It’s my birthday, again…

Credit to linked pixiv user

Today’s my 29th birthday, and being only a year away from the big 30, it’s a little scary. This past year has seen a lot of changes in my life, both in terms of blogging and personally…

For those of you who were around during the summer hiatus I took last year, you know that I’ve recently returned to being a full-time student trying to get certificates in the IT field. When I first announced it, I was still working at my previous job as well as taking a summer course, so I had to put the blog on hiatus for a while. When the fall semester came around and I was busy taking four classes, I quit my job (it was just a minimum wage job that I didn’t intend to stay at forever anyway) so I could focus solely on my studies. I also decided to loosen up my blogging schedule to once every 10-14 days as opposed to once a week like I was doing when I was working.

Now that I’ve taken about nine computer science classes in different areas of the field (networking, web site design, database design, PC maintenance) I have indeed gotten a lot more knowledgeable on the subject than I was a year ago, but I know I’m still a ways away from having the kind of knowledge I’d need to get a well-paying job. I’ve gotten As in all my classes, but that’s mostly because I’m a good student who turns in assignments on time and knows how to study well for tests. But like I’ve said before, I’m lacking terribly in hands-on experience, which is what’s really important in this field. A lot of my fellow computer science students have an edge in that they already have hands-on experience building computers, designing networks, etc., either due to their jobs or personal hobbies. So I know I’ve got a long way to go to catch up, especially since computer science has never been a hobby of mine (besides dabbling in html for my old web site) and is still relatively new to me. I don’t think I can make myself as passionate about computers as I am with my other interests, but hopefully that’s not a necessity for landing myself a decent job in the field. I also know that I should pick one area of computer science to focus on – after all, it seems like you’re more likely to get a good job if you become an expert at one thing rather than being only mildly knowledgeable about several things – but I’m still unsure as to which area I like the most and feel the most confident about. And then again, many of my teachers who have had very successful IT careers seem to be experts on everything about computers…gah, if any of you reading this are IT people and can offer advice, I’d appreciate it XD

But although I am a bit uncertain about my future, I’m still optimistic as well. I know you can make tons of money in certain IT fields, but I’d just be happy making enough money to live comfortably. I don’t need to get the top-paying job as long as I can live without financial worries, so I’m hoping I’ll eventually find my little niche in the IT world and gain enough knowledge to live how I want regardless of whether I reach “expert” level or not. I already asked the department chair at my college if I could volunteer in the computer lab and he said he’ll look into it. Getting your foot in the door, even if you have to work for free for a while, could be worth it in the end!

Besides that, another thing I took note of this past year is that…I’m running out of blog topics! I know I said that before over three years ago and yet was still able to churn out editorials since. But now I feel like I’ve REALLY hit a writer’s block. I know the one main reason is simply because when you’ve been running a non-episodic blog for so many years, eventually you’re gonna run out of good ideas. But the other main reason is that I just haven’t been motivated to write about anime topics lately. Don’t get me wrong, I still watch anime all the time and am keeping up with all of my seasonal shows. I just haven’t been in the mood to write editorials focused only on anime; if you look at my editorial posts from the past few months, you’ll notice that a lot of them are only somewhat related to anime, or not at all. I still love anime of course, and as I said, I’m still keeping up with my seasonal shows, and there’s a ton of spring shows I’m planning to watch…anime just hasn’t been my most favorite thing as of late. I’ve been into my other hobbies more, like competitive Pokemon battling, Frozen and other Disney/American animated movies, indie horror games like Five Nights at Freddy’s, getting together with friends, and keeping up with videos from my favorite YouTubers. This may not last and I could get motivated to write anime-specific editorials again, especially if I get new ideas for topics. Since this is still an anime blog, I still want to make sure my posts are related to anime in some way, but non-anime ones may find their way here too, as well as ones that could relate to anime but aren’t specifically about it. I know this slight shift in focus, as well as the recent increased length between posts, has caused me to lose some readers, but that’s just how it is now. I’m glad this current season of anime will be ending soon so I can write my reviews of them and won’t have to come up with other post ideas! XD

So that’s what’s been going on with me as I hit my 29th year. It’s another transitional phase of my life, but hopefully one that will lead to good things. My mom has a friend visiting from out of state today, and since this is only her second day here, I knew it would be tricky to celebrate my birthday today, so I celebrated last week. I had eight friends come over and we played Smash Brothers and Mario Kart on the Wii U, as well as a few rounds of Pokemon and Weiss Schwarz, while stuffing our faces with cake and sandwiches. You gotta live it up while you’re young and able! Anyway, I’ll be back in the coming weeks with my reviews for Parasyte, Junketsu no Maria, Shigatsu Uso, Shirobako, and Death Parade. See you all then~!

