The world’s got a lot of lessons to teach all of us, but sometimes the most enjoyable ones are the ones we stumble on completely by chance. In my case, one of those impromptu discoveries ended up deciding my major and entire career path – and so far? I don’t regret it (except, admittedly, the Calculus parts).
So, without further ado…here’s the tale of the time I, formerly a complete beginner to anything and everything Computer Science, found one little YouTube video…and the rest is history.
I was relaxing over March Break and, as usual, fell straight down the YouTube rabbit hole of recommendations (that never fail to be eerily accurate, and extremely tempting to boot). In doing so, I came across this innocuous little video titled “Make Windows Look Better” by Urim Bersha.
Tired of the outdated UI of Windows 8 that I had on my old laptop, and being the notorious aesthete that I am, I clicked – intrigued by the sleek, city night themed desktop it promised. After watching, the beautiful theme and the easy, foolproof instructions enticed me, and I downloaded a computer program called Rainmeter, intent on following his instructions to a T.
Except - I did not. My imagination got the best of me, and soon I was envisioning not just a city, but a pixelated pastel paradise perfectly suited to my taste. What was originally intended to be a few hours of applying the tried-and-true steps to my computer ended up being a full 3-day adventure into the previously untravelled world of coding. I was so intrigued by what the program could do when editing the source code of sample objects and using the (...mostly) informative words of forums like Reddit as my guide, I set to work building my pastel paradise.
Through this unexpected little foray, I was able to get a grasp on C++ and Lua, and despite my rudimentary knowledge based completely on internet forum advice and messing around with the code until something stuck, I was able to begin to construct it. Even though it was not easy, I was so enthralled by it that none of it felt like a chore, and I was having genuine fun solving the problems I encountered along the way. After 72 hours (about 3 days) of toiling away behind my screen, with the odd food or bathroom breaks (sleep was, admittedly, a tad compromised), my peachy pixel paradise was complete, and I felt so incredibly satisfied. Borne out of all the errors, glitches, and missing files (that I had to scramble to find and label) was this custom theme I built, and it looked amazing.
Not only did I come out of that experience with a sweet desktop theme, but a newfound interest and passion for the intricacies of computers, which eventually led me to where I am today! That, I am and will be forever grateful for.