Ok, this is my first blog post (if you don’t consider the introductory first one).
I have tried hard and I mean very hard to find something substantial, something important, something worthy to blog about. Only some days ago, after I got my first backlog (which means that I failed in one course in my final year of undergraduate program), I finally got something I thought I would like to blog about.
So, this is not the opinion of a depressed student trying to get over his failure by blogging about it. I do not come from the Zuckerberg family. I am not a die hard blogger.
So coming to the point, I have to say that even after failing a course in a very crucial year does not seem to make me nervous. I know this cavalier attitude might jeopardize my chances of getting into Tata Consultancy Services, the company I got placed with. So why am I not nervous?
Lemme give you a brief background on why I failed that course. Last semester was a very busy one because there were a lot of things I was juggling with. I’ll get to them one by one. Firstly, I had my TOEFL exam scheduled in the middle of the last semester. So I had to put in some serious efforts for it. The result was, I got 106 in the exam which by normal standards is not an easy score to get, although definitely nothing to brag about. Secondly, I had to start working on my Master’s applications towards the end of the last semester. Now to all those who don’t know, getting the proper documents ready for applying to different universities is by far the toughest job I have come across and to do that when you have your Final Exams a month away is very risky. Even stupid, to some extent. Thirdly, in the last semester, Knowlabs (now Udacity) launched three free online courses in association with Stanford. One of these was Introduction to Artificial Intelligence. At first, I wasn’t very sure what this was about. So I saw their introductory video. This is the video:
When I was finished, I was in love with this field. I decided that I would complete the course come what may. And I did. Out of the 160,000 people who signed up for the course, I was amongst the 20,000 people who stuck to it till the very end. After the results of the final exam were out, I wasn’t just relieved, I was proud, very much so. Here is the Statement of Accomplishment I got. Now, completing all the assignments/homeworks in time, doing the mid-terms and finally the final-exam wasn’t an easy feat. This course was for a period of 10 long weeks throughout October, November and December of 2011. So, it is because of this that my academic studies got neglected.
Now comes the tricky part. I do not regret that I failed because I pursued these activities. I did it because I wanted to do it. As Napoleon Hill said, “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” For once in life, I was interested in something so much that I would gladly take a backlog for it. So what made the once (and still 😛 ) a brilliant student ignore academics to such an extent. The reason is, I was sick of doing mundane assignments, submissions, studying for stupid subjects that I would never even think of once after I finish my exams. In fact most subjects are ones that I wouldn’t even be seeing for the rest of my life. So how can I justify wasting my time doing something that I wouldn’t need?
So I had a decision to make. I could either go on mugging, cramming and scribbling for exams like 99.9% people do or I could try something new. And I was never the guy who liked doing something what most people do. It’s like Sebastian Thrun said, “I had a red pill and a blue pill. I could take the blue pill and go back to mugging and scribbling pretending that nothing happened. But I took the red pill, and I have seen Wonderland.” (edited to suit my context)
Peace out \m/