Monthly Archives: August 2016

On rescue

A few weeks ago, I watched, live, a kid climbing the Trump Tower with a few suction cups and shortly after getting nabbed by the police that cornered him. One of the police men was just hanging the cord to pull him up in case he ever wanted to be “rescued.” Obviously, the police made it look like they were “rescuing” the kid, not nabbing and strangling him until he was unconscious.

But I had a daydream: suppose my school had a structural failure and collapsed (God forbid) and I found a way out. The police, firemen, and paramedics are all waiting outside the hole I would be escaping from. Right when I find the hole and they come within my line of sight, they immediately take me and put an oxygen mask on me, maybe throw a shock blanket on me. Gasping for air, I try to tell them, “I know where the rest are,” stating my intentions to sacrifice myself to make a heroic effort and rescue others trapped inside.

Back then, your request would be accepted. The firemen would helplessly watch as you look outside for a second and scamper back into the rubble, perhaps either returning with a few bodies or becoming one of those bodies yourself. After you rescue the bodies you can and throw yourself into the ground, everyone would surround you and praise your heroic efforts as you are placed in the ambulance and taken to the hospital, in case you were stabbed by a piece of rubble or your lungs are filled with the fine particulate matter. After a few days, you would be globally recognized as hero and/or a saint, depending on whether or not you died in your mission.

But times are different. The same firemen will not honor your heroism. They will say, “No, the structure is unstable. We will do the best we can.” or, “We cannot afford to lose another person.” or, “If you die in there, your parents might sue us.” Shaking and fighting, you are put in the ambulance anyway and sent off as yet another victim.

A few days later, you would hear news of the tragedy, and, of course, the girl, the hero, who rescued five bodies. She gets all the media attention; all the reputation; the visit to the White House. You tell the media you wanted to rescue people too, but the firemen did not allow you under any circumstances. The media ignores you in favor of reporting the trendy headlines celebrating this newfound hero.

Whose story is better: hers or yours? Who should be honored more: the hero who wanted to be, but was forcefully restrained; or the hero who did not intend to (or perhaps she did), and became one?

And the psychologist will come and look at your case file. You will cry, “I wanted to save them! I wanted to save them but I couldn’t!” She will apathetically write down, “Survivor guilt, possible PTSD.” And she will say, “There is nothing you can do.” You will ask for retribution. You will want to sue them for gross negligence, but they will argue they were doing the exact opposite. But in the end, there is no answer. You must somehow continue your life, knowing that the firemen let many people die only to save you.

Then who is more important, the people entrusted with saving lives but are not heroes; or the people who want to be heroes but do not have this single responsibility?

This is the social dilemma. Is honor and symbolism something of the past? If I had the opportunity to be a hero, I would be one. Honor is something passed down across generations until it fades away. But nowadays, it seems people do not care about their ancestry, their past. It is all part of the American drama of divorce, lawsuits, obesity, drugs, irresponsibility, and a chronic disjunction between parents and their descendants.

Can the new generation’s response to the newer generation possibly improve?

Restrained

For my whole life, I have felt restrained. I have been held back by a society that has never seen something like me before.

I have felt put down by parents, teachers, and counselors. Instead of encouraging me to elaborate my ideas, they simply dismissed them as a figment of my imagination.

I wasn’t ever looking for a toy like they thought I was. I wasn’t looking for any consumer product at all. I was looking for something to construct with. How foolish of them to believe this.

Neither they nor I gained anything from such a relationship. I did not earn the attention I wanted for my “ideas,” and they did not receive the compliments of a loyal student. I did not gain the confidence I needed to explain to them what I wanted to make without getting a good laugh; and I paid dearly for this. I was left alone because people did not understand me, and in this absence of understanding, they attempted to produce something out of the static.

Now, it’s somewhat too late to remedy this. My childhood is coming to an end. I never gained the reputation I needed as a maker in order to approach people about my intentions without them outright laughing at my face.

There is a huge fork in the road: I’ll become either a college kid (as parents, teachers, and counselors expect of me) or a college superstar (as I expect it to be). And the reason I want to be this “college superstar” is because I want to free myself. I want to free myself of these shackles, suspend expectation, and make anything.

