Well, I am seriously happy while I put down this post (what do you know, I even used an oxymoron). And why shouldn’t I be! I have 50 problem solutions “Accepted” on University of Valladolid’s (UVa) ACM ICPC Online Judge.
I wouldn’t say the journey was easy. Far from it, it was really tough. I spent probably my first 100 submissions getting “Wromg Answer” or “Time Limit Exceeded”. I almost stopped being my normal gregarious self, screwed up my academics in a big way and spent hours at end attempting various questions and got frustrated countless times…
Perseverantia et Fide in Deo : Latin for Perseverance and Fate in God (My school motto) is what kept me going. And then, one day it just clicked!! I got an accepted and then 6 more followed that night. The flood gates had finally opened and thus began a new chapter in my college life.
There has been no looking back since that day six months ago.
Note: I spent my 2.5 months of summer cross-training my brain by learning advanced guitar techniques, learning to drive, setting up wifi in my house and playing local and online games.
Now in the new academic year, there is a distinct difference between my skill level and those of my peers who did not put in the hardwork and just fooled around. My lab assignments finish in quarter of the time, my algorithm tests go really smoothly, and pretty girls from my department constantly come to me for help ;-).
Finally, the point of this post is that I recommend anyone who has an interest in Computer Science, Mathematics or just plain Puzzle-solving, should definitely give UVa a try. It worked for a senior of mine and is very well working for me.