This year, I was actually experimenting and proved my arrogant mistakes at a great cost, completely overturning my confidence of the past 18 years.

I am in pain.

I want to change.

In fact, I didn't do anything in the past year. I just kept proving with my actions that I am not a genius, nor a special person. Without effort, I would achieve nothing, or even worse.

I regret it.

I even wanted to blame all of this on my upbringing, my ethnicity, my country, our culture, our entire East Asia, until I convinced myself that the whole world was wrong.

Am I satisfied now?

No, I am even more in pain.

A mentality that I cannot change has come upon me. I have lost hope in our society. I feel that our economy, culture, and thoughts are all collapsing, beyond repair.

Is this reality? I don't know, because I have never experienced it. I am just listening to others. I empathize with their pain, their complaints about the declining economy, constant wars, 996 work culture, lack of holidays, unemployment, chaos, ideological conflicts, and I have never experienced any of these.

What did I do this year? Let me recall.

With a curious and fearless mindset, I entered university. A month of military training didn't bring me anything, and in the end, no one even knew if I was a boy or a girl. I didn't make any friends, but I remember watching movies at night, which was nice, and I had a good mindset.

During the National Day holiday, classes started. I was quite active in listening, speaking, and reading classes. I answered questions in the computer introduction class, applied to be a class representative in calculus, and applied to be a class representative in physics. Actually, I wasn't very inferior at that time. I thought everything was fine because I was numb. Was I a boy or a girl at that time? I didn't know, maybe leaning towards being a girl. I didn't like sitting in the front row or chatting with teachers during class.

Then, classes started normally. It seemed like I didn't learn anything. I copied my homework and didn't prepare anything. I thought I was amazing. I seemed to be playing with my phone during class.

One day, I felt that I shouldn't continue like this, so I downloaded online courses. I started learning calculus, linear algebra, and collected a bunch of courses. Oh, I also learned a bit of C, and I watched an English course on data structures and algorithms at that time. These experiences were quite good, although I didn't learn anything from all of them. Maybe I learned a little from online courses?

The quizzes and mid-term exams were all terrible. From that moment, I started feeling uncomfortable. I was already confused. I hadn't learned anything or experienced anything in the first few months of school, and it was completely different from what I had imagined in high school.

Then I downloaded "牛客" (a Chinese online coding platform). I became addicted to it and looked at it every day. What could I understand? I only understood one thing: it's hard to find a job. So I decided to go all-in on Java in my sophomore year and dream of earning 30,000 RMB per month after graduation. Later, I stumbled upon a person while browsing Zhihu (a Chinese question-and-answer website), and I read a lot of his experiences. I was envious. I went crazy and wanted to make money, to live a financially free life. My mind was completely lost. I had no idea what to do. My life was completely chaotic. I didn't even want to go to class because everyone said that what the teachers taught was useless, and I also thought so. But I didn't even attend the classes, and no one told me that the major allocation was based on the final grades of the first semester. Why? This was the worst move I made in my life. From the end of the final exams, my only wish was not to fail any courses. My freshman year was already a complete mess.

I learned how to truly bypass the Great Firewall and saw the "交大生存手册" (a survival guide for students at a top Chinese university) and "CSDIY" (a Chinese online coding community). I went crazy and started blaming my teachers, my university, my country. I thought they were not worthy of me. I believed I was a genius, and I wanted to go abroad. Foreign universities would definitely recognize that I am a genius, right?

I completely stopped attending classes and stopped learning anything. I imagined myself completing all those excellent open courses and easily gaining the respect of everyone. Those who looked down on me would have to change their perspective. It's ridiculous that I didn't take any action. I spent every day in delusion, and now I can't even remember what I did back then. I should have been on the verge of a mental breakdown.

Until the threat of failing courses in the first semester of my sophomore year, I started regretting why I didn't study hard. I only imagined all those excellent courses, but I didn't actually take any action. I started feeling depressed, and I didn't want to go to class anymore. Violent tendencies started to appear. I started insulting myself, self-harming, torturing myself, while still believing that I was a genius. "When I create a GitHub project with tens of thousands of stars, they will all recognize me as a genius."

After the exams, it was time for the winter break. I have a good habit of self-reflection.

During the winter break, I started thinking. Without a doubt, this semester was a failure for me. I didn't learn anything, didn't play games, didn't go out, didn't read extracurricular books, and didn't participate in many club activities (except for attending a lecture and making a lantern).

I decided to change myself. I opened "CSDIY" again and looked for courses that I could learn. Now it seems that I should start with CS61A, calculus, and linear algebra. I can only start from the basics because I skipped them in my freshman year, thinking they were useless. Now it's clear that it was a complete mistake. I am not a complete beginner now, and I am not as confused as I was during the winter break. At the same time, I plan to give up writing articles on Zhihu (which I haven't done for three months) and start writing on my personal blog instead.

This article was written on July 5, 2024, at 15:33.

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