22 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. chikorita157 says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I understand how you feel for the fact that the computer related fields (Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Technology) require a degree of hands on experience. While I was an Accounting major before switching to Management Information Systems and got a Master’s degree in Information Technology (focusing on administration and security). I think passion has to do with it as I admit, I didn’t do that great in any of the accounting courses (just enough to get by) before I transferred colleges and focus on more computer courses, which I usually get a good grade in (besides Computer science sources during my Master’s year since they are difficult).

    As for me, I’m still looking for a job and while I have been upset by two rejection notices, I’m not too worried as my parents allow me to continue to live at home. But I have been searching for jobs primarily in the government. Of course, it’s somewhat difficult even if I have high GPAs and honor societies since most employers look for work experience. I still regret not taking the summer job in 2012, which is a programing job as it would at least I would have some work experience. Still, eventually a job will come to me, but in the mean time I spend time studying Japanese, playing video games, programing and messing around with computers besides watching Anime.

    As for hands on experience, I think the only thing you can do in that aspect is to experiment. With software like Virtualbox, which is free, it’s possible to check out other operating systems and get familiar with them. For me, I manage my own server as I have a virtual private server, which runs Linux. Of course, I have to manage everything on my own, but I learn at the same time. As always, Google can be helpful if you come across a problem that you might have a hard time doing.

    For the writer’s block, I kind of understand since I don’t have that many ideas for editorials at the moment, although I do keep a list of topics I want to write in the future. While I still have video games I need to review and such, I think it’s a good idea to take a break and do other things until something comes into mind.

    Aside from that, I wish you a happy birthday and good luck with your studies.

    • Yumeka says:

      I don’t remember if I told you before or not, but congrats on getting your Master’s! =D

      Hmm, aiming for a government job right off the bat may be a bit ambitious, especially if you have zero work experience (not sure if you do or not). I would try getting a more beginner-level job first, even if it doesn’t pay as much as you want, just so you can get your foot in the door and have something to put on your resume. From what I’ve heard, IT jobs are more interested in experience and knowledge than degrees alone. But like you, I’m lucky in that I can still live at home until I have financial security…which will hopefully be soon!

      I’ve used Virtual Box a few times in my classes…I am planning to try it out on my own as you said, since it is a somewhat effective way to mimic hands-on experience with a PC in terms of installing operating systems, copying system images, and the like.

      • chikorita157 says:

        I have seen some recent graduate jobs as the Federal Government has a Pathway program, which is aimed for students who have just got a degree and it’s only good within the two years receiving the degree. They basically provide training and if successful, the job can be converted to a permanent job. Also, I have been applying for jobs that have a grade level that is applicable with my education. (GS 5 is for a Bachelor’s and GS9 for a Master’s). Overall, I’m not too concerned about moving just to get a job as long it’s not too far way from where my parents live.

        Of course, all the job openings regardless if they are public or private sector is very competitive. I decided to focus only on public sector since there is a bit more job security, even though it generally pays less than industry would.

  2. Cytrus says:

    First of all, happy birthday to you!

    I’m 25 and finishing my university education by the end of this year, so next year will be my first real clash with the job market. I have several months’ worth of experience in Japanese spoken translation for factories and some written translation odd jobs under my belt, but I know it won’t be easy to find a full-time stable job in the field. You can’t exactly be picky about employment in my country. And like you, I’m more interested in something stable that will pay the bills than making huge money.

    So I am unsure what the future will bring, too. But in the end, there is no choice but to make your move and see how it goes. I am grateful for the existence of Shirobako, actually. A lot of its messages go beyond the animation industry. It reminds me that the greats of today were once stumbling in the dark, just like we are now.

    I am a complete Ema, by the way. I suppose I am talented enough, and my abilities were already of use in actual work. And yet I can’t help feeling nervous about any new challenge that pops up. Diligence can be a burden, like Shirobako states. But it also says that Ema is fine as is, making progress at her own pace. I found it empowering to see her act in a teacher role for Kunogi and Misa even as she was struggling with her own insecurities. You do not ever really graduate from the unknowns in life – it is all a fluid process. But that is why it is alright to make mistakes and stumble on the way forward.

