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Arly's Life - A Three Year Retrospective

Written by Arladerus on September 15, 2015
Hello everyone. I felt like writing about the state of my life so far. Not so much for the sake of sharing, but perhaps simply for myself. For the sake of putting this down somewhere. I don't own a journal, so naturally it would be a blog post. Anyway, I digress. I initially planned on talking about different aspects of my life separately, but halfway through the first paragraph I've decided that I want to proceed chronologically instead. Let's get started.

So I began university in September 2012. Holy hot damn, it feels like yesterday when I first got settled into my room that first day, peering out the window of my little room where my desk was at the clear blue sky and green leafy trees swaying in the wind. I was starting a new chapter in my life. I was done with high school, and I was excited! I remember how I was excited yet scared about frosh week, afraid of being socially awkward. It turned out okay--I tried my best to not be self conscious and had quite a bit of fun. I also ran into an old classmate that I had in grades 4 and 5 who I still see and speak to every now and then, so that was pretty interesting.

My first year was pretty nice. Many of my friends from high school (actually, many of them from elementary school) went to Waterloo, and we hung out all the time. Also, I was living with two of them whom I would play video games with (League, other LAN games). Unfortunately, I picked my Co-op sequence too late so I was forced to either take Spring 2013 off (and waste 4 months in my opinion), or do a third study term in a row. The choice was obvious. It would be absolutely immature of me to delay my graduation just so I could be with my friends at school. I can do this.

It was hard. I was lonely. I've never felt so lonely in my entire life. During the previous two terms, going back home for a weekend would feel a bit like a hassle because I didn't like the commute. During this term, going back home was hard because I would get depressed when I had to go back. I reached out to a few people that made life a little bit easier during that time. I found out that the girl who I met again during frosh week was also in Waterloo for the Spring term, and I attended weekly rehearsals for the Warriors Band because of her. I played flute in high school, and it was very comforting to be able to play again. I never actually went to any of their performances (playing at games). It was also during this period of loneliness that I met David in person for the first time. Sometimes I ask myself, “Would I have ever met David in person had I not felt so lonely?” I'm not sure. I guess it doesn't really matter. My mental state was also reflected in my marks. It was the worst term in my academic career (so far). As a side note, respect classical studies. They are not birdy at all. Holy shit.

Fall 2013, I got my first Co-op job. I was working as a QA Analyst for a relatively small company. They weren't large, but they had their niche with manufacturing companies. Nothing too special here, learned a little bit about automated testing, Git, and SQL databases. Oh, and I spent a couple days studying a relearning my first year physics course so I could write the final exam I missed one year previously (oops). I did well--it felt pretty damn great.

I was back to school in January for the Winter 2014 term. (At this point, I'm doing my 2B term, essentially the second half of my second year.) I was subletting in my friend's room. While I was working in the previous term, my friends were in school and found 6-room apartment so they could all live together. I was excited learn that one of them was staying in Waterloo for their Co-op, which is why I decided to sublet from my friend. I figured it was worth it to live a little further and a less nice place if it meant I wouldn't have to face loneliness again. However, it turned to be a bust. He recently began a relationship (they're still together today) which meant he spent a lot of time with her, either out of the apartment or with her in their room. In either case, I didn't see him much. About twice a week, I sat with him in the stairwell of the university library, where he worked, and had lunch with him (actually sat with him while he ate his lunch, I would eat just before). It was around the end of this term when I felt like he didn't value our friendship as much as I did. In response, I pulled back and we were no longer close.

This time around wasn't nearly as depressing as the last time, however. It was during this time that I grew closer to one of my friends I knew since grade 7. We would Skype call in the evening and sometimes we would be on call until 3 in the morning (I didn't have class on Tuesday or Thursday that term). I don't even remember what we spoke about; probably almost all of it was inconsequential. But it wasn't all laughter and chatter. Rather, there would be extended durations of silence where we could just hear the crackle of each other's microphones. It was comforting, and best of all, not lonely.

In the following term, Spring 2014, I was on Co-op again. I was working for a small startup company performing analytics for their mobile app. Essentially, I would look at player trends and try to optimize the game in terms of fun and monetary performance. It was also during this time where I finally made my first university friend (holy shit, I was going into third year at this point. I suck). He was the other Co-op at this small startup with me, also from Waterloo. At the time, he was in a really unhealthy relationship. He loved her, but she didn't love him. He wanted a long term relationship, she thought she wanted that too. They both deluded themselves into thinking that she could change, that she could become what he wanted, that she could become what she thought she wanted. They broke up. I did my best to help him through it.

