I have been extremely behind on my Python skills due to a variety of stressful issues (job, education, health), but I have managed to stay afloat by using DataCamp.com.
DataCamp.com has allowed me to become more confident in my love of Python. When I am writing code, I ignore my surroundings to focus on making something happen. Why wasn't I introduced to Python a while back?
I still would have gotten my college degree in journalism, but I could have done much more with Python and my newfound love.
My biggest weakness with Python is creating code for mathematical reasons. I started to learn Numpy late last week, and my mind exploded.
I'm not joking.
"Python Crash Course" by Eric Matthes has also been a great help throughout these past few weeks. I've been going chapter by chapter, working on the projects to start filling up my GitHub account. The book does stress me out more than the website, but it's a great help and breaks down all the terms for newbs like myself.
Each day that goes by, I feel more confident in my Python skills, and I am extremely excited to start on projects to start building my portfolio.
One project that I am currently gathering data for is to predict Academy Award winners based on genre. I don't know if it can be done, but I am just happy to combine my love of pop culture and data.
I know I sound like a girl on a school girl crush on Python, but I'm teaching myself a new skill for my new future. Why shouldn't I feel this way?
A lot of new things have happened since I last updated my blog.
First, you might notice some new changes to my portfolio. I wanted to re-brand myself to show that not only can I be taken seriously as a data analyst, but that I know how to communicate. Initially, I didn't want to add my journalism background to my new portfolio. Then I realized that I have nothing to be ashamed off of my background.
I am self-taught in statistics, Python, R and SQL. Before and after work, I will sit in front of my laptop hours on end making sure I get a handle of things that will come in handy for when I'm ready to take over the data world. I have taken pride in my ability to tell a story and the fact that I can use that skill in my new career. That is why I kept my journalism experience in my portfolio. I want people to know that I mean serious business in my storytelling skills.
Another major update is that I got accepted into both masters programs that I had applied to earlier this year. Never would have thought that I would have gotten into Syracuse or the University of Texas at Austin. While both programs will provide me with the education and experience I want and need, I have decided to attend the University of Texas at Austin.
I also turned 24. While I had to work a closing shift on my actual birthday, I got to celebrate with my friends a few days later. I had a pinata, a cake and more tequila. I ended the celebration by seeing my favorite band, Panic! at the Disco, perform at the Frank Erwin Center.
The last thing that has been different is my work schedule. Recently, I've been working the night shift at my job, which has caused me to be behind in my self-taught education. I am happy to say that I now work mornings (most of the time, at least) and I can finally focus on getting down on programming and learning skills that I can use in my classes this fall.
I am a long way from where I was a few months ago. I was not confident in my future and I was confused on what I wanted to do. Thankfully, with my startup job and my new skills, I am more certain on where I want to be post-graduation. I am not ready to share those plans, per se, but big things are coming.
Welcome to my [new] life.
P.S. If you're interested in the pinata, click here.
In high school, all I wanted to do was write. While I had fallen in love with climatology and geology, being a writer seemed to be the best option for me.
For a while, a few teachers thought I would end up in STEM. I was a state competing science fair nerd. My two projects earn medals, and I had enjoyed doing research and analyzing data.
My heart broke when I looked into college programs. College programs required students to take statistics, organic chemistry and calculus. My fear of failure took over, which made me confident that journalism was the route for me.
Two years outside of college and I was ready for a new career path. I still loved to write, but it wasn't as fun as it used to be in college. I didn't see myself as a journalist or a writer.
My boyfriend would ask me, "what do you want to do?"
I never responded.
One night, I saw a job posting for a customer success manager. The job required data analysis, knowledge of SQL and other technical skills. Even though I lacked those skills, I realized that the job position sounded interesting. The job position required me to have skills in communication, customer service, sales, and tech. I didn't have the tech skills, but I knew that I could learn.
Many negative thoughts ran through my mind, but I didn't let that get to me. I am sure of my new future, even if it means that I have to start from the bottom of the chain.
I would just have to work harder than ever before to catch up.
CodeAcademy had a section on Python and SQL. Slowly but surely, I have started learning the terms, codes, and ways to build something. At times, the process can be frustrating and time-consuming, but I felt a rush of excitement when I saw my code work.
In my second project with CodeAcademy, I was having a little trouble with a code. I kept going back to my notes wondering what was causing the error. Turns out that I had to delete a symbol. To many people, that would have caused them to be frustrated, but I felt overwhelmed with happiness because I figured it out on my own.
