Monday, January 30, 2012

Finding your "Aha" moment

When I first started programming, I was enthralled by that oh so satisfying “aha!” moment that came with solving a complicated bit of programming. Early on I discovered that programming pairs problem solving and creativity, both of which appealed to me. A few years down the road and a few higher level Computer Science classes later, I discovered that Computer Science is so much more than just an interest or hobby. Computer Science comprises the most imaginative ideas from the heart of mathematics, and uses such as a foundation to build systems that surely were not the intentions of mathematicians.

Whether you are coming to Penn and joining our Computer Science family, or any of the other great majors we have to offer, it is important to find your own "aha" moment. I know when I was a senior in high school deciding both which college to attend, and what to major in once I got there, I couldn't have felt more lost. But fear not my friends, sometimes you just have to trust that things happen for a reason. A considerable fraction of both the Engineering school and the rest of Penn is Undecided majors. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with you, or that you're not interested in anything. It just means you haven't stumbled upon your passion yet. Penn is the place to find it- you will get inspired by your peers, your professors, and sometimes even the dining hall ladies ;)

But in all seriousness, I was once that high schooler who freaked out over decisions, and wanted to tackle a problem right when I got it. Sooner or later, you'll discover that life is full of outside forces that you can't control, so all anyone can ever ask of you is to do your best. Best of luck on your college careers, and we hope to see you here at Penn Engineering!

Written by Sandy, junior in Computer Science.  Questions for Sandy? e-mail us at

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