So, I finally made it out here for a summer. This summer I had the awesome chance to work for Path, and be a part of the Kleiner Perkins Engineering Fellowship. I learned more about myself than I ever would have expected to. This summer was one of many firsts for me. It was the first time I had ever traveled alone. It was the first time I was fully responsible for myself financially, emotionally, and physically. I loved it. It was my first time living in the heart of city. (It was the first time for many other things as well such as eating octopus and seaweed salad…)
There is no better way to learn your true beliefs, thoughts, and values than to force yourself into a completely new environment surrounded by strange people you have never met. When you have no outside forces acting upon you or telling you what to do. (i.e. family or parents or friends) you have the freedom to make up your own mind. This is an awesome and incredibly powerful thing. You have the freedom to do nothing all day, or you have the freedom to do something that is amazing and useful.
I used this summer to learn, grow, and learn more about who I am. This happened through exploring the awesome city of San Francisco and California in general, spending time with tons of friends who visited and live out here, and spending time walking and thinking. I have found a deep motivation to be as successful as the people I had a chance to meet this summer, and as a result my relationships with friends, family, and my girlfriend have matured. I have a more developed perspective on the work I do, and education. I value learning from people who really, really know what they are doing. At the same time, I have learned to not waste time being annoyed or bothered by people who are out to bring you down, or lie about their true beliefs and abilities.
More than anything else, I have learned you have the complete ability to build the kind of life you want to have. Just because you were born into a horrible background, or were raised in certain way should mean nothing. While it may impact your opinions, you are just as influential on life as those who had a privileged background or powerful parents. Build the life you want, and form the relationships and friendships you want. You can make things work they way you want them to with the right effort and focus.
Keep things in perspective. Coming out here has also taught me this. Certain things that may seem really important one day really aren’t. Others, which may seem useless now, are critical later on. I am still figuring out all of these things, but I can say I learned a ton of them and the difference between the two this summer.
I have learned to value “down time.” Having time to just reflect and think is CRITICAL. Without it, you forget how much value things have. You lose sight of valuable friendships, incredible experiences, and huge choices.