    Sorry for the rambling. i just want to say that everyone goes through the same things, and I am holding my thumbs crossed for you with all my strength! (And that Shirobako is an incredible show xD.)

    As for the blog: take it easy! I made my own blog with the rule that I post when and only when I feel like it. Of course, I will not be getting any great notoriety that way, but my blog would be long gone had i put unnecessary pressure on myself in the past, since I knew from the start it would not be one of my priority pursuits.

    • Yumeka says:

      Well, it sounds like you have decent experience in the field already (and have perhaps acquainted yourself with people who have good connections…that’s always helpful!) so I’m sure you’ll find the kind of work you want soon enough, whether in Japan or your home country (New Zealand if I recall correctly?)

      Good thoughts on Shirobako and how it relates to all this XD I kinda feel like Shizuka in that I can get a bit of work here and there, but not the kind of stability in a field that I want…not yet anyway!

      Missing deadlines and not doing things I say I’m gonna do are my pet peeves that sometimes make me force myself to blog when I’m not totally in the mood. But I’m gonna try not to do that anymore, which is why having a longer gap between posts and going beyond anime should be helpful XD

  3. Kal says:

    Happy Birthday! and as others have said, take it easy with the blog, and write about whatever yon want to write. It’s still your blog :P I have been working for many years, and something very important that you cannot get at any university is experience. So get a job in IT, anything really, and you will start finding out what the environment is like. Then you’ll find out there are some things that interest you more than others, and you can push in that direction. You never really know what you will like unless you do it, so get in there. I started studying electronic engineering, then worked in a call center, then server support, internal IT, and ended up in information security… Never would have expected that, and I like it. So just get in there, start getting some experience, and finding out what the environment is like.

    Anyway, happy birthday, and take it easy! Try not to burn yourself out, and take things are your own pace. You are still really young, so just try things out.

    • Yumeka says:

      Thanks for the uplifting words XD

      Yeah, besides trying to volunteer at my college’s computer lab, I’m gonna start looking for work in the summer (since I likely won’t be taking any classes). Even if it’s just a low-level job like data entry, as long as it’s related to the IT field and will look good on my resume, I know I’ll have to start off small. I’ll still be taking classes for another year at least, so I won’t mind if it’s part-time work. As you said, whatever I can get I’ll take and I’m hoping that it will eventually lead me to a particular branch of IT that I can focus on and move up in. Skill does play a big role, but so does luck, which is something you can only hope for =/ So in the meantime, all I can do is study hard, stay optimistic, and try to build connections!

  4. Author says:

    Seriously? I thought you were 17 or 18.

    Being a programmer for 25 years, I’m not sure if “job in IT” is a good idea for you, primarily because you’re starting out so late. Unless you burst into an area as a programming superstar, you need years of putting your dues in and learning the ropes. And it is worse for sysadmins and architects.

    The only animeblogger who I know as a big time IT pro is CKS: https://cks.mef.org/space/rtblog/anime/ . Well, I know a few expendable IT slaves who moonlight as animebloggers, but nobody else is even a small professional celebrity.

    • Yumeka says:

      Guess you haven’t read any of the handful of other posts were I mention my age…oh well, now you know XD

      As I said, I don’t need to be a “programming superstar” or anything that makes tons of money; I’d just be happy with a basic IT job that earns decent money, not necessarily in programming. Yes, I’ve already been through 5 years of college and have 2 degrees, but I don’t think it’s too late for me just yet. I can spare a few years to take a low-level job just to get my foot in the door and do studying on my own. And besides, I’ve already taken all these classes and am putting in all this effort, so I’m not just gonna quit now and start focusing on another career field just because there’s a chance I won’t succeed in this one. As long as there’s a chance that I will succeed, I’m gonna try.

  5. Myna says:

    Happy belated! (I meant to tell you yesterday but I was so busy. ;_;)

    Oh hey I’m also completely and utterly uncertain about my future, too. Though I’m even more uncertain than you are. Music and performing are like the most difficult fields in the world. It’s tough. Even if you are in any of the actor’s unions.

    As for blog topics, I’d love to see a post on all those things that you’re into, like Youtube channels and everything else. Is there anything about anime you have never written about? Like character designs, directors, your dream series, anything you’d want to see adapted into an anime perhaps? And I’d love to know what you’re planning on watching for spring, too.

