What the pandemic thought me

I sit, writing this post from my desk in my Apartment in Mainz. I possibly couldn’t have believed that this would have been possible just a year ago from now. So for some context, my college in India had an exchange program which allows me to earn a German Bachelor’s degree by doing the last year of my degree in Germany. But this entailed being able to pass a C1 level language exam in order to get in. A mammoth task to do in any language, especially more difficult with German. Add a pandemic into the mix and the fact that the exams are hard to get slots for India and COVID made impossible to travel to Germany and your life gets turned upside down.

So I lost a year, my classmates moved on, found jobs, joined masters programs. But in the end I turned out okay too. I did end up passing that exam and joining TH Bingen. I found a working student position at a Company in Mainz doing some deep learning stuff and applying stuff that I read in books back in college. And the isolation during the pandemic showed me what rock bottom can really be , I was a mess. But it also thought me that things can change for the better and for the worse in a flip of a coin, there is nothing much you can do. But that’s not the point, the point is I did get to Germany, I did pass the Test, so everything works out in the end? Probably, it was more like, I worked hard and I was lucky. The result could have been the other way around very easily.

So here is something to think about, its foolish to stay on a sinking ship. But when is a ship truly beyond repair? But I didn’t give up, maybe because giving up would have meant admitting I took a wrong decision and that my judgement was wrong. I still don’t know if this was/is still the right decision, time will only tell. I am writing not meant for public consumption, but rather as a record for myself to come back to when I am at a crossroads again.

I guess the moral would be, always go all the way in? Atleast then you wouldn’t have any regrets in the end.

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A simple guide to install fastai on your local machine

Note: This guide assumes you have a NVIDIA GPU installed on your PC. Also I am running Manjaro Linux and running the latest Nvidia Drivers.(The following steps should works on any distro but make sure you installed nvidia’s newest proprietary drivers to avoid cuda realted errors)

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