I don’t want anyone to laugh at me. The public school system encourages uniformity to a point that it has no idea what to do with kids like me, kids who appear too “socially awkward” to play with normal kids and are too smart to go to waste with “regular” learning programs. I tell you, if it ever crossed the school district’s mind that it was possible to start kids with algebra at grade six or seven instead of grade eight.. I’d be doing advanced calculus by now!

Now, you seem to be blaming me for lack of initiative. The problem is not lack of initiative, the problem is lack of time. If I have to sign up for some courses and I don’t like any of them, well am I just going to leave it blank? Of course not, I can’t leave it blank! That’s the thing, school forces students to allot a certain (read: substantial) amount of time for “homework” and “studying.” Even if I could prove that I deserve to start algebra in, say, seventh grade, they couldn’t do anything about it!

Yes that’s right ladies and gentlemen, it looks like the school is encouraging you to feel bored taking un-stimulating classes!

And I have less than a year to go to escape this school system once and for all. One day I will come back and start a STEM branch for the school. This part of the city is in grave need of one.

Making

After screwing around, I looked to my left and the first thing I saw was the MIT logo, from a small booklet containing excerpts from the admissions blog posts, with the cover being each of those excerpts’ titles. The part that always gets me is that these students intentionally do not write at all about how they got to where they are. On one hand, they appear to be humble this way; on the other, it seems to be deceptive to mask how much work it takes to get there. Personally, I am in favor of the former perspective, because it falls in line with my own beliefs of what people do at MIT and why they do it. Like any hacker (and like me), they are primarily driven by curiosity, and they will do anything to answer a question. Well, almost anything. That’s why the institution is one of the most reputable in the world: because nobody quits. There is success and there is failure, but there is no resignation.

But how could any of this be possible without support? I want to make, but my parents hardly support my endeavors. They ask the “why,” the “how,” the “but,” at every possible corner, and that makes it incredibly difficult to order the parts I need to accomplish something. Don’t forget the people in the side who have absolutely no idea what I’m trying to do and instead try to drain my time thinking that this is somehow “idle time,” i.e. time better spent doing something else. That is not to say that I dislike my parents. I’m just a misunderstood child.

One of the things that I always intended to do, but failed, was to explain to my parents why I do all of this and why they should support me and just buy parts without having to question me so much every time. The reason I could never successfully convince them is because they look at everything I failed to do: a Raspberry Pi there sitting doing nothing, a DSLR doing nothing, etc.

What aches me is that when I want to do a project, there are always two problems:

  1. Who will drive me to the store.
  2. The money.

Every. Single. Time.

But alas, I will do what I can, what I must.

The observer

I got yelled at to do the tutorial for a game by two people, my brother and some guy with a high level. This was on a match with some very high ranked people. I felt embarrassed so I just left the game after the match. I ragequitted.

At that point, there is no escape. If you leave, you are humiliated as a ragequitter. If you stay on, you just keep getting yelled at. If you refuse to listen, you just keep getting yelled at.

When it comes to gaming, I’m just a filthy casual these days. I have little time for real gaming. I’m talking about board games when I say this. In front of my brother I look like the illiterate version of him. I don’t bother reading instruction manuals. I don’t bother learning traditionally. If the game is easy enough to learn by experience, then I’m on board, and if not, too bad. I’m ignorant this way.

I watched, on a news outlet’s live stream, a kid getting nabbed by the police as he failed to climb the villainous Trump Tower. The police always seem so two-sided when they do these things. You cannot determine if they are trying to rescue someone or if they are trying to pursue him.

I am just an observer. A consumer. Even if I want to make, I just consume. I know I should not be saying this, but I hate myself for that. I take no initiative; anything that really happens, happens by chance or by coincidence.

I once thought you could conquer the world or become rich and famous without leaving your room. Maybe in Japan this is true (see 引きこもり); but anywhere else, it would be so wrong to do this. One would be encouraging a world without social or human interaction.

I was spectating that match and it was so cool. I wanted to jump right in.

Does this not sound familiar, the whole notion of the observer, the spectator? It sounds a lot like the Olympics. Hmm… Does one not feel like jumping into the action? Of course but what is really the most appealing thing? The effort? No, of course not. It’s just their appearances. Look at their super-exposed bodies doing all these stunts, with those incredibly tight outfits. But above all, who is your competition? Right, this is a competition, I forgot. I would not want to do this.

I was accepted as a winner of the top three best software hacks of my local hackathon, but I feel like a fraud. I don’t feel like a fraud because I actually am. It’s just another episode of impostor syndrome.

