At this point, I completely hate my decision 4 years ago.

If you don’t know me well, let me give a brief introduction. I’m Imre and graduated as an Electrical Engineering (EE) student from ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung), Indonesia. But to be honest, since I was on junior school, I had a dream to be an Computer Science(CS) student and it lasted until my first year in School of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (STEI-ITB), approximately until the time where I have to answer the second questionnaire for choosing my department for the next 3 years.

Finally, I chose EE instead of CS. You know why? It simply because I don’t like the way of (some, I’m not trying to generalize it at all) people in CS in doing their daily activities. Some of them are too freak (no offense :p), at least for me. In the other hand, I saw that EE students appeared to be more impressive when they were doing tons of students activities like university olympic, robotics competition, eco shell marathon and so on. Cool, huh? Definitely yes, at least for me.

Even after I graduated, I just can’t hide that I love everything about Computer Science and Software Engineering

That’s the primary reason why I go for a software engineering job. Luckily I’m hired by a software engineering company and turned out, it completely changed my entire life. Hell yeah. Thanks god I never meet with the solder, transistor, resistor and all of its friends anymore. :p

I came from a person that don’t really understand how Object Oriented Programming should work (forgive me, it’s never taught in EE). So, I took my time to learn a lot of things about basic of software engineering (It was completely hard and pathetic. lol) and hoped that it’s going to be enough for my preparation before I can continue my master school in Computer science.

Until finally, I decided to apply for some universities in Computer Science.

I applied for 5 universities. They are École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) , ETH Zurich, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, CMU in Silicon Valley and University of Illinois — Urbana Champaign (UIUC). I applied for Computer Science major to all universities except CMU SV (I applied for Software Engineering major here).

Tadaaaaaaa!!!! March is coming and it means that all universities will send me the notification about my admission. Here they are, the email notifications. Hold your breath. It’s going to be a tough week.

Carnegie Mellon University — Pittsburgh (February 27, 2016):

Dear Imre:
I regret to inform you that we are unable to admit you to the Masters Program in Machine Learning at Carnegie Mellon. We received over 800 applications this year, and our graduate program can support only a limited number of new students. So, unfortunately, we could admit only a fraction of the applicants, even though many more had strong qualifications.
We wish you the best in your future endeavors.

ETH Zurich (February 29, 2016):

Dear Mr Nagi
We regret to inform you that your application to our Computer Science MSc programme has not been successful.
In the coming weeks, we are going to send you an official letter. Please have a little patience and allow up to six weeks for our mail to reach you.
We regret to inform you that due to time constraints we will not be able to answer any enquiries before you have received our official letter. However, should our letter not reach you within six weeks, please let us know.
We thank you for the interest shown in our university and wish you all the best for your academic endeavours.
Yours sincerely,
Admissions Office
ETH Zurich

EPFL (March 3, 2016):

Dear Sir,
We thank you for your interest in the Master's programs offered by EPFL.
We are sorry to inform you, however, that your application could not be accepted by the Vice-President for Academic Affairs' Admissions Board, whose official decision you will find in attachment.
Because of highly demanding selection criteria, only those candidates with outstanding academic results and excellent references can possibly be accepted. Consequently, EPFL regularly refuses a great many applications of very good standing.
Candidates whose applications were refused this year may apply again next year. In view of ever-increasing admission requirements, however, candidates who haven't made significant progress in their academic careers stand a very small chance of being accepted.
We thank you once again for your interest, and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Yours sincerely,
The Registrar's Office

University of Illinois — Urbana Champaign (March 12, 2016):

Dear Mr. Nagi:
Your application for graduate study in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been carefully considered by our Graduate Admissions Committee.  We regret to inform you that the committee is not recommending you for admission.  Due to space limitations and a very large number of exceptional applicants, we are unfortunately unable to recommend many well-qualified students for the program.  Therefore, we hope that this decision will not discourage you from pursuing your future academic and career goals.
Please note that the department policy is not to communicate the individual reasons for its decision.
We appreciate your interest in our program and all of your efforts in preparing an application.  Together with the rest of the department, we sincerely wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
Sincerely,
Dr. Chandra Chekuri
Director of Graduate Programs

You see that? Is that crazy? Indeed. Until I have been rejected to all of these universities, I just realized that the biggest factor of my failure could be my background as the electrical engineering student. I didn’t get some important courses which will be important as the foundation for the master grad as CS Student. Now, I can say “if only I …….”

At this moment, I completely hate my decision 4 years ago.

I just remember a moment in my senior high school when I also applied for an admission program in University of Indonesia. This program required no examination, but some documents of your academic record. You know it so well. We called it as PMDK program. I was from science student, but applied for International Relation major in University of Indonesia. And the result? 12 of 13 applicant have been successful. And do you know who the unlucky one? It was me.

Back to this time. I just realize that I repeated the same mistake. But, this time it is more stressful. You can imagine that how much effort and money that I have to put for doing this. Shit. lol.

Allah knows the best for his creature.

I haven’t mention a decision of another university. Take a deep breath, please.

Carnegie Mellon University — Silicon Valley (March 3, 2016):

Dear Imre,
Congratulations, you have been admitted to the Software Engineering program in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University!
Please see the link below for the College of Engineering’s estimated cost of attendance for one year at CMU.
https://www.cmu.edu/hub/tuition/graduate/cit.html
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions that you might have. We look forward to the prospect of your joining Carnegie Mellon in the fall.
Best regards,

Alhamdulillah. I’m accepted in Software Engineering in CMU. I’m totally glad for this opportunity since this is what I actually dreamed for. I can set my foot in Silicon Valley area and go around to see some biggest tech company in this world. Even though I have been rejected by some univ before, I know that this is the best place that is given by Allah.

10 minutes drive to google campus
You know how excited I am when I see this distance.
11 minutes drive to Apple Inc.
I promise myself that I’m not going to waste my time even just for a second, for doing unimportant stuff here.

nb: This post has been posted in my facebook notes.

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