The last year has been very eventful and a lot of events occurred which I had never thought about. I am writing this post to reminisce about all the great things that happened to me the last year from 10th September 2019 to 9th September 2020.
If I start with an event that occurred just before this timeline, that wouldn’t be digressing I guess.
The Teachers’ Day Celebration.
It was the first event that I planned and organized on my own, of course with a lot of help from my friends. I became the Class Representative a few months ago and this was the only event that we organize within our class. Though I was the Secretary of the Event Management Club of my institute, the events that we organized were overlooked by our faculty members. I was also one of the main organizers of the last year’s Teachers’ day celebration. But this was the first and most cherished event, with every thing planned by me.
Hack Inout 2019 – India’s Biggest Community Hackathon
This hackathon experience gave me a lot of ‘firsts’. I went to a hackathon outside my college for the first time. A solo trip to an unknown city (Bangalore) for the first time. My first flight experience. Though my team did not win, I learnt a lot and made a lot of friends. Both of my teammates are still connected and I call them any time I need some help.
This hackathon gave me the confidence that I can do anything that I wanted to do, and motivated me to participate in even more hackathons which I did later.
My First ‘Real Interview’
In October 2019, I gave my first interview, that too for an internship at Microsoft. Although I was not selected (got the rejection email after 4 months), I learnt a lot of things while preparing for the interview. I realized that I can work way more hard than what I currently do.
Organizing the Graduation Day of my institute
Being the secretary of the Event Management Club, this was my first real event that I was in-charge of. Though I did not have to do a lot of work on the day of the event because of all the work put in by the faculty members, the Training and Placement Representatives and my club mates, I had to work a lot before that in planning and distributing work.
Trip to Mumbai (plus a short time in Jaipur)
This was the best way I could have ended such a splendid year. This was the first trip I had with my friends to another unknown city. Traveled a lot, made some mistakes and learnt a lot. I was able to visit a beach on all the 5 days, and on different times of the day.
The sunset at Versova was worth all the hassle we put in to watch.
Kharagpur Winter of Code Mentor
I mentored more than 30 students in KWoC 2019 for 4 of my open source projects. This was the time I realized that the projects I made for fun to make my job easier could be used by other people as well. The projects were CleanPy RedIns, Email Tracker.
Hackathon at MUJ and a longer stay at Jaipur
After Hack InOut, I was determined to participate in many other hackathons. I was selected to participate in multiple hackathons on the same weekend but chose MUJHacks. It was less of a hackathon and more of a trip with college friends to be honest. It was the first time that my team was in the top 5 participants in a hackathon, which was a total surprise because we had not even decided what we were going to build 2 hours into the hack time. Our idea was really appreciated by the judges.
Then after a whole day spent roaming in Jaipur (just before COVID), enjoying the VIP treatment that our student ID cards gave us, we went back to our college in what was my first train journey with my friends.
Sold My Own Product
I had been freelancing for over a year now and had noticed that a lot of businesses wanted a similar kind of product to automate their tasks. So I built my own product to be used by them for automating that job, and made the first sale. It has become popular now, a lot of individuals who are starting their business have sought for it.
Built my first product to be used by the general public
I created a Telegram bot which is used by vegetable sellers to sell groceries online during the times of COVID. It is used in the Kisumu County in Kenya. It was presented to the Governor of the county who appreciated the work done. This was my first work that was used by such a large number of people.
Started My First Tech Internship
This was probably the most challenging experience of the whole year, and that one event that improved me a lot. It was the first time I was working full-time and had to push me out of my comfort zone all the time. I worked on so many different things, and was challenged to such an extent that I was able to gain the experience working with so many different tech stack, ranging from backend APIs to blockchain.
This internship made me believe that I can face any challenge thrown at me.
Won the MATIC prize in HackJaipur
For the first time, I was participating in a hackathon to win, specifically, to win the MATIC prize. It would serve two purposes, to win my first hackathon and get more practice working with smart contracts. It was hard to believe but my team actually won the prize after we made a dApp alternative to StumbleUpon.
(something must have happened in July as well)
Won the Smart India Hackathon 2020
The grandest event of the whole year, winning the SIH. It was a dream since the day we applied to participate. We were participating not just to participate but to win it. Each day since March, we had the belief that we can win it. We spent days to discuss the problem statement and its solution, worked late nights (my teammates worked till early morning and woke up a few hours later to start working again). Once the hackathon had started, the evaluators had the belief that we can win, and thus our belief grew stronger.
That hard work finally paid off when the results were announced.
There are still a lot of people and events that I have missed, but in no way I have forgotten any of them. Each moment of the last year has made me what I am today. I am so grateful to everyone who was a part of my year and my life and made it grand.
19 years old me, yes you really did all of this.
21 years old me, don’t worry, you do not have to do all of this again.