I am incredibly excited to continue my Python journey on CodeAcademy. I will probably blog more about my Python journey. If anyone has any suggestions on tips, websites or anything, please let me know!
A new year means a new chance to follow my dreams, goals and kick butt. That is why I took a significant amount of time to think about my New Year's resolutions. I wanted to do more than just "lose weight" or "gain a new hobby." This past year, I lost myself professionally and personally.
Now, I'm ready to come back better than ever. With that in mind, I came up with 10 resolutions that I want to complete before the start of 2018. What are my resolutions? Well, let me tell you then.
1. Be Healthy.
I've always had issues with my weight. Since I was young, I was always considered overweight. When I started working full-time, I found myself eating junk food in the breakroom, which caused severe weight gain. I started going to the gym, going for long walks twice a day and watching what I eat.
In the past year, I gained and lost so much weight that it was causing me to go crazy and focus on what's on the scale. In November, I ended up going to UrgentCare due to severe allergies. The nurse explained to me that I was overweight and had high blood pressure. Even though all my other tests came back healthy, I realized that losing weight shouldn't be the main focus and that the number of the scale shouldn't mean anything.
That is why I am focusing on being healthy. I want to make sure that my blood pressure is under control, my stress levels aren't too high and that I get to live a long life so that I can adopt all the dogs that come my way.
2. Run 3 5Ks.
Being healthy is also about being in the right mindset, and nothing clears my head like running. Even though I am the world's worst runner, I want to start running around my neighborhood. To encourage my goal to run more often, I want to sign up and train for three 5Ks. I know that 5Ks are not long distances, but we all have to start somewhere. And for me, I'm starting with a 5K.
3. Get Into Grad School.
An old boss of mine told me to find what I'm passionate about and to stick to it. In college, I thought I had found what I was passionate about, but I was completely wrong. While I have an understanding of what direction I want to go professionally, I would like to get a Masters to help me look more desirable for companies by gaining new skills.
While my goal is to get a Masters in Information Science at my alma matter, I will also be applying to a variety of online programs. Here's to hoping I go to UT, though. I'd love to be a Texas Longhorn again. #CrossesFingers.
4. Update Blog often.
I have an awful habit of never updating my blogs, and I want to change that. I want to mix my blog posts with personal thoughts, recipes I would love to share with the Internet and hopefully how grad school is doing.
To make sure this gets done, I have added "write blog post" on several pages of my new planner.
5. Find a New Job.
I just need a new job. I still haven't found that company, and hopefully, 2017 will give me the gift of employment.
6. Learn to Code.
Thanks to free programs, such as CodeAcademy, I have come to understand the basics of coding. While coding might not be a skill I want to focus on, I would love to learn how to code websites or apps. For now, I want to concentrate on getting the basics before I move on to Python.
I know that everyone wants to learn how to code for job prospects, but if I teach myself to code, it will give me a sense of accomplishing something I never thought I would be doing six years ago.
If anyone has other free programs that would be beneficial to my goal of learning to code, hit me up.
7. Volunteer More.
No explanation needed.
I haven't been on an airplane in years. While my first experience was full of embarrassment, I would like to create more pleasant memories that don't require me asking a security guard on how to get on my flight.
Vegas? Miami? Los Angeles? New York City? I don't know where I will end up, but I'd love to leave the Austin area, even if it's for a weekend.
9. Go to Church.
I didn't go to church very often last year, which is a disgrace. While my relationship with God is good, I do not have a relationship with a church. I miss feeling like a part of a community. It will take me a while to find a church I like, but thankfully, that's why I have Yelp.
Another thing about the church is that it helps me clear out my mind. It is the place where I can just focus on God and our relationship. I can talk to him and praise him.
My religious resolution may come to a surprise to a lot of people, but the Catholic Church is a huge part of my life, and I am not ready to separate.
10. Stop Complaining.
I don't have the perfect body or the perfect job, but I want to stop complaining about my first world problems. I have a boyfriend that loves me, and family and best friends who always backs me up in every endeavor I take on. I have friends from high school who weren't privileged to leave Brownsville and had to work instead of going to college.
I had the privilege to graduate from UT, get jobs in my field and move out from my family. While my situation is not ideal for my goals and life plans, I have a job, a roof over my head and food to feed myself.
