As my first year in college comes close to an end, I thought about some of the things I have accomplished so far and the many more things I would like to accomplish. Here is a simple reflection post on what I am thinking about.
I should (have) become more active on campus There are so many opportunities for personal growth on UC's campus that I haven't taken advantage of. Although I tried to go to student org meetings in the beginning of the year, especially for ACM, ACM-W, WiT, SWE, IEEE, etc., I quickly stopped going. Some of that was due to increasing workload in my classes but I also missed the chance to connect with so many amazing seniors who are going to graduate soon. I'm starting to connect with them now, but to think that I could have gotten to learn more from them if I had known them earlier makes me feel like I could have done better. With every event I attend (RevolutionUC, WiT's trip to WeCode Harvard), I feel a greater sense of community as well.
Goals for next semester: Get involved! Try to get a leadership position! Go to events!
My WeCode experience In late February, I attended the WeCode Harvard conference hosted by female computer science students at, you guessed it, Harvard University. There were some great speakers by women leaders in the industry and good workshops. But what I learned the most was the importance of networking. The amount of information you can learn in one weekend is pretty limited, but the connections you make with people can last a long time and go a long way. I ended up making some new friends who I could connect with in ways I couldn't before. I don't have many female coder friends so I am glad I got the opportunity to connect with some great gals.
Goals: Attend Grace Hopper 2019!
What can I do to help CS become more 50/50? It's almost been two years since I received a Certificate of Distinction from the National Center for Women & Information Technology. One of the things I emphasized in my essay for the Award in Aspirations was my goal to spread knowledge about the field of computer science and technology to young women who may not have the opportunity to learn about it because of stereotypes/lack of resources. It was amazing going to WeCode Harvard and seeing so many other women like me! What can I do to help girls in elementary/middle/high school lean towards tech?
Goals for next semester: Think about ways to spread knowledge/ implement a program!
College is not just about good grades As someone who has always valued getting good grades and having a high GPA, I have to remember that in the real world, we're not always defined by numbers (except for our credit scores). The things we experience, the challenges we face, the opportunities we receive dictate what we do with our lives. And although this may sound like a repeat of #1, taking advantage of the resources around me is something I need to do. In a field like computer science, a 4.0 doesn't mean anything if you can't problem solve and improve a process/program. If you can do both, that's great, but it's not always realistic.
Goals: Be well rounded! Don't think that trying to get good grades is all I need to do!