New Beginnings

On Thursday 2nd March myself and fellow placement students at Apexon were informed that due to the ongoing recession and external pressures for cost cutting, we would unfortunately be ending our placements early. Whilst there were obvious signs of market decline with many clients reluctant to extend contracts due to rises in interest rates and energy prices remaining high, the news came as a shock to all of us. It was reiterated that the decision was entirely made due to external financial pressures and ending the placement early was not based upon my workplace performance.

As of writing this post, I have 6 months until I resume my university studies and start my final year. I find myself now having a lot of free time and as someone who has an almost irrational fear of boredom, I have set myself 10 goals which I hope to complete before September. The goals themselves vary from academic to self-improvement, with some being more abstract and others being more distinct in their end goal.

1. Complete DataScience365

DataScience365 is an online learning platform with over 100 hours of content covering a wide range of topics all relating to data science. I believe this is a very beneficial goal as it would allow me to pursue my passion for data science whilst also gaining additional credentials and certificates along the way.

2. Complete at least one coding problem a day on Leetcode and HackerRank

Leetcode and HackerRank are both popular websites to practice and expand upon coding knowledge through answering a wide variety of coding questions/problems. Through answering coding questions every day, it would allow me to help with my knowledge of algorithms and data structures, and I think this is a very practical goal to set myself.

3. Overhaul website using React

React is a very popular JavaScript library that is used within front-end web development. Whilst I am very proud of this website, I believe my current web development skills are not showcased in the best manner as I have learnt so much since the website’s creation. As such, I plan to completely redesign this website utilising React, a more popular technology.

4. Complete a mini project in Python

Whilst I have not decided on the details, I thought it would be beneficial to complete a project utilising the programming language Python. I chose Python as it would complement my learning from DataScience365 as Python is heavily utilised in data science.

5. Read 24 books in the year

I am an avid reader with countless books I want to read so I have set myself the goal of reading 24 books in a year. The books will be a range of fiction and non-fiction and depending on the impact the books may have on me; I may write more about this in the future.

6. Run the biggest 10k running race in my home city

Alongside my academic endeavours, I decided to strive to become healthier and as such, I have signed myself up for the biggest 10k running race in my home city which will take place in June.

7. Train BJJ at least 5 times a week and the gym at least 3 times a week

Coupled with my goal of running more, I decided to set myself the goal of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) at least 5 times a week. BJJ is my favourite sport and I truly enjoy it, both for the health aspects and the confidence if nurtures.

8. Get a Chess rating (ELO) of 1200

I have always taking an interest to the board game of chess, and I would like to pursue the game further. I have played for a while now, however, I have never reached the rank of 1200 ELO, with my highest ranting hovering around 1000 ELO.

9. Get a part time job

Due to the end of my placement, I am actively looking for part time work to help fund living costs such as rent and food. It is by no means an ideal situation; however, I am striving to keep a positive outlook and spend this time focusing on my self-development.

10. Stay positive and motivated

Lastly, my final goal is to stay positive and motivated. Whilst the news of my placement ending was not the greatest of news, I am striving to keep a positive outlook and appreciate the amount of free time I now have. I am both anxious excited to see how these 6 months are.

- Nathan