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Photo by Tincho Franco on Unsplash

Pandemic. Police Brutality. Wildfires. 2020 has been nothing like I imagined. This year, I’ve been forced to trade my carry-on suitcase and hiking boots for my spatula and paper crafts. I’ve learned many practical things from staying at home, like how to adjust an Internet recipe so that it suits my taste or how to make face masks out of old t-shirts. But I wanted to spend some time reflecting on what I’ve learned from the tragedies of this year and how that’s changed my outlook on life.

Health is paramount. In high school, I was quite active since I…


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Photo by Jay Zhang on Unsplash

Some people are fanatics about mechanical keyboards. It makes sense; we spend hours in front of our computers for work and play, and the keystrokes over time add up. Many typists develop Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) in their fingers from the prolonged and repetitive motion of hard typing. Besides taking breaks and stretching, a mechanical keyboard may help if you are experiencing RSI. There are tons of mechanical keyboards out there, and many opinions about each brand. Here are the main things you should decide on as you consider which mechanical keyboard best suits your needs.

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard


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Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

It’s the end of October, which means the holidays are right around the corner! With the holidays come indulgent foods, and given how stressful 2020 has been, you may be tempted to overeat. Here are some things I do year-round that may help you avoid overindulging.

  1. When in doubt, drink water. Sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re just thirsty. Keep a bottle of water handy at all times so that when you start to feel hungry, you take a sip of water first. …

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Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

I turned 26 this month, meaning I’ve officially entered my late 20s. I’ve been reflecting lately on what lessons I’ve learned so far in these 26 years of life and distilled it into the following list:

  1. You’re not responsible for other people’s demons. Everyone has problems they don’t want. Many will lack the self-awareness to confront their own flaws and will try to thrust them onto you. You don’t need to accept or solve their problems.
  2. The best rewards are behind the thickest doors. If you always take the easy way, you’re not challenging yourself. If it’s hard, it’s probably…


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Photo by Emily Rudolph on Unsplash

First, I want to say that I recognize the immense privilege I have to be able to work remotely and stay at home. There are essential workers going into work and people sick with coronavirus in hospitals who don’t have this luxury. This article is not for them, but for those who are getting bored with social distancing. The COVID pandemic is still a very real public health emergency, and we should do our part to slow the spread by staying home when possible. Here are some ideas if you’re running out of things to keep you occupied at home…


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Photo by Burst on Unsplash

Making decisions is hard. From small decisions like which brand of toothpaste to buy to big decisions like whether or not to switch teams at work, I tend to overthink and overanalyze. I decided to take a step back and consider why I should not overthink decisions so that the next time I’m faced with this problem, I can handle it better.

  1. People care far less about what you do than you think. In college, I agonized over majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics (a joint major) or double majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science (separate majors). 4 years after…


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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Trigger warning: Sexual assault

Let me start by saying this is hard to write. It’s not fun to think about someone’s pain, imagined or not. But I need to write this because sexual assault and victims not being believed is a significant problem. Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, yet only 5 in 1000 perpetrators go to prison (https://www.rainn.org/statistics/scope-problem). Some of my close friends have come to me with stories of their assaults. …


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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I never really considered myself a writer. In high school, my interests were mathematics, music, and leadership. In college, I tried 12 majors, all of which were in the sciences and engineering. After graduation, I started working at Google as a software engineer, a profession known more for programming than writing creatively. “Clearly,” I thought, “since I’ve never been educated or trained as a writer, I can’t write.”

At the same time, I needed more hobbies outside of work, and writing seems like a good way to stretch myself. I mentioned my desire to write more to my college friend…


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Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

Ramping up on a new team is hard enough, but doing it when everyone is working remotely is even harder. I joined my current team 2 months before my workplace implemented mandatory WFH, so this ramp-up period has been okay. I also tried 12 different majors in 4 years of college and have been on 5 teams in 4 years at Google, so I have a lot of experience ramping up. Some things I recommend:

  1. Ask questions, but ask the right people. It helps no one when you’re stuck. If you can’t figure it out, ask someone. But if you’re…


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Photo by José Ignacio Pompé on Unsplash

A few months ago, I hung out with a coworker from my previous team. He asked me what I wanted out of my career, and I told him I wanted to be happy. I expressed disdain for the ladder-climbing grind of the tech industry.

He laughed.

“Why are you laughing?”, I said, feeling hurt.

“Because that’s so different from what you wanted just a year ago.”

He reminded me that a year ago, I told him under no circumstances would I let anything or anyone prevent me from advancing up the tech ladder. I realized that over the past year…

Vicky Tu

Software Engineer @ Google. B.S. Math/CS from Yale.

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