I usually have to wait a week or so for something good to happen. The rest is just fluff. The usual crap. It’s usually homework, another day in the cramped office, or my brother wanting to play with me, or waiting for my dad to pick me up from whatever. I bet this is a quarter of my life, just waiting and doing boring things.

When will it ever change?
It’ll change when YOU want it to change.Oh really mate? I’ve been waiting almost a whole week for a bicycle I wanted.
So wait more.
No! Things just don’t change “now.”
You’re right they don’t. Shoulda done it earlier.
Shut up!
You know I’m telling the truth…
Well the truth doesn’t matter!
Then what matters?
I don’t know. Something.
You see, you’re not even in control of your own life. So let me take yours and just tell you what to do.
No!
Why not? You clearly have nothing productive to say or do. Don’t you have a book to read?
Yeah, but…
READ IT! Dummy. Get out of here.

Uncertainty

My future is filled to the brim with uncertainty. I don’t want to stay here where I am, so where will I go? I feel weighed down; my abilities are far greater than what most people believe them to be.

This morning I returned to my “ordinary” school deep in the suburbs and got my textbooks and schedule. They were almost all AP classes, save two semester classes. One of those semester classes was supposed to be an AP class, but for some reason it was dropped down to “student aide.” I did not feel like speaking up about it; the counselors were at this point probably ready to question how I was going to tolerate the load.

My school does not encourage uniqueness; rather it encourages solidarity through uniformity (i.e. sports) which does not reflect me at all. I was very pleased to see my friends and my class, but I was discontent that my counselors don’t seem to understand my intentions.

My intentions are not to kill myself with schoolwork. Their intentions are to make my senior year enjoyable. You put the two together, oh he must want a light course load. No. I want a course load that accurately reflects my level of competence and intelligence. I am ready for college, and these AP classes are nothing compared to college. College is not “a lot of work,” it is “work that actually requires some thinking.”

I hardly find this kind of work here at school. The teachers are just paid to give you some handouts, ask you to take notes, hand you some quizzes and a test, give you a grade, that’s it. And you might say, “Well, that sounds quite a lot like college.” Here’s the catch, though: these teachers at school are paid to teach you material to pass the test and the class. They are absolutely not paid for you to actually learn the material, which is a massive flaw in the school system, and, quite frankly, that’s what many people just want. They do the absolute minimum to pass the class and graduate from high school, because they think the will never see this again.

The problem is that I am stuck with “these people.” Now, I may not see them regularly since my course choices are advanced (and so I will probably be seeing the same people over and over), but I will see them when I graduate. The problem is that this is a sports-oriented school. The problem is that four years ago, I made a huge mistake. The problem is that I don’t appreciate what I have instead of complaining what I don’t have. The problem is that I don’t see how other people regard me. The problem is that I don’t know where I’ll end up.

I deserve a reward. Do I get a lot of rewards? No, because I intentionally veer away from the public eye.

They are not excuses, they are circumstances.

Dream and reality are soon to clash. It may be a cataclysmic event. If I do not achieve my dreams, I will probably lose all hope and become violent. If I do achieve my dream, then I will be literally living a dream.

You do not understand my virtual timeline: right now, I am living in one branch of the timeline. There are millions of tiny branches that I could be living in, but if one puts them together, they come to be about four or five “main” branches. One of those branches is my ideal “dream” lifestyle, which still remains within the realm of what is entirely possible. As the college acceptance letters begin to come in, the branches gradually merge together and it will come down to something like heaven or hell, and I will end up in either the heaven branch or the hell branch. And that is something completely arguable and probably going to be quoted against me.

Every day I take a risk hosting this blog. Someone in the family will look up the house IP and accidentally put it into the browser. Then I will get called and my dad will say, “What is this n00bworld thing?” And I’ll look at him, red-faced, and he’ll start clicking on stuff. Then he’ll click on “blog.” Oh gosh, I will run. He’ll start reading it. Then he’ll yell at me, “What the **** have you been writing?!” And then he’ll show it to my mother. And then to my brother. And then everyone will come to my room. My dad will do the questioning and force me to delete all of it, and if I don’t, probably ground me and unplug the server and take away anything I could possibly want. Alternatively, a friend could stumble upon my website, start looking intrigued, click on “blog,” and then he’ll either call me and ask about it, stop talking to me, or just go right ahead and call for help. Either way, I have little recourse.

