Table of contents
Hello, amazing reader I am Sreekar Shodhan I am currently in the final year of my CSE+MBA(Dual Degree) at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad. In this blog, I would love to share my journey, learnings, mistakes from my first year(sophomore) to my final year(will be graduating in 2023 around July).
I was a super nerdy guy since my childhood. My childhood dinner table discussions were something like my father asking me mathematical formulas or multiplication tables and my father(Government school mathematics teacher) used to conduct 2-3 separate mathematics tests after completion of my annual exams every year just to get permission to enjoy my summer holidays!!! Yeah super weird. So, obviously, I was good at math, science, and sleeping in class. Everyone in my family thought I would crack the IIT JEE exam(India's prestigious and toughest engineering entrance exam). But unfortunately, I failed to crack the IIT advance and secured around 70k rank in JEE mains. This has completely shattered my dreams and it was my Life's FIRST REJECTION. Luckily I secured a 3260 rank in the state Engineering entrance exam. So I had a choice to make dropout and prepare for JEE again for 1 year or join whatever college I get from counseling.
First year: Gamer DKrato
Luckily I got into JNTU college which is a government university where fee is very low and it's in the city center most importantly I got into CSE + MBA( dual degree 5-year course). Since my childhood, I never had a laptop or computer. So, in 10th I decided to choose CSE no matter whatever is the output after class 12 because I thought the only way to get a laptop/computer is to become a Computer Science Student and chose MBA because I always used to like marketing ads in TV/radio or billboards. So, even though I didn't get into my dream college I got into an okayish college. But here's the twist the college absolutely failed in meeting my expectations. I completely lost interest in studies after 1 month and I also got a new mobile phone most importantly FREEDOM. So, I started to play Marvel Contest of Champion and PUBG like hell.
After 3 months of consistency in playing pubg, I became better at it and later formed a team of players and aimed for the PUBG college campus tournament. We used to dedicate literally every day 4-6 hours to it. Even took permission from my father to play PUBG for the next 6 months if I don't get selected then will stop playing it. But again unfortunately the team did really bad in the event. Literally didn't even enter the semi-finals. Though we played in multiple scrims, and practice matches we kept on losing. Literally didn't even practice coding. I used to go to lab practice C programming language and that's the only coding touch I had in my first year.
-------------------END OF FIRST YEAR-----------GPA: 7.47,6.94----------------------
Second Year: Addictions & No placements
Finally got my first laptop at the end of the first year. Did I start coding? NO!!! Because I wanted a laptop since my childhood but never even understood the importance of code. BIG MISTAKE!!! I literally used to watch anime, movies, etc that's it.
I fell for false senior advices and bad addictions to look cool. You will get placement last year just by working hard for 3 months(TRUST ME IT'S THE WORST ADVICE IN MY LIFE). I started abusing my body with bad habits and also used to play some games some or the other time. These resulted in a complete change in my attitude in me. I was super arrogant, and angry all the time and I really regret being that kind of person.
But we always have that one person in life who slaps and show us the reality check and corrects our mistake. My roommate is one such person in my life. I failed in the C++ lab because I was watching anime before exam day. In addition to this unfortunately my course got banned in college. Technically my batch is the last batch (CSE+MBA). This means we are not allowed to sit for placements as we don't come under CSE when we reach the final year.
This really broke my heart, already failed an exam now no job. Guess what no one literally told me about off-campus placements. So I thought will figure it out after graduation, lets's chill for some more time.
So, this time I picked the Graphic Designer role. My college department needed a helping hand in graphic designing. I thought anyway I am not going to get placement so let's try graphic designing. I was good at it but not really enjoying and even my laptop gave up at one point. But the good thing I felt was everyone was sharing my posters on their social media timeline, wearing the T-shirt that we designed, and sharing trailers and teasers that we made. That feeling of someone using or sharing my work was kind of satisfying. So I didn't enjoy it much but it gave me a good sense of satisfaction.
