Looking back, I used to think that the time after emigrating to United States was probably the unhappiest time of my life.  From there, things got better in elementary school because I found some playmates, but slowly life worsened in middle school, and then dipped to the lowest after the start of high school.  In retrospect, the four years of high school were the worst times of my life.  In elementary and middle school, I had a few good childhood friends, but I was never allowed to leave the house because I had additional homework besides schoolwork.  When I finished my additional homework of english, chinese, and math, I wasn’t allowed to play with my friends, so I just read.  I wasn’t too upset because I really loved a good book.  We moved shortly after I started high school, so I lost my childhood friends, and I felt burnt out physically and mentally.  I couldn’t do well at school anymore no matter how hard I tried.  I just felt unwell; I always felt tired and depressed, like a progressively worsening mental illness.  Towards the end of senior year, amid AP prep, I gave anorexia a whirl (for a month of two), and got really bad bronchitis, probably as a result.  I thought things would get better once I went to college, because it was freedom I wanted all along, for almost as long as I could remember.  The depression never really went away, maybe worsened even through college, until the past year or so, when I finally realized that being so mopey would never help me gain freedom.  I think I always associated with anything I wanted to do with some sort of stigma, whether it be hanging out or spending money, simply because it was not really my time nor my money.  I couldn’t enjoy the things I wanted to do and I definitely didn’t enjoy what I was supposed to do.  It always felt like the guilt, the isolation, the meaningless labor, and the all work and no play days would never end.  I suddenly realized, or cared, that being financially independant would mean personal independance, forever, so I had to work hard to get off of my sorry emotional rollercoaster.  I just might be happy for once!  So all of this time, the frugality, the freedoms lost, the work ethic that I resented and that my parents wished me to have were all for my own good, at least in the best way they knew how.  How ironic.  Although, maybe, it wasn’t my forte to be in engineering and I might have been successful in something easier, something more fun, I couldn’t bear to leave UoI without an ECE degree.  What an awful four years!  If I think about college, I think about how painful it was.  I can’t regret it though, and I’d do it again (hopefully better). 

I wonder now, what would be the future of a EE into photonics and semiconductors turned CompE for embedded systems with an eye towards english, writing, and literature?  What a strange mash-up I am.

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