Emre Guneyler is a CS student based in Izmir, Turkey. He is passionate about web technologies and game development. Besides programming he enjoys playing chess, poker, and Call of Duty 4.
His Twitter handle is @eguneys.
Cool story of my life
Every child thinks they are special. That they are meant to make a difference in the world. Well, I thought so too. It was literal in my case. I was the last child, after a long period of 15 years, and I was really special. Later, as we grow up, we become more realistic in life.
I wanted to become an author when I was a child, but later decided to be a computer engineer. I got into my first choice of university, CS department. I was so passionate about it (and still am). My first exposure to a programming language was through Dr Scheme. I loved it. I wasn’t really into Internet back then, I didn’t have a computer (I know, that sounds old), and there weren't many books about Dr Scheme in the library. But I searched, found some little snippets of code written in Dr Scheme, and studied them. I was so passionate that even though I didn’t have a computer, I wrote code in my notebook. Later I would run them in the department’s computers. I got really high scores in the first year. I was really special, I got 100 in the first exam for programming languages course where average was below 60!
The only problem with me was that I am highly introverted. I can’t make friends easily, and I have a constant fear of being social. That caused me some problems in the advancing years of my school. I couldn’t finish projects, attend to classes, or simply talk to people. I often visited the school library in my free time. One day, in the library, some events involving friends and my daily routines made me realize an important fact about my life: I was so alone in my free time! And I was so alone in my entire life. I often went to library alone, and I enjoyed it, never thought a second time until then. I thought again, and decided not to go for the next class, and the rest of the semester as well.
My teacher once said, “This kid hasn’t lived his teenage years to the fullest yet”. That observation is partly true. I never had a girlfriend, always envied cool kids with a neat style, clothes, and a cute earring. I wasn’t aware of my situation back then. People always told me that I am smart, and I always thought it was enough. But it wasn’t. I was weak and not particularly handsome. I had a boring life, and no girl would be attracted to me in any way. I was depressed. I shut myself down to the world and didn’t talk to anyone, spent my days playing poker and Call of Duty 4 for a year. I remember one day someone woke me up, I started screaming for 5 seconds, only to realize it was my old friend from school. I was devastated by my feelings about fearing people and being an ordinary person.
I called my mom from a pay-phone and cried that I decided to drop out of school, my passion in life. Until then, I’d never felt love, but the next day my mom appeared at my door. She didn’t even have my address. We were living in different cities, but she managed to find me so quick. I felt her protective wings upon me. My sister believed in me too, that I could do it, no matter how desperate my situation was. I had medical help, saw many therapists, but they didn’t help much. I had dark thoughts about my future and didn’t want to live on.
Luckily, and with family support, I was still hanging in there. One day as I was watching Rock The Roof collection of INNA, I realized something: I needed to deserve this girl! There I was admiring her and her energy, yet doing nothing to inspire anything like it in myself. Have you ever been inspired by something you heard or watched, that changed your life in some fashion for some time? I was thrilled. I started working out, and decided to be positive about my life. No matter what happens to me, I can be sad, but I can also still be positive and hopeful. I remember one day laying in bed, these dark thought started creeping in my mind. I got up and did some pushups. It struck me immediately that it was the best medicine I’d had so far. I remembered a quote from one of the chess DVDs of Grand-master Roman Dzindzichashvili: “You don’t know if there is a solution, you don’t know you are going to win, but you have to believe, you believe and make the next best move”. My future was unclear, I didn’t know if I could keep up with school, yet I had to believe. Even if I couldn't go to school, I had to make the next best move, which was to work out and stay positive.
I was late, my colleagues had already finished school, and I was still weak with no special skills. I hated Facebook, seeing people social and happy made me sick. I was silently crying for all the opportunities I wasted, without realizing how anti-social I am. But, I was also happy, that I had awaken, and that I had only one obstacle left to overcome.
I’ve been working out regularly for 5 months now. I’ve been following my passion of software development at my own pace. I am seeing my therapist and taking my medication. I am fit, healthy, and experienced in programming, enough to be happy. It turns out, Roman’s advice is working out for me. I’ve been writing articles about web development and developing software. I even got a job interview from a startup recently. And most importantly, I am not scared of Facebook anymore.