Fall 2014 was pretty uneventful. I was living in a house with my new friend and his friends. The house was horribly dirty when we moved in, but we got the landlady to hire a cleaner on the first day we moved in. I was pretty happy about the arrangement since I could feel comfortable telling people to clear the sink and wash their dishes. The only crappy things were the fact that the router was pretty shitty and couldn't handle a high bandwidth load, and the fact that there was a person living in the basement who smoked in their room, and the smoke would crawl up the vents into my room. I ended up having to cover my vent with a box of apple juice on top of a plastic bag. However, the people I lived with didn't like the house, and the landlady was kind enough to let us terminate the lease prematurely. I feel like I'm the only one who acknowledges that the landlady did us a favour.

In January of this year (2015), I began my third Co-op, finally as a developer. I was working at a medium sized (~60 people) company that created Facebook and mobile games. It was great there. I started off by getting a bunch of swag (messenger bag, water bottle, hoodie), was presented with my own giant-ass Apple monitor and Macbook Pro. No, I didn't get to keep it. I learned a bunch of technology that helped me land the job I'm currently at, those being Ruby on Rails, Angular JavaScript, and a bit of test-driven development. The work culture and environment was amazing. Since it was a game company, nearly everybody played video games of some sort. In fact, after I left (damn it!), they had group after-work League custom 5v5 games. They provided lunch every Monday to Thursday from different food places around downtown Toronto. They had a snack room with cookies, chips, chocolate, and other miscellaneous candy. It was really fun.

It was also during this term that I recently got back in touch with a girl I knew back from high school who was two grades below me. I sat beside her in concert band for two years, and we were also in flute choir together. She was also in show choir. Sometimes I regret not joining that. It seemed like a lot of fun. I wish I wasn't so shy back then. I'm getting better in that regard. Once again, I digress.

I saw her again at a reunion for the old flute choir. Apparently nowadays there aren't enough flutes for it to exist, so it's transformed into a woodwind ensemble. Funny how things work out. I ended up asking her out after asking her about another person she was flirting with. We became official in mid-March. I started spending a lot of time with her, out of the house. This was new to my parents, and they gave me a lot of shit and trouble during April when I was still living at home. It wasn't pleasant. It affected both of us. I think it affected her harder than me. I feel pretty shit about that.

May came, and school started again. It was a bittersweet month. I could no longer see her as often since we were in different cities. However, she came over to Waterloo and stayed over on three different occasions, for several days at a time. I was very happy about that. In fact, I probably ended up seeing her more in May than in April. However, the bittersweetness was the fact that the rest of her summer was extremely stacked. The first week of June, she was leaving to a music camp. Immediately after, she was to be in China for three weeks. After coming back, she was to be in another city three hours away from me until mid-August. I tried my best to not think about this when I was with her, as to not ruin the time we did have.

School-wise was pretty fun. I finally took my main CS courses: algorithms and operating systems. I was actually supposed to take them in the previous study term, but I messed up my prerequisites. I was happy to finally be on track again, no longer behind in my courses. I ended up doing very well in algorithms, but I wish I did better in operating systems; I didn't do too well on the final exam.

Speaking of the final exam, due to some unexpected events, my significant other was able to leave her job earlier than scheduled. She stayed with me in Waterloo for 10 days. It was really fun. It was nice to be able to wake up next to her every morning (even though the bed was a twin size, and sharing that was difficult). We both miss it.

We were both free for the last two weeks of August and the first week of September. We spent a lot of time together. It was really fun. Work started for me last Tuesday. I'm working at another software company in Software Engineering using similar technology as in my last job (so far doing a lot of Ruby on Rails). School started for her yesterday. She's started to get stressed out by school stuff but I'm personally not worried about her--she's smart, passionate, and puts in a ton of effort. I really respect her for that.

So that's up to today. That's how my life has been for the past three years. Thanks for reading.

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September 15, 2015
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Wed Sep 16, 2015 07:36 AM +

Nice to know I'm the bottom line.

Thanks man.

10/10 blog though.

Thu Sep 17, 2015 01:48 AM +

I love you David

Wed Sep 23, 2015 08:19 AM +

Sounds like you got your ducks in a row. Gettin' grades, gettin' paid, gettin' laid.

Wed Sep 23, 2015 08:19 AM +

Why da fuck ain't avatars working??!


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