Tomorrow is the start of my fourth semester at UT Austin. I am registered for six classes and one pass/fail seminar right now.

  1. BME 113L: Intro to Numerical Methods (MATLAB)
  2. BME 335: Engineering Probability & Statistics
  3. BME 344: Biomechanics
  4. CS 363D: Intro to Data Mining
  5. CS 371P: Object-Oriented Programming
  6. JPN 601D: Japanese I
  7. NSC 110H: Natural Sciences Honors Seminar


I hesitate to say that I am looking forward to going back to school because of a couple reasons.

  1. Waking up at 8 am. I probably ruined my sleep schedule over the break because I always turned off the alarm that I set at 8 am and continued to sleep until 11 am.
  2. Dealing with the stress of school. Unavoidable.

Overall though, I am excited to learn a lot in my classes this semester. I am mainly excited about the following classes.

  1. BME 335. I took SDS 321 (Introduction to Probability & Statistics) to satisfy a requirement for my CS degree, and I was initially hoping to get credit for BME 335 through that class. However, the professor, who is actually the PI of the lab in which I work, advised me to still take the class. At first I was somewhat irritated because I have to handle six classes instead of five, but now I am actually glad for this because I will finally be able to properly learn the content. (My SDS 321 professor was not the best.)
  2. CS 363D & CS 371P. My first two CS electives!
  3. JPN 601D. I enrolled in a Japanese class at my community college in the summer before my junior year of high school, but it was canceled. I have had the workbook/lab manual tucked in a small space between my desk and bed ever since then, and now I get to finally use it!

And here are my goals for this semester. (This is not an exhaustive list.)

  1. Don’t skip class. Ever. I know some people who can strategically figure out which lectures and discussion sections are beneficial to them, but for me, skipping class is just a slippery slope. Once I accidentally skip one, I end up thinking that it is fine to skip more. Terrible, I know.
  2. Go to office hours. During my first two semester, I avoided my professors when I was not doing as well as I wanted to in their classes. Last semester I just simply did not interact with them. Hopefully this semester I can use the brains of my professors and TAs to my advantage.
  3. Use my planner. Last semester I just kept all due dates in my head, and I scheduled when I would start things in my head. This mostly worked except for the few times when I forgot things. Hopefully this super cute planner that I picked up at Barnes & Noble for a little less than $4 (50% off all planners, 10% membership discount, and 20% coupon) will encourage me to achieve this goal.
  4. Start all computer science projects the day that I find out about them. I have procrastinated on almost all of my computer science projects throughout the past three semesters, and it made them all incredibly stressful and unenjoyable.
  5. Make it back to my apartment by midnight. Not only is it not exactly safe to be walking back to my apartment alone at ungodly hours, but I also have a new computer monitor at my apartment that will be nice to use!
  6. Know where I stand in my classes. Although slightly more stressful than just keeping on thinking that I can make an A in a class, knowing where I stand in my classes really helps me focus on what I need to do to get to an attainable place that I want to be. This isn’t to say that I need to pester my professors and TAs about grades all the time - just use what is available to me to know how I am doing.
  7. Make time for research. You get what you put in; I feel like I have not been making any significant progress on my research because I do not dedicate enough time to it.
  8. Allow myself to take breaks from work. (At this point, this basically means watch shows.) Don’t get me wrong; I did not spend every waking hour working on schoolwork in the past three semesters. In fact, it was probably quite the opposite during my first semester, when I chose watching shows instead of studying for finals. This past semester, I basically cut out all shows. I ended up feeling caught in an endless cycle of work, work, and more work, and I would often end up getting frustrated and spending hours until bedtime randomly surfing the Internet. The current goal is about a 45-minute episode per day with obvious exceptions when it’s crunch time.
  9. Don’t add any more shows to my list. I am going to keep watching the shows that are still on-going, but once those shows eventually get canceled, I am going to turn my attention to other more rewarding activities - to be revealed.
  10. Spend time with friends. (More milk tea?) I kind of disappeared off the face of the earth last semester, oops.
  11. Eat healthier. Home-cooked meals are probably a good idea for this goal as well as for my wallet.
  12. Exercise. I love running, not that I’m particularly good at it or anything. I hope to one day be able to run a marathon in a decent amount of time. It is going to take a while to get to that level....

Obviously I really like lists. Also, I promise that not all of my posts will be about school; I am not that boring, I think.