Some years have had really big moments. Moments that hugely influenced my life, for better or worse, and suddenly changed who I am and how I see the world. Leaving a school that I hated going to for 10 years (2006). My dad’s death (2008). Going to college (2010).
Which brings us to 2011, a year with so many life-changing moments, I barely know where to begin. I’ll attempt to go through this year’s biggest moments and bring you up to speed on how I got to where I am today.
Let’s start at the beginning. January 2011. My friends were awesome and I was halfway through freshman year at my dream school. Life was already pretty good. But the ball hadn’t started rolling yet…
Then I got a bid from the Delta Chi fraternity. Boom. First life-changing moment, and we’re only at the first week of January. To this day, my brothers are always there for me and continue to lead me to new opportunities.
A couple months later, I received an email from a brother letting everyone know about a job opening where he worked. I almost deleted that email. I had enough money saved up that I didn’t really need a job at that point. I figured I could hold out until the summer, where I had already committed to a cashier position at the pool in my hometown. But that little voice inside my head told me to reply to that email, so I did. That decision changed my life more than I will ever know.
Fast forward to May. I’m happily working at a research lab with two of my good friends. The hours are flexible and the work is enjoyable. I quickly become comfortable with the lab and start making new friends. And the ball’s only halfway down the hill.
Late May. I meet someone at work that I don’t recognize. We talk for a few minutes and I find out he used to work in my seat and he was enrolled in the same major as me. Now he’s the CEO of a company he started in college. He offers me summer work at his startup. I hesitantly accept. If only I knew how important how important that decision would become… (Do you sense a reoccurring theme here?)
June. Big milestone right here: I quit my cashier job at my hometown pool and decided to continue working at the research lab and the startup company. Instead if driving 5 minutes to work, I’m on a train 2.5 hours each way. And you know what? It was totally worth it.
September. One day I’m in Mountain View inside the world headquarters of Google and the next day I’m in Palo Alto having breakfast with a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He convinces me to switch my major to computer science. I can’t thank him enough for that. He guided me head-on into my true passion.
November. I get involved with another startup. This time a non-profit.
Which brings me to today. I am now working for a handful of people who are some of the best mentors I could ever ask for. I got my foot in the door in Silicon Valley. I’m now studying my passion. And most importantly, I have friends that help me out as much as I help them.
Now you may notice that quite a few details are missing from this story. Those will be topics for future blog posts. There was just too much awesome packed into one normal-sized year.