Here’s what I could do. I could unpublish everything from the blog, export each post to a Word/PDF/HTML, and put it in a folder somewhere in this server. I could remove the “rants” category from the home page. It could still be accessible from the blog but it just wouldn’t be the first thing people would see, so it would be much harder to get to.

At any rate, these rants were definitely worth writing. I understand my own troubles. There is a sense of progress or otherwise a change across time. And other people can understand my problems too.

Forming identity

Dreams are far from reality; and the conversion process can take an unprecedented effort. My thought process around sleep hours is very distinct from that during the daytime, which makes it easy to identify when I am tired, because a part of my subconscious seems to be exposed to the remaining part of my conscious. Thus, during the night, what I hope to achieve is very far from what I truly achieve (a regrettable characteristic of myself).

The truth is that putting dream and reality together in fact seems to deepen understanding and identity.

I’m a hacker. That doesn’t mean I’m a criminal, or that I rob banks every other week, or that I break into the Pentagon when WikiLeaks demands new content. Absolutely not. A hacker is a lifestyle; a culture; perhaps a discipline. It is characterized by a unique angle taken when solving problems, one that does not incline itself to simply tackle the problem, but rather places into scrutiny the existence of the problem itself. And for those problems deemed “impossible,” are they really?

Nothing is as interesting and stimulating for us as a good challenge. We loathe school because it is often not a challenge; and we do not want to be weighed down and repressed by the ordinary. The ordinary is what has repressed me and prevented me from thriving; it has led me to fear it.

School is upon me once again in less than two weeks. I will not enter the same way that I left; nobody ever does. In a sea of ordinary, how exactly does one become extraordinary? In a sense, it is easier; but in another, it seems much more difficult since not many will encourage one to become extraordinary.

What is my future? Fear is fear of the unknown. What do people care about hackers? I don’t know until I find out.

I expect to change the world one day. In a way, I have already fulfilled my goal. But if it is at a global scale, I do not expect that to happen today, or tomorrow, or by the end of high school.

The hackathon

The hackathon was okay. There were some regrettable moments and some unforgettable ones.

When I arrived there, I was still pretty miffed that my friends had ostracized me from their group. I came in with the “I’m-scared-of-tall-white-people-with-glasses-and-braces” look, but to be honest, looks turned out to be deceiving when the final products appeared.

I saw some kids from my summer engineering program, at least the ones that mattered. There was a noticeably smaller amount of kids than were expected, but this turned out to be quite advantageous.

As with any group project, I was the mastermind, and everyone else just sat and watched me do all the work. More specifically, they played League of Legends for hours on end. That morning I did not have an idea for a project, but before I came, I suddenly recalled my need of an all-encompassing cloud storage solution, so I decided to call it UltronCloud. I mean it’s not ever going to be finished, so just give it some joke name.

The environment was excellent; this was the college my brother goes to. It’s private but the tuition turned out to cost less than that of a public university, and needless to say, it seems that every penny of it was spent wisely on the infrastructure and architecture. I got a huge-screen television all for myself, so I was able to use the television as my primary monitor, which made it very easy for my eyes as the night progressed.

The hackathon was great, or rather should have been great. But I think I did not take advantage of the opportunities; there were mentors who were teaching how to develop for mobile platforms. I also didn’t take as many breaks as I should have; I strained myself in order to squeeze every hour of the venue, so I didn’t have as much fun with other kids. On top of that, the challenges I was facing when making the project were serious yet to a ridiculous extent. Some problems took hours to be solved, only to be met with yet another problem.

This following section is part of an issue I made on the repository of the library I used, because the following morning, I was so mad that I had wasted all this time for nothing. Once again, I hold nothing against the developer of the library:

Literally every step of the way has been riddled with bugs and other quirks and undefined behavior, even when following the instructions to the letter and trying it on two different Windows 7 x64 machines. Needless to say that I wasted my time trying to make a frontend out of this library. Maybe you can figure out whether the library hates me or if it’s just that unstable.

The first problem was when DokanCloudFS failed to load assemblies when I set the build configuration to NuGet-Signed. If I tried cleaning the build, it would still error out. If I tried changing the build config back to regular NuGet, yet again it would throw the exact same exception. The solution was to nuke the entire project, keep it in the default configuration and never touch it again. This alone cost me a few hours to figure out.

