (that came much later).  It was an absolutely pivotal moment for me. 

I ended up not going to that school, and instead went to a similar school that felt like a better fit for me.  But having that realization as a high school student helped me approach my time and challenges in college in a different way.  Instead of seeing complicated topics as unapproachable and unknowable, I tended to view everything as a problem I hadn't yet solved.  I wouldn't say I was self-confident, or even self-aware.  But I figured if I put in some work, I'd see if that produced results. 

No one graduates on their first day of college.  Being around other people who were in the same situation as me, with the same doubts and struggles as me, helped me cement the idea that I'd figure it out, and if not ... well I don't really know because I didn't think far enough ahead to have a backup plan.


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