It has been a year.

A year in which I,

  1. Started University
  2. Lived away from home for the first time
  3. Experienced “True” love
  4. Experienced Heartbreak
  5. Was hired as a Student IT and Networking Administrator

Of course more things happened this year but they are not as significant as those five points.

I shipped off to Michigan Technological University August of last year. A cramped, twelve hour long car ride was followed by moving into my dorm. Everything moved very quickly at that point. I said an extended goodbye to my parents while unpacking my most valuable possessions into what would be my new home for a year. I met the people I would be living with for a year. I settled into the bed that I would be sleeping in for a year. That week was surreal. Everything was a blur of discovery and excitement and thoughts and people and friends. I made secure bonds with the people that would remain friends with me the entire year. Fear combined with teenage hormones makes for a wonderful bonding mechanism.

Living away from home was an experience that I am happy to have had and will remain to be happy with. Having the freedom to throw on a coat at 3:00 am and just walk outside for an hour or two is invigorating. I had many nights of contemplation underneath the sidewalk lights on campus.

Unbridled freedom also means walking back to my dorm at 7:00 am after a full nine hour study session with my friends. Those sessions form a special kind of bond that only sleep deprived, exam fearing, students can achieve.

Having a team of people, or a support group of friends, to “do this college thing together” is fantastic. Even better though, a single person that is willing to fumble through it all with you. Love can encourage people to get through many obstacles. It is also intoxicating. It is habit forming. If not handled correctly it ends in dependence from one or both sides.

For the sake of brevity and my sanity, relationships are difficult. Two people need to commit their 100%, 100% of the time. Exhaustion sets in, one or both parties falter, and no matter the length of the relationship, stagnation sets in.

Perhaps the most impactful of all events over this past year, my job as an IT administrator for an on campus company. For clarification, I am a Computer Science major. This is not necessarily intended to cultivate the perfect IT individuals. Despite this, I used its lessons to my advantage. After becoming comfortable in my job, doing typical IT tasks and manage an active directory server (and it’s users), I started scripting. I took on (an ultimately fruitless with our impending server OS upgrades) a stagnant ticket that called for a reinvisioning of our staff backup policy and protocols. I started with an admittedly gross Robocopy script that just copied some directories from any user’s computer straight onto the server. Over a span of approximately six months though, that robocopy script was rewritten into a java/batch chimera of a program. It is sloppy, it is slightly unreliable, and it took far too much time to complete. In the end though, it taught me how to better perform my job as an IT administrator. As a CS major, I knew that any coding or scripting I needed to write needed to be,

  • Neat
  • Well-Written
  • Well Documented
  • Functioning under as many use cases as possible

and nothing less. Striving for these goals meant many hours spent on Google. I looked for the most efficient ways to write functions that I had thought of but were in no way unique to me. I read about people’s experiences using things like windows task scheduler to run batch files versus jar files. I read about a lot of stuff that I can’t quite remember because it has been a long time.

Anyway, rambling aside, technology is special. It is special because one should never not know how to solve a technical problem if they use technology to fix it. I applied for a job that sounded very daunting on paper but became manageable because I am a troubleshooter, just like anyone else passionate for IT.

I plan on writing tech guides soon, complete with pictures too. I’m not sure what yet or even for what audience but I suppose only time will answer those questions.