And alas, very shortly later, more problems arose. My mounted Google Drive appeared as a drive, but all interactivity with it was completely blocked, thanks to a vague exception thrown repeatedly as shown in the console:

Exception thrown: 'Google.GoogleApiException' in mscorlib.dll
...
Exception thrown: 'Google.GoogleApiException' in Google.Apis.dll
Exception thrown: 'System.IO.InvalidDataException' in SharpAESCrypt.dll
...
Absolutely no stack trace and Visual Studio did not even bother to break.

And this was after I had compiled CloudFS, put in secret keys for GDrive, copied the output DLLs to the DokanCloudFS Library folder, and assured that it had access to the Drive API by turning it on in the console, and waited a few minutes for it to “enable”.

So I said, screw it! Let’s use OneDrive instead, thinking that somehow it would ease my pain. Nope. Same spiel. Except Microsoft was taking me to some OAuth2 auth link that would just take me to a blank page. After a bit of research I found out that I had to add “mobile” as a platform in order for me to even have an OAuth2 login page. Okay, so when it asks me, “Let this app access your info?” and the usual permissions and I click “yes,” ….it just opens another browser window to do the exact same thing. I click yes again, and the window reappears ad infinitum. And instead of the `GoogleApiException` I get a `System.Security.Authentication.AuthenticationException in mscorlib.dll` along with a `System.AggregateException` which VS *should* be breaking to tell me about, but it’s not doing squat.

By this time I’m forgetting about even running the DokanCloudFS.Mounter example and instead just building hacks to bridge the frontend with the library, using the mounter program as an example because there’s absolutely no documentation that comes with it.

And as of the time of the writing of this issue, I’ve spent sixteen hours trying to get all this to work just to make a frontend that will mount OneDrive, Google Drive, etc. in unison.

I racked my brains so hard that instead of pulling the all-nighter as I had intended to, I decided to sleep for three hours. I didn’t bring a pillow nor a sleeping bag, so I was in for a really nice sleeping experience. Thank the lady who showed me where the cot was in the nice, dark, quiet room; all the couches were taken. So between the hours of 3 AM and 6 AM, I decided to rest and try to figure out what to do with the project. Now, the resting period was important because when I woke up (I think I only achieved REM sleep for a few minutes), I did not feel disillusioned as I usually am when I am sleep deprived (the reason for this is that the image of sunset is still ingrained in my brain, so it gives the impression that it was a very short night and that I will have to sleep during daytime hours to compensate for this).

When I woke up, I returned to my workspace. My teammates were still playing League as they were before I went to sleep, and I sat down and looked at Visual Studio. I tried to begin hacking together some sort of interface to figure out if any functionality is possible, but it was futile. By 10 AM, I simple gave up. I failed.

I had really been looking forward to the hackathon, and I met quite a few people there. But I was not met with a stroke of luck, and the hackathon was not as enjoyable as it could have. If I went back in time, I could have done all the right decisions: convince my friend to let me in the team, bring a pillow and a surface to sleep on, actually go to one of the Android workshops, talk with the head of the hackathon, etc.

But alas, the result would have been the same regardless of anything. The judges delivered some rather questionable decisions in terms of which project was “better”; despite my utter failure, I placed third in “best software hack,” and my friend’s team, who had put all their efforts on a robotic hand, did not seem to place at all in the “best hardware hack.” What? At least there was an “everyone’s a winner” attitude which is a nice way to end a hackathon. No massive prizes for winners, like a graphics card or anything like that.

I don’t really know what to do now though; I left the hackathon with an incomplete satisfaction. What can I do instead: order parts for the electric bicycle? Compensate by trying to invite my friends to do something similar? Or just work on the school stuff I’m supposed to finish by the first day of school?

Ugh. I had felt during the hackathon that this was the beginning of my demise; that this was a glimpse of my condemnation; that I was no match for anyone around me in terms of college admissions. It’s not true. But one question still remains: what am I to do now?

Forsaken

This was the event I was waiting for, and look how I screwed it up. I haven’t even started the hackathon and things are already looking pretty grim!

