It’s a little surreal right now, but the year is over! This year seems to have flown by, but at the same time the things I did for the first third of the year seems like a lifetime ago – an interesting paradox, no? Anyway, for some reason I either didn’t make resolutions for this year way back in January, or I can’t find where I put those resolutions. So I’ll just pen some thoughts on the top of my head.
2015 was a big year for me, especially when I consider my knowledge and experience a year ago. I had 8 months of coop this year. It was the year where I got my first job, experienced paying taxes for the first time, was exposed to the corporate world – both public and private sectors, and felt like I was a part of the real world for the first time. But it’s funny how in retrospect, all your experiences seem so meager; who knows what I’ll feel next year?
As I mentioned, 2015 was a year of firsts for me, namely in the work world. My first coop at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care as a systems tester was boring at the time, and awful when compared to my second coop as a QA developer at Metroland Media. It’s a common belief that working for the government is a kafkaesque nightmare, but I don’t think that’s too far from the truth, especially after I heard it from several of my coworkers. My job was so menial, all I did was brute force manual unit testing. Well, a bit of automation as well, but mostly manual work more boring than Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. I really didn’t take away a lot of technical skills from that job, now that I think back on it; maybe a bit of Java, but minimal at that. Probably the biggest thing I took away from the job was how to work in a team – with every aspect, from business analyst to developer, from project manager to QA leads. I remember one of the things that shocked me the most was how relaxed the environment was – somewhere down the road I had gotten the impression that work would be super formal, ultra professional at all times. So I was surprised when I heard people swear casually, discuss the same trivial things I discuss with my friends, and pretty much just act as though work wasn’t their entire life. I’m happy that was the case though, because who would want to work in an environment like that? So the biggest thing I took away from my first job was definitely how to work on a team, and getting aquainted with the work environment.
So 2015 was big due to the fact that I finally engaged in the work world (taxes, woo). But it was also a year of first for a number of other things: I lived in a city completely on my own for the first time in my life, I went to bars and nightclubs for the first time, I voted for the first time. I went to my first music concert, experienced truly terrible roommates for the first time, yet for the first time, also grew to love a city as much as, if not more than home – Calgary. I miss Toronto. I used to think I missed Calgary, and on some level I do; but when I break it down, what I miss more is the feeling of home, friends and family, and the natural beauty of Alberta. I miss Toronto because of how much more there is to see and do there. I know that sounds wack because I thought it sounded wack too, until I unintentionally felt it. It’s just more of a city than Calgary, in pretty much every way you can imagine. There are some things I won’t miss – pothead deadbeat roommates, mice in my house, and the insane cost of living. But all that aside, I’ll leave with a lot of good memories. It’s funny, I’m writing as though I’m leaving forever; I’m certainly going to try to get jobs outside Toronto, but chances are high I’m going to end up there again sooner or later. Guess we’ll pick it up where we left then?
In terms of academics, there isn’t too much to report this year. 1B was okay, marginally easier than 1A I would say. It was memorable due to brutal finals and Paul Ward, but oddly enough, despite those setbacks I did way better in 1B than I did in 1A. To be honest though, I’m not sure how much of that was me, and how much of it was the curve I rode shamelessly to the top 20 in the class. Probably more of the latter; at any rate, I guess 2A will tell. Speaking of which, I’m terrified of the upcoming term; my eight course 8:30 – 6:30 block schedule, with lunch at 11:30 and all my lectures in MC, looks incredibly intimidating. I know this is a pretty dead blog now, and I don’t realistically expect anyone to read this, but if you do, don’t expect a lot in the upcoming four months on the account of 2A. But hey, everyone else does it, and so will I. Grin and bear it? More like cry and bear it, but bear it I will.
2015 was a good year. My new knowledge and experiences makes me feel like I’ve grown a lot over the past year. Especially when I think back on myself a year ago – fresh with one term of university education, zero work experience and not a lot of understanding on how to survive in the world. I’ve grown a little bit this year, but it feels exponential compared to where I was a year ago. I’ll make some resolutions for 2016 soon. So here’s to a great year, and hoping 2016 is as good as the last!