And by not complaining, I can focus on being a better person. Because by being a better person, I can be proud of who I am and where I will end up.
I don't know what I want to do with my life.
Growing up, I wanted to be a journalist or do research for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Both career aspirations were entirely different from each other, but both contained interests that encouraged my love of learning.
Writing became a passion because I loved seeing the reaction of my audience. I wanted to see what my audience thought of my writing. When I was writing fiction stories, I liked the idea of creating drama and fictional characters that my audience enjoyed.
When I was writing news stories, I loved being the source of information for my audience. From interviewing sources to finding information, writing the stories always provided a source of content in my life.
Then there's my love for the climate. During my junior and senior year in high school, I competed in the science fair. I found thrill in doing projects, writing papers and analyzing the numbers in front of me. Sure, my hypothesis was always wrong, but that was what made science fun.
The reason I didn't pursue a science was that I thought I was too dumb to be a geology or environmental science major at UT. I self-doubted myself, which caused me to focus on my journalism degree.
A year and a half from when I graduated and I have nothing to show. I haven't found what I want to do for the rest of my life. And to make matters worse, I have other passions that I can see myself working with in my professional career. From social media analytics to data science, I don't know what I want to do. I have plenty of passions, but I am too scared to turn those passions into a career.
A lot of questions arise when I am thinking of what I want to do with my life. Should I turn my interests into a full-time job? What if I don't succeed? What if I go back to school? What if I end up in a job I hate?
My thoughts are running through my mind right now as I think about what I can do to be happy professionally. The only thing I know about my future is that I want to be happy. All I can do right now is try to find jobs that match my interests and hope for the best.
I will be going through many changes in the next few weeks. And to be honest, I'm ready for the changes.
I am not the same person I was a year ago. I used to be scared of change. When I graduated high school, I started crying due to my fear of going to college. At my college graduation, I was bawling because I was scared of becoming an adult.
Change is everywhere (cliche, I know), but we shouldn't be afraid of it. Whether it's starting a new job or moving into a new apartment, change can be beautiful. Even if the change is bad, these are the type of life lessons that will make us into stronger people.
When I started my first post-grad job, I was horrified of messing up and ruining my future. That fear is gone now. The fear has turned into excitement as I start to see where my career takes me. I am not perfect, and I will make plenty of mistakes, but I know that I will eventually end up where I belong.
My original game plan was to be a content producer up to the age of 50, retire and teach journalism to high school students. Somewhere in between that game plan, I would get a masters degree. Sure, I had personal goals such as getting married, having kids and owning a house, but my dreams were focused more on my professional life.
After a year in post-graduate life, I realize that my game plan might have drastic changes that I didn't think about back then. What if I realized I hated my profession? Not saying that I hate my degree, but I wish I had some backup plan that would give me more flexibility and the ability to play around with careers.
One year ago, I would have been scared to acknowledge the fact that I have self-doubts in my career. Today, I am thinking about how I can use my journalism degree to venture into different career paths. What are my passions? What will make me happy?
Because being scared never leads to happiness.
The same applies to my personal life. I was always a tad skeptical about love, but I knew why. I had never experienced it. With my lack of experience in love and the fact that my parents are divorced, being in love was something I feared. I didn't want to be single forever, but I didn't want to get heartbroken either.
So I dated guys who I probably shouldn't have. Don't get me wrong; the guys were nice, but they weren't for me. They were my life lessons. They made me realize what I wanted in a significant other.
Then I met Josiah.
He wasn't like the other guys I had dated. He was awkward, incredibly smart (he's getting his Ph.D. from UT with no student loans) and he was from Oklahoma. Josiah wasn't an OU grad, but OSU is still pretty bad.
I went on a date with him on a whim. I thought his eyes were beautiful, and he loved margaritas as much as me. Slowly but surely, I started to see how much he loved video games, photography and realized that he knew more random facts than a contestant on "Jeopardy."
Somewhere between our hikes, love of BBQ and inside jokes, I fell in love. And that was the most drastic change I could have to my personal life.
We are about two months shy of our first year anniversary, and I can honestly say I'm not a great girlfriend. I can also say that I do not fear the changes that occur in our relationship. From changing school schedules to meeting each other's families, I am not scared.
I was scared of the changes that would come with a relationship, but I soon realized that these fears were stupid. I don't know how long Josiah will be in my life, but these small changes will make us stronger.
In fact, all these life changes will make me stronger -- the person I was meant to be.