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Grown ups

I haven’t posted anything to my Tumblr blog in 649 days, but in that time I’ve gained maybe 50 new followers, and they’re all strangers. I don’t think any of them are bots either. They found a link on my homepage and maybe they decided I would some day post something again. Sometimes, I click on their profile picture and check out their Tumblr blogs too. I open up web inspector and grab the URL of their avatar thumbnail, and then I change the _128 suffix to _512, because I knew that Tumblr offered avatar thumbnails with sizes in powers of 2, between 32 and 512. And then I remembered that a few years ago I built a tool to uncover Tumblr avatars and put it on RogerHub, and suddenly it feels kind of creepy checking out 512px thumbnails of strangers’ avatars, because most of them probably don’t know avatar thumbnails go up to that size.

It’s summer now, and it has been half a year since I wrote anything here on RogerHub, so I suppose I owe you an update about what’s new with me1. I feel more clumsy with words than I felt in high school, which was when I wrote new posts on this blog every week or so. It’s a side effect of sitting in a chair at work every day with my earbuds in my ears and having very little conversation with other actual people. Even when I talk during the workday, the talking is usually about computer stuff, which doesn’t help with normal talking that much. There was a time last Summer break when I felt like I had gotten really terrible at Scrabble, because all of the words that I thought of were computer words or acronyms that didn’t count as legal words. I might have told you about that already, sorry.

Working an internship has its pros and cons. The company really spoils its interns, and when I get home, I don’t have any homework. This opens up my schedule to cook more2 and also to go hang out with my friends. I don’t have to spend time in the nasty parts of Berkeley. I can read my Kindle a little bit more, and I can focus on my health.

On the other hand, I miss school and TA’ing for my class. I miss when all the projects were easy and understandable and written terribly. I miss using my own laptop and spending time on my personal data backup system and my text editor configuration3. I miss coming home to roommates that I actually talk to, and I miss living in walking distance of a lot of people.

Hm, so far, it seems like I’m just whining about missing a whole bunch of things. I suppose there are other cons to working an internship too.

I have to share my room with another person, but it’s not terrible. My roommate is cool, and I already sort of knew him from Berkeley. The internet speed sucks, and the connection is kind of unreliable. I don’t have space to set up all my tech, and I don’t feel that comfortable ordering stuff online here. The internship comes with its own kind of stress, because I want to do a good job and feel competent, but it’s not easy. I doze off sometimes, because I’m used to working for myself, not somebody else. It was always stuff for RogerHub or building out cool infrastructural stuff I wanted to have. Even when I was working on things for students and grading, it felt like working for myself. I have trouble seeing the big picture of what I’m contributing to.

I guess all these cons aren’t hard to fix. I can make new friends, and I can try to relax more at work. There isn’t much I can do about the internet speed, but I’ll just have to learn to live with that. Maybe I just need an actual vacation.

One thing I can’t stop thinking about is the possibility that right now, I’m just hanging on until the semester starts again. If that’s true, then in 1 year’s time, I’ll be in this same position again (minus some of the intern perks), but without that reassurance that in less than two months, everything will be back to the way it was. The start of the semester means people will come back together in Berkeley again. It’s not like doing fun student things was so much better than doing internship things. Objectively, there is a lot of crap that students have to do that isn’t fun at all. I have to sit through humanities classes that put me to sleep, and I have to do CS projects, even if I don’t feel like they’re interesting or educational. Once you’re an adult, you get to cut a lot of the bullshit that kids have to deal with, because you always get a choice, and nobody can make you sit through something so boring that it puts you to sleep4. Also, it isn’t like I see my friends every day, or even every week, when I’m at school. There’s some people I haven’t seen all semester long, so why is not-seeing-them at school better than not-seeing-them in this corporate-provided San Francisco apartment?

I’m kind of disappointed at the percentage of adults that seem to be excited for the next day, every night, compared to the percentage of my school friends do. Why is it so hard to keep friends and not be sad when you’re an adult? I wish I had my calendar and to-do list back by my side, and I wish I actually had stuff to put on them. Sorry to end with something sad, but being an adult sounds like it totally sucks.

  1. It’s not like you can find out via Facebook or anything.
  2. I have been making breakfast almost every morning for the last five weeks, and on the weekends, I make all three meals for myself. There’s a Safeway across the street.
  3. I can do this at work actually.
  4. Ok, I guess your boss can threaten to fire you, but you have a choice to get a new job.

1 CommentPost a Comment

Austin
Mon Aug 17 2015 06:19:14 +0000

I can relate to a lot of this. Being surrounded by people your age, knowing that you can crash a friend's room in minutes if not seconds… there's a lot I'll miss from the college scene.

I don't want to be stuck solving somebody else's problems which I just don't find that interesting. It's so tempting, though, when they offer so much money and reputation. A lot of people seem to end up putting in hours into something or other they don't really care about and live for the free time in between. The thought of spending the rest of my life like that scares me.

Also what happened to ryc.li? =)

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Thu Feb 09 2017 05:06:17 +0000