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Random thoughts of a college student just trying to find himself in the world

Motivation is a fickle thing. It can hit you at the weirdest times, and when you need it the most, it can disappear, nowhere to be seen.

This winter break, my motivation to accomplish my goals has been lackluster, at best. I needed a break from pushing myself so hard during the fall semester, and I wanted to be lazy and sit around all day not doing anything productive for once. I wanted to sit around all day, talking to friends, watching TV shows, reading books.

But then I realized I’d pushed myself so hard during the fall semester that…


I’m finally done with my internship search! That feels so weird to write, especially since it’s been a huge point of stress for me, but somehow, I’ve finally managed to land a decent paying position with a great company. I never even thought I would get to this point, but to be honest, I’ve surprised even myself with how successful I’ve managed to be in this whole process.

I remember when I was in high school, reading about internships and how much they helped with landing full-time offers at companies. I saw how many colleges required them as part of…


Yesterday, my friend who I’m doing this 31-day writing challenge with decided to write a reflection on her experience with imposter syndrome. After reading her (better-written) reflection and realizing that I, too, had dealt with it, I decided to do some reflection of my own. When, if ever, had I struggled with imposter syndrome the most? What effect had it had on my life, if any? How did I end up overcoming it? And lastly, was I still struggling with it? All these questions were ones I asked myself, and that I had to find the answers to.

As it…


Over the past few decades, college has been elevated to a status that has never been seen before. In modern American culture, it’s viewed as a stepping stone to adulthood, a major milestone in one’s education, and practically a requirement for any decently paying white collar job. …


Or, How I Grew To Love Travelling But Never Got To Experience It

When I was a kid, I was addicted to reading fiction novels; I would consume them like other kids might consume the latest Call Of Duty. Books I read took me into mystical worlds, ones where I could explore exotic destinations and fantasy worlds from the comfort of my own bedroom. One day I would be immersed in the world of Harry Potter, avidly cheering him on as he defeated the Dark Lord Voldemort, and the next day, I’d be on the edge of my seat as…


One of the most useful skills anyone can learn in college is how to pitch themselves effectively. Whether it’s getting to know someone new, trying to get that dream job you’ve wanted for years, or even chatting up a MPS (member of the preferred sex) at the bar, showing yourself off is important.

So I figured I’d try to practice my own (unabridged) pitch today! I realized that it’s been a couple days since I began posting on Medium and none of you have a clue who I am yet, so let’s remedy that :)

My name is Michael Cao…


This post is a continuation of my “College Roommate Roulette” series. Read Part 1 here: https://michaelcao23.medium.com/college-roommate-roulette-part-1-6354a8251fba

The summer after my freshman year, I received an offer from a professor in the College of IST to participate in an REU (Research Experience for Undergrads) pertaining to detecting fake news. Since I was still interested in graduate school at the time, I took the REU instead of applying for internships and enrolled myself in two classes: IST 402 (Emerging Technologies) and CMPSC 221 (Object Oriented Programming With Web Based Applications). …


Or, How I Grew Up And Learned To Live By Myself

I never had a roommate — a real, actual roommate — until college began. Nor had I ever spent more than a single night away from my parents — no overnight camps, summer retreats, high school senior trips, nothing. Sure, my brother and I shared a room for a few years as kids (when we lived in California, no less), but that doesn’t really count, since we weren’t responsible for anything beyond making sure our room was clean. …


As we hit the beginning of yet another year, one thing is on many peoples’ minds: what their new year’s resolutions will be. For many, it might be wanting to hit the gym every day, or to read a new book every month. For others, it might be to pay off credit card debt or to get a promotion at work. No matter what the goal, the new year is a time for people to think about and put their mind towards something, anything, they might want to accomplish in the year ahead.

Though many might put their mind towards…

Michael Cao

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