In 2018 & 2019, I had not one, but TWO chances for master degrees (Stats Cornell; AI NorthwesternU).
But guess what? I didn't go.
Cornell was my dream school when I was in high school. I was super excited when I was admitted the first time.
However, after I visited the campus and checked out the curriculum, I realized that I had already learned 40% of it and I could teach myself the rest.
In 2019, I was admitted to the North Western AI program.
I was super into NLP and believed that the potential for machines understanding our human language is HUGE! I wanted to work on that.
So what did I do? I didn't go to NW and started my own open-source NLP projects.
As typical Asian parents, mine were thrilled with my acceptance into prestigious schools like Cornell and Northwestern.
However, they became angry when I told them I wouldn't attend, thinking my decision was absurd. They had no understanding of open-source projects or NLP.
I asked my parents to provide me with the tuition money to cover my expenses, essentially acting as my angel investors.
They wholeheartedly supported me and provided $100k.
I am incredibly grateful to my parents. Without them, I would have never become who I am today.