Firstly I forgot to write a review of the passing 2022, if not accidentally, to avoid reflecting on the mess in the last month. December 2022 can be seen as a terrible mixture of COVID19 infection, rushing publication of paper while having a fever, rushing planning of SRS, and meaningless time-killing behaviors as my ADHD got worse. Then pointee reminded me to write some review of the past year, and after I checked my 2021 record, I think it’s still necessary to have a record. Especially when in last September I wiped my phone with all my photos(~30k in total since 2019), and now I’ve forgotten what I was doing in the last term.
The first term of my sophomore year went well, I got several A+ in CS courses. And the winter vacation was fairly boring as the restriction of touring(due to COVID19) was tight then, I spent a whole month at home, gaming, coding, cooking and doing things too trivial to remember. In the second and last semester on campus, I had much fewer courses and seemingly less stress. But the application for research in summer vacation really burned me up. I sent several emails to MSRA(Microsoft Research Asia) and potential mentors abroad but got only a few responses, and the most exhausting part was, for each application I spent hours filtering related papers, browsing related news of potential mentors, getting in touch with their students to have an overview of their teams, in vain. And consequently, my schedule was also messed up by these applications, resulting in many deadlines for coursework to catch up. After 2 weeks of futile trials, I gave up and put my focus on courses again, and saved my scores in time.
But later I realized something went wrong with my productivity. I easily got bored and distracted from what I was doing, and it was getting harder to start another plan. Luckily I found these symptoms matched ADHD, which I occasionally knew from a friend, and I decided to go to the doctor once the term ended. And my worries went real. What’s worse, I was preparing for GRE in a single month and this made it a harder struggle. I believe I can call July a dramatic month. With intensive gaming of Terraria, hasty preparation for the GRE, and the help of a doctor, everything went out well.
A fun episode was left out in my last term. When I was frustrated with the summer vacation research application, I got an opportunity to be introduced to MSRA by my friend in LUG. Giving all the futile attempts before, the interview went surprisingly smoothly. So I got a place in MICROSOFT in my last year at USTC, and I never dreamed about it. So after GRE I went to Beijing and started the internship.
I was despaired of research due to my experience in the BDAA lab at USTC. Back then I was assigned basic work of Named Entity Recognition, and I was told to train on test data when the result was not satisfying enough. Besides, I was not sure which topic I had enough interest and persistence to dive in, with only vague biases towards Operating Systems, Networking Systems and Algorithms. Deciding on my career seemed to be too early in my undergraduate time. So working in MSRA was a trial to pick up research jobs for me, and I was assigned to a team in the System Research Group researching databases, which I had never thought of.
Then I spent the latter months in MSRA. After being familiar with the topic and recent work, getting used to the relaxing working environment(usually I work for 6h every day) and my mentor’s sharp(but harsh) comment, I found research was not a pretty bad choice (Although having an idea to work on still drove me crazy). But when I’m reflecting on these days, I’m still not satisfied with my time management, as I put off my studying plan and filled my spare time with gaming.
The record part ends here because I don’t want to turn this review into a journal. Compared to 2021, I walked out from dysphoria of gender but went into the trouble of procrastination. The influence of the latter one on my life was drastic, and I’m still struggling against it. I hope I can be brave enough to win this fight. And 2023 is surely more challenging as I’m experiencing SRS, completing my thesis and studying abroad alone. But that is what makes it attractive, isn’t it?
Best wishes, and HAPPY NEW YEAR 🎉!