In the past 5 years, do you regret it?

Today's topic is regret in the past 5 years. Originally, I planned to talk about the college entrance examination and whether I regret it. But I feel that the time frame is too small, so I will expand it to about five years ago.

Academic or Educational Background#

Five years ago, I was still a high school student in my sophomore year. My high school was a very ordinary one, originally one of the worst high schools in the city. But overnight, it became a key high school. It was called a key high school, but it was far from the level of a key high school, both in terms of facilities and teaching resources. At that time, it felt like getting a high score in the exam but filling in the wrong choices and going to a technical school. After the school became a key high school, we were the first batch, so the school gave us a lot of benefits for various reasons. After all, the new campus had not been built yet, and they couldn't treat us badly. However, by the time I graduated, the new campus had not been completed, and even the next batch of graduates did not use the new campus officially.

In the first and second years of high school, our English teacher was also the homeroom teacher of the next class. His teaching method was really poor. He would occasionally start bragging about his own experiences or how his son was studying at Tsinghua University, etc. He would talk about things unrelated to the curriculum with great enthusiasm. Our English class was beyond saving, and our class ranked second to last in English among all the classes. The next class, which he taught, ranked last. I always thought that I was beyond saving as well. I always failed English and had never really studied it since high school. However, there were many people like me. The turning point came in my senior year when we got a new English teacher. The new English teacher was very young, and her teaching style was completely different from the previous one. She gradually saved our English. She didn't assign a lot of homework or teach in a rigid manner. In short, the classroom was no longer lifeless, and she would occasionally show us American TV shows. She had a good personality and didn't give off the same superior feeling as the previous English teacher. (The previous English teacher once had a scene of "scolding a female student" during a self-study session, which showed that he was a "wizard of flattery"). After the last elective exam, only Chinese, math, and English were left. English was interspersed among them. The whole class was looking forward to the English class. We could watch American TV shows again. In this environment, as expected, our class ranked first in English, while the next class ranked last. Every time we looked at the rankings, we would cheer and look at the rankings of the next class first. We laughed because they were always at the bottom. As for me, I started passing English exams. In the last college entrance examination, I improved from 86 in the first exam to 110+ (I forgot the exact number) (Zhejiang's new college entrance examination has two chances for the English exam, usually in the first and second semesters of the senior year).

I don't like math. It's a genuine dislike from the bottom of my heart. It's not because math is rigid, but because it's difficult. There were endless math problems to solve every day, and I could spend all my evenings on math and still not finish the homework. In the end, I had to rely on copying. This was a true portrayal of my senior year. I would often feel sleepy during math class. At that time, I couldn't understand why math in Zhejiang was so difficult. There were so many Zhejiang candidates, but so few schools. Why did they have to make it difficult for Zhejiang candidates? Under the pressure of such exams, I became less and less interested in studying. Now I finally understand that not learning math well is something I regret. It's not because of my math scores in the college entrance examination, which turned out to be unexpectedly good. It's because I don't have mathematical thinking skills when I really need them now. But if I could go back in time, would I punish myself severely? No, because the environment was like that.

My grades were very poor, and I was at the bottom of the class (although our class was ranked first). I always hovered around the bottom ten (there were about 45 students in total). After the results of the seven elective subjects came out, I could basically determine whether I could go to college or not. And I only got 220 points. Since then, I had no dreams. Hope was slim, and I had already started thinking about going to vocational school. In previous years, the cutoff score was only 300 points for the remaining three subjects to have a chance to enter a second-tier university (which was also in a remote area). But usually, I just passed Chinese and math, and I only got 86 points in the first English exam. On the night before the college entrance examination, I didn't sleep all night. I thought about a lot of things, and I felt that my life would be like this. When I entered the examination room (the first exam was Chinese), my mind went blank, and I even felt sleepy in the first half hour. The first exam was a failure, and I almost didn't finish writing the essay. Usually, I would spend 1 hour writing the essay, but this time I only had 40 minutes left. In the afternoon, it was math, and I had no hope anymore. When I got to the exam room, I couldn't do any of the later questions. I could only write something randomly to get some points. The question types had changed this year, and we had also made mistakes in our usual predictions. The difficulty of the big questions and the last question had been switched, which was undoubtedly a fatal blow because I usually didn't touch the second question of the last question. And the question type that I usually thought would only have simple questions (derivatives) was now placed in the position of the last question.

When the results came out, of course, I didn't dare to check them. This also determined my future. Fortunately, the results were still acceptable, and I scored over 300 points (referring to the three main subjects). According to the rules, I should have been able to enter a second-tier university, but since we were the second batch of the new college entrance examination reform, there were too many unknowns. The cutoff scores of the previous year were just for reference and couldn't be relied upon. As expected, the cutoff scores of some schools last year increased by more than 70 points this year. The overall cutoff score increased by more than 30 points. Luckily, I still had books to read, and I didn't have to go to vocational school.

Do I regret the college entrance examination that year? No, I don't regret it. I feel lucky. Although it is true that finding a job now may be hindered by my educational background, the college entrance examination that year was already my only luck, just because I was a Zhejiang candidate. It was unimaginable for me to attend a 985/211 university in our small county and small school. As we all know, Zhejiang University is the only 985/211 university in the whole province, and other provinces rarely recruit students from outside the province. Moreover, there are many Zhejiang candidates, and most of the capable ones are in key high schools in Hangzhou.

Daily Life and Self-Study#

I am someone who is very passionate about computers. Since I was young, I have enjoyed tinkering with systems and playing with various software. I also aspired to become a software engineer. It wasn't until I entered high school that I truly started learning programming. Before that, I had no idea where to start or where to go. In my sophomore year of high school, with the support of my family, I bought a book on the C language and started self-studying. This laid a foundation for me. However, I was still confused at that time and didn't know which direction to take. After learning the basics of C, it was already my senior year, and I no longer had the energy to learn anything unrelated to my studies. The school curriculum was already exhausting enough. I didn't have the energy to learn other things. I regret not starting to learn a programming language earlier, so that I could devote all my energy to it in a short period of time and surpass my peers. However, it was too difficult for me at that time without a community or someone to guide me. I was lost.

In the past, the university I fantasized about was a place where I could study and discuss the future with like-minded and talented people. But the reality was that it was a place where most people were just getting by. Gradually, I had a goal, and I have been pursuing it ever since. I have been coding and filling up the squares on GitHub. This goal was inspired by an article written by Phodal about his learning process (he didn't have a computer science background). This goal requires a direction, and I chose front-end development. Although I haven't filled in the green squares every day, looking back over the past two years, I haven't let this goal down.

This is the only thing I have been able to persist with until now. And I want to say that this is already everything for me. I have no regrets about everything I have done.

I have written thousands of words, and finally, thank you for reading this and listening to all my unhappiness.

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