College So Far

Jesse Chen ‚ÄĘ October 1, 2010 ‚ÄĘ 3 min read


My name is Jesse Chen, and I am a third year student here at UC Berkeley studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.#

Sometimes, I have to say that in my head repeatedly to convince myself of my existence in this world.  As one of the many hundreds of students studying EECS here at UC Berkeley, it makes me think about where each and every one of us will be.  Truthfully, I feel like there is very little that separates a person from another.  As an EECS major, there are probably true generalizations that one can make.  For example: probably Asian, below average hygiene, spends majority of life staring at a LCD screen, enjoys working with computers and likes video games.  Right?  These generalizations bunch us into a single group, and it is very hard to stick out and be someone unique and different.  I feel like that is one of my challenges here while I'm in college, which is to try to find who I really am.  But not only that, I want to be different from my peers, I'm not going to be another cookie-cutter EECS major who just came fresh out of the UC Berkeley oven.

There are much more talented students out there in EECS than me, it is undeniable and I am happy to be at a university that promotes intellectual curiosity and academic success than a university that doesn't.  It inspires me to do better as well, but at the same time, sometimes you get that sunken feeling that no matter how hard you try, you just can't be as good as some people.  As if their intelligence is a natural trait that you somehow did not receive when you were born and there is no way to reach the same level as some of your peers.  To this day, I still think about it - if this natural tendency for someone to do better academically than another is a hard-coded trait that can't be changed, or if it is because their priorities are different from yours.  I can say that with me balancing school, work, long-distance girlfriend, basketball/video games at the same time is a respectable challenge.  However, against someone who does not have as much priorities, perhaps they do better at school because they do not have as much things to worry about?  Maybe it is because they are more productive with their time.

As a third year, I am among the ranks of my peers who are seeking for internships this summer to gain work experience and for the possibility of joining a company right after graduation.  Job recruiters are going to be looking among hundreds of candidates, people who are just like me.  Who will they select for the next round of interviews and who to eliminate?  Each of us are all trying to separate themselves from the stereotypical model of an UC Berkeley EECS student, trying to be unique and different to look more appealing.   My questions, to myself, are: How are you different from the other people trying to get the same internships?  What makes you any better than the other candidates?  Why should they hire you?

Time to think real hard about that - internship seeking time is now.

¬© 2021, Jesse Chen ‚ÄĘ 129489e