Starting Junior Year

My time at the EPFL has sadly come to an end, and now I'm back in Pittsburgh to start my Junior year. My flight back home was mostly uneventful, aside from nearly being detained at the Swiss border, almost leaving my American passport with the lady at the airport gate, and being stuck on the tarmac in Chicago for about an hour. I made it back to Pittsburgh in one piece, and I've been recovering from jetlag for the past two days. Still haven't quite gotten the hang of it, I know this because I woke up at 6:30 this morning and have had nothing to do, which is why I'm writing this blog post right now.

I think I enjoyed my time at the EPFL, although it was a fairly uneventful summer. I went to Provence, Paris, and Calabria, and had a fun time during my trips. But Switzerland was honestly a really quiet place. I had friends while I was there, but it still felt like I found myself alone a lot, and didn't really have anything to do. That said, the views were amazing and the trains were on time, so there were upsides. But ultimately I'm glad to be with my friends again.

This semester is probably going to be my hardest semester at CMU. I'm taking 15-251 ("Great Theoretical Ideas in Computer Science"), which is a notoriously hard class that every computer science major here must endure. I'm worried about it, but I think I'd be more worried if I wasn't accepted into the school already. In addition to this, I'm a TA for the systems class I took last semester (15-213, "Introduction to Computer Systems"), and I'm really looking forward to it, though I know it's going to take up a lot of my time. Hopefully I'll have gotten so good at debugging C by the end of the semester that I'll consider it a good learning experience.

I'm also the president of my fraternity for another semester, and I'm kind of bummed that I wasn't able to help them out during orientation week here, since I was still in Switzerland. I'm expecting recruitment to be a really big time suck, but I think that we're ready at this point to work together for it. All in all, a lot of things are going to add up this semester to make it really difficult. I'm happy to see my friends again, but I'm nervous to see how this is going to unfold. At least by the end of the semester I can look back and say that the hardest part of my undergraduate career is over.

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