Third Year: Realisation & Life-changing disaster
By 2020 march I have done with my editing, college fest, and enjoying my college life. Then came corona everyone got stuck at home, pubg got banned and I realized even I needed to start studying and take my studies seriously. So, first I sat down and wrote all the things/careers I can choose based on my that present skill set. As there were no campus placements for my stream I decided to go for the UPSC exam because that was the alternative I had at that time. Started to learn what is IAS/Civil services and all. I even started reading newspapers daily, made detailed notes, searched toppers' speeches, and added all IAS books to my amazon wishlist.
------------------------------- BUT A SUDDEN DISASTER-------------------------- I had started to develop weird physical changes in my body. Within 2 weeks I gained 20 kgs(almost) and after that doctors confirmed that I had a kidney injury and Minimal Change Disease(MCD). This was a big shock and an eye-opener in my life. I was immediately taken to hospital, continuous tests were going on, the whole week I was just alive on a bed that's it no walking/no watching movies/ nothing. After a week I was discharged and told not to go out at all and prescribed a few tablets by a doctor. This went on for 3 months straight(even now I am on meds). But during that 3-month bed I realized aloooot. Then A friend of mine suggested I not to give up on coding and there were many jobs which are getting created after covid-19.
Impact of right tech influencer/educator and communities:
Around October/September 2021 I was randomly scrolling through youtube and came across kunal kushwaha(Community Classroom founder). He has basically opened my eyes to software development and brought awareness about communities and open-source. Then I started to get back all of my confidence and decided to give myself one last chance at coding.
Fourth year: projects-DSA-accident
Started to learn basic HTML,CSS, and JS from freecodecamp. Started learning java from Kunal's videos. But the 4-1 semester was super hectic and my health was constantly going on and off but still, I didn't give up. I took rest came back and again resumed my coding. I also cam across many amazing discord/student communities like Hackclub hacker bad, Community classroom, EddieHUB, and Sema software.
But again I fell from my Bike and that led to a 2-3 week rest and spike in my kidney infection, took one month off, and again came back to coding. Started developing my college major project Desktop Application with Voice assistance. By the end of July, I completed the project and submitted it and got appreciation from the professor saying probably this is the only project which is completely new and not copied from any online existing project.
Fifth Year: One Final Lap - Leap of Faith
Now currently I am in 5th year(because mine is a 5year degree with CSE+MBA) i.e final year of my college. I am not still completely done with development and Java DSA but still, I am not afraid about anything like placement, off campus, and stuff. Why? Because I have survived that deadly kidney injury and went through mental illness and physically I became completely weak but still I am alive and I believe in open source, and learning in public. I already got approached by a startup saying to if you are interested drop a mail(rejected because of study+health reason) through Twitter. I am currently doing a #100DaysOfCode on Twitter and writing blogs on hashcode and blog contributor in the community classroom. Learning in public improved my coding consistency, Sharing in public improved my confidence in writing, joining in communities removed my fear of FOMO in my career, and Doing open source gave me a confidence boost in collaboration. Now, after 6 months of realization, I am actually way forward than most of my peers in development, soft skills, and collaboration. Though they are good at DSA than me, It's just a matter of time for me to reach that level.
These are the life lessons that I learned in these years:
Never go to extremes, always find a balance between enjoyment and studies
Never too late to code, Consistency is what matters
Don't abuse your physical body, always respect it
What you put inside your body and brain is what you become.
Discipline and consistency will take you to places, not motivation
Everything seems impossible at the start but the real enjoyment is reaching the endpoint and realizing "Hey, I made it!"
Introvert and extrovert is just a mindset. When necessity knocks in everyone become a good speaker/collaborator
Networking is an amazing skill. Ask questions, seek answers, and share knowledge.
Mental health is as important as physical health
Never get comfortable, We grow by getting tested in the uncomfortable zone
A little encouragement will take you to great places. Find a community where you get encouraged for your little efforts.
Always keep learning, experimenting, exploring, and experience stuff in life
GET OUT OF THE DAMNNN TUTORIAL HELL !!!!!!
Thankyou for reading the blog till the end. Will definitely keep on updating about my learnings and career status on twitter(at ShodhanSreekar). Always Keep smiling.Do share your experiences, advices about college/career in the comment section.