First it’s the claustrophobic experience at the office. There is hardly a desk chair anywhere that doesn’t feel too awkward for reading. Looking for records is a painful process because the shelves are just a bit higher than me: if I use steps, they’re too low, but if I don’t, they require me to turn my neck while on your tiptoes, with hardly anywhere to put the records list much less write on it. Imagine doing this for 200 records.

Second, my brother had his wisdom teeth removed, so now he’s on a liquid diet for about a week now, which means that I get to suffer too.

Third, I want to add more capacity to the server, so I look for SATA support. The problem is that the RAID controllers cost upwards of $100-200, so I guess SATA is out of the question. What ticks me off is that the “solution” is to just use USB drives. If USB drives were the solution to storage, why aren’t we all using USB drives for everything instead of internal drives?! And forget it since I don’t have money for any drive, anyway.

Fourth, I’m split between the water-condensing windmill (newsflash, I can use Peltier coolers which cost about $3-5 a pop) or the electric bicycle. The windmill design has never been done before, while the electric bicycle conversion that I want to do requires a kit of about $200-600. The reason the kit is so expensive is because it includes a whole new back wheel, which includes an “all-in-one” hub motor. Screw that, I’m doing it myself.

Fifth, I don’t have a source of money. My father is reluctant to pay for any of my wants. He does not have a “maker” mentality: if there is a product for it, then it is possible; and if not, then it is not possible. And if I try to convince him that it is possible, he simply postpones any action indefinitely, such as ordering parts and such. Ridiculous.

Sixth, just for God to add insult to injury, my friend has shown up, out of the blue, incredulously telling me that he’s already got plans and and an idea and members for his team and that he will not let me join his team for the hackathon. What a nice friendly way to kick off the new school year. He didn’t intend to do it, but he just helped me screw myself over.

So now I am all alone. My brother is no help. He just mandates when to play a game with him, and that’s about all the interaction I have with him. He treats me like dirt, and I do likewise.

I wish I could break out of the loop. I tell myself some nights, “I can become a new person tomorrow.” But what really happens is that I groggily get up and want to do absolutely nothing. It turns out that dreams were in fact dreams.

I don’t want to make any questions or post anything about my problems online because people just make me feel like an idiot. It’s the “why” questions that beat me down and kill me.

Why don’t you get a new server?
Why don’t you just ask your dad?
Just mow the lawn, it’s an easy way to earn money.
Work at a fast food, it’s also a great way.
Dude, if you don’t have money for a second backup, then you obviously don’t have money to use a computer!
If your Internet is really that slow, just go to the library or the university. They always have great speeds.
Why are you putting your backups on Amazon Glacier? Backblaze is dirt cheap and does everything for you. It’s pure magic.
Stop acting like this. If you say it’s a mental problem, then you should get help.
What, your dad doesn’t want to pay for a psychologist? Not my problem. Find a trusted adult who can help you.

Clean your desk!
Why don’t you want to go outside?
Do you want me to turn off the monitor for you? That seems to help.
Why is it that you get so annoyed when I turn off the computer?
Are you addicted to the computer? Looks like Mom was right all along.
We have to do something about this. We’re going to have to start limiting your time. It’s the only way.
There are so many things to do other than the computer! The only reason you can’t think of them is because being on the computer is the only thing you’ve ever done. You can play chess, you can play a board game, you can play basketball, you can walk outside, you can jump in the pool, you can fight with swords, you can read a book…

And people still don’t understand why I choose the computer over these things. It’s because it is a refuge. In the Internet there are an astounding amount of people like me, who love making things, who love to code, who don’t have any interesting friends in their vicinity…

Oh you want me to call my friends over? And what will I do with them? Swim? I don’t float very well.

If you don’t get it yet, I live my life in constant insecurity. My entire life is put into question repeatedly by my brother, and I don’t like him for it. It’s not explicit abuse and it’s not bullying either; he tells the truth. But I hate how he tells it and how he offers defeatist or overly simplistic solutions, as if fixing my problems was just magic. This is why my mind is always set to the defensive mode, because my brother has been questioning me for so long that I must provide a defense if I don’t want to get parented by him.

In a way, he has damaged me by permanently altering the way I think. Instead of thinking why I want to do something, I think of the reasons I don’t want to do something (basically my brother speaking in my head) and then refute them bitterly.

Now, school is starting, and I have to finish reading my books before the first day, on top of all my other obligations. I have stress before school has even begun. I have support from some family members, but my support group does not really consist of anyone from my group.

Please help me…