    • Yumeka says:

      Yeah, I know the arts is an extremely competitive field to be successful in. But from what I’ve seen on your Facebook, you’ve been getting good experience ;) You’ve got the passion, and you seem to be meeting a lot of people who could possibly get you connected, so keep at it! Unlike me, you’re still at the right age to figure out what you’re gonna do XD

      Thanks for the post recommendations…I may actually write about those sometime in the future.

  6. lostty says:

    Happy belated birthday!
    It feels like forever since I’ve known you and your blog, and coming from someone who failed at her “editorial” blog, I feel your pain of finding ideas! Even when the ideas are rolling, coming up with an editorial isn’t nearly as easy as episodic posts where the material is written before hand. But you’re still doing an amazing and whether it’s a post about Frozen or indie games, I know I’m still interested! Although anime was a starting point for me, I have met so many friends that have introduced to many other things, and I’m sure most of your viewers would welcome the same experience.
    And congrats on all the A’s! That’s incredible! Also I know you graduated first with a degree in East Asian studies and how that may not be the most easy way to find a job (which as you may know, is what I’m studying right now hahha…I have that as my double major with Art History, but I have plans to either do curratorshp abroad or get a PHD and teach…who knows), so what drew you into Computer Science?
    Anyway, thank you for all the amazing work at this blog, I never fail to be impressed! Hope you have another great year!! You really have accomplished so much :)

    • Yumeka says:

      Thanks for the kind words ^_^

      Well, I explained more in my summer hiatus post about why I decided to change to computer science after getting my BA in East Asian Studies. Basically I’m not fluent enough in Japanese to get any serious translation jobs, and I changed my mind about actually living and working in Japan, so I decided to try to get a job in another field I’m interested in and supposedly has more jobs available, which is computer science. Hopefully that will turn out to be a good decision on my part.

      Good luck with your studies too! East Asian Studies, Art History, and all those other humanities-type courses are difficult to find jobs in, except for teaching of course. Whatever you end up doing with your majors, I hope you succeed! (and if you do come out to LA, it would be awesome to meet up!)

  7. Cloudberry says:

    Happy birthday!

    I think a slight shift in focus does not matter, your editorial posts are interesting and informative, also very well written and thought out. Keep on writing about what your heart desires and what tickles your mind, maybe you’ll lose readers, maybe you’ll gain others.. as in life is, people come and go and not everyone will stay :)

    Good luck with your studies and finding a decent job!

  8. Alexis says:

    Happy birthday! I’m a teacher and one of the things that dismayed me about my education was our lack of hands-on experience. I learned more working as a substitute than the classes I took (at the same time). Do you have an anticipated completion date?

    • Yumeka says:

      Yeah, good hands-on experience is hard to come by in classes. I know that getting perfect grades in all my classes without any hands-on definitely doesn’t mean I’m ready for a real job. Some of my classes have a little hands-on though, so that helps. I’ll just have to practice a lot at home too, and/or start small with a lower level job in the field and gradually move up.

      I don’t have a specific completion date since it depends on how many of the certificates I decide to get and when the classes I need are offered. I’m hoping to be mostly done a year from now even if I have to take one or two classes while working.

  9. Kai says:

    “gah, if any of you reading this are IT people and can offer advice, I’d appreciate it XD”
    I do work in an IT department at work, but unfortunately, I don’t really think I have any helpful advices, sorry :( I’m a bit different than my peers in that as soon as I’m out of high school, I immediately started work, so I do have hands-on experience, but I’m lacking in A LOT of knowledge, and I’m sure you would know more than me by now, lol. (And I don’t work in IT straightaway for my few beginning workplaces as well). But don’t worry if you’re not into computers too much despite aiming it to be your profession. In fact, I think that helps too, lol. As someone who was initially into computers and technology as a personal hobby, it’s actually starting to become a more stressful aspect of my life due to work.

    Anyway, happy belated birthday :) Sorry, no gifts D:

    Btw, are you playing Monster Hunter 4?

    • Yumeka says:

      Thanks for the belated birthday wishes! And I wasn’t expecting any gifts XD

      Also thanks for the input about working in IT =) I’m gonna try looking for work this summer in the field. Even if I have to start off at a low-level job with a small salary, if there’s a chance to move up, I’ll be glad to at least get my foot in the door and start building experience!

      I’m not playing Monster Hunter (though I know a lot of people who are).

  10. Mikoto says:

    Happy belated birthday, Yumeka!

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