Balance is your friend

Hi, I am a computer engineering major and I have no idea what to do and where I am going but that is okay. I think it is important, once in a while, to recognize that most of us do not know their future after graduation or even just a quarter. But this doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path or everything is going to crumble down. You just need to broaden your horizons and do things that you think are fun and interesting with people who are fun and interesting. Research and school organizations are a start but there are so much more. It is always good to keep moving forward and but pace yourself; the latter is especially important and I’ll tell you why.

For me, ‘moving forward’ is keeping myself busy with school and extracurricular activities. I have experienced so many summers and quarters without a purpose or relevant work to do unless you count delivering food for pocket money. I had already planned to pursue a five-year master’s program at UCSB but did not know whether I wanted to emphasize in computer science or electrical engineering. This summer was the summer for me to choose because I have research in photonics and an internship in web development as a sort of a sample plate for my academic career. Little did I know how much work it would entail as well as the level of commitment I signed up for. Every weekday of my schedule is filled with my internship in the morning and research in the afternoon. The balancing work is really important in situations like this so I organized my calendar accordingly but it is still hectic.

I find myself barely keeping up but this experience has not been filled with regrets. Even though there is a lot to handle, I enjoy both responsibilities but with much more care to each of them respectfully. I underestimated the level of commitment and work for both and paid for it dearly with my free time. The desire to accomplish a lot is good but the ability to understand your ambitions and gauge it with your capabilities is much more important if you plan on sleeping.

Franklin Tang

Franklin is an incoming third year computer engineering major who is using his undergraduate research opportunity to choose an academic career path to pursue graduate school.