By Gowri Somayajula

I’ve been a CS10 (the Beauty and Joy of Computing, an introductory computer science course run by Dan Garcia. I highly recommend it to any first time coders looking for a non61A experience!) Academic Intern for 3 semesters and there’s a lot that I’ve learnt going to lab four hours a week every week for almost a full year now. But what shaped me the most (and I suppose what keeps me going) is that there are always graduate students and non-Berkeley industry professionals looking to grow their skill set and pick up a thing or two about programming. At first it puzzled me; my perception of the adult world has always been muddled by misconceptions. I think as children we all assume that ‘adults’ have their lives together, that adults know the right answers. But I was wrong. 

It’s impossible to imagine how different you and I are, Reader. We probably came from different places. We heard different stories growing up, ate different food and lived different lives. Yet somehow we are here, sharing the same sky, the same sun and moon. We all choose our own way in life, in whatever way it took us. Whether you transferred from a community college, or took a gap year or even took a semester off, we are all here, looking forward at the rest of our lives. Our steps waver as internship offers present themselves, or our URAP application gets rejected. Our steps waver as we decide whether to go to graduate school or to graduate early. Our steps waver as we head off from the place we call home, to a world more scary and more unsure. We’re not in Kansas anymore. 

And that terrifies me. In Fleabag season 2, we see Fleabag crying to the Priest saying “I just think I want someone to tell me how to live my life, Father, because so far I think I’ve been getting it wrong.” And her words resonate strong. Some days I come out of my Econ upper div classes wondering if I’ve made the right decision. I see job postings in career fairs for engineering majors, for elite EECS positions, for 6 figure business analysts. I see friends getting Fortune 5 internship placements, friends with their futures laid out to graduate schools, friends who’ll be moving on (uncertain but surer than I am). And I wonder if I made the right decision. I sometimes think I hear myself, questioning if everything I’ve done that’s led me to this moment was wrong. If only I could’ve been better. 

But if these graduate students, if these adults can put themselves out there, come to every class and take the essence of CS10 (anyone can code) to heart, why can’t I?  Why is it so hard to see what my future has laid out? Why do some steps feel like fumbling mistakes and why do others feel so instinctually right? And why can’t anyone answer my questions. It’s just that though, isn’t it? One day, things will fall into place. For me and you, Reader. One day, we’ll realize that things make sense and we’ll finally, finally know what Carpe Diem means. We’ll wake up in the morning, forget what’s on our Google Calendars and have fun. Live life as it’s meant to be lived. We don’t know what the future holds and that’s alright. One day you’ll find your yellow brick road. And oh the Places You will go.

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