Graduation: the end of an era

Nearly 4 weeks ago I walked across the stage at the Georgia Dome and received my pretend diploma.  I graduated, after 6 grueling years, from Georgia Tech.  This past year has been the most intense one yet, though its also been one of my best.  Unfortunately, due to working full time while doing full time classes, I didn’t manage to get much done on the locost.  Now that school is out of the picture, I have considerable free time at my disposal that will continue for the next several months at least.  Finally, I can work on and maybe even finish this thing.

Items on my immediate todo list, in no particular order:

  • Build a portable stand for my JD2 tube bender I got last fall (this will get a separate post)
  • Finally get around to doing all the reinforcements on the frame, i.e. diagonal tubing and gussets
  • Finish the steering, which at this point entails finalizing the steering column mounting
  • Finish the dashboard tubing

From my post over at locostusa forums:

“Well, now that my last post was made over a year ago, I feel its time to provide an update finally. For the last 6 ( :shock: ) years I’ve been working on my undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech in computer science. Happily, I can announce that I graduated almost 4 weeks ago! :cheers: The short story is that I now am going to be working on the locost quite steadily (as of this week) until its completion, so I ought to be posting updates here at least once every couple weeks.

The slightly longer story:

I started the locost project during my 3rd year, almost 3.5 years ago now. I was using my mom’s garage at the time, and didn’t have any serious obligations besides school. Eventually, I moved into a townhouse with another locost builder who I happened to know through our non-locost social network, and began to make some decent progress on the car. Then about 2 years ago I became heavily interested in tech startups, and tried to pursue one myself. That crashed and burned after about 6 months, and took my studies with it for the time being.

That was about 18 months ago. By this point I moved out of the 2 bedroom townhouse and into a 1br 1 car garage by myself, and decided to figure out some things – namely how to finish school. I was on the co-op program which is a 5 year program, and as it was I was looking to seriously overshoot that mark, and my grades had been somewhat scatter shot. Around December 2009 I decided to just work for the spring (of 2010) and not take classes; this allowed me to get my wits about me, as well as focus on the Locost a decent bit. I also decided to hold off on doing a startup (my ultimate career goal) until after I had finished college, since it was too distracting from my studies (and way more fun!).

Due to finances, and the expense of renting a 1 car garage townhouse by myself, I ended up continuing to work after I started back with classes last May. In fact, between May 2010 and May 2011, I maintained a full time load of classes, as well as averaging nearly 40 hours a week writing software to pay the bills. Needless to say I had very little free time this past year for the locost. Most recently I had another opportunity with a startup that I worked on with another guy for the last few months, and it was looking like after graduation the locost was going to have to continue to wait, but that didn’t end up panning out either for various reasons, so now I’m back to my original plan of working on the car a ton post-graduation.

I can’t express enough how elated I am to finally have the ability to work on this project again. The past couple years have taught me some serious lessons about the value of not focusing on too many projects at once, and I’ll admit that once or twice when things were really hard the thought crossed my mind to sell my project and get rid of the garage dependency. I always knew in my heart of hearts that I would regret bailing on finishing this car for the rest of my life though, so I’m glad I was able to pull through and now I can finally get back to it.

I’m sure anyone who’s taken a long hiatus from working on their car can relate, but I feel like I have to relearn a lot of things! I know it will all come back quickly, but I barely even remember where I was heading and what needs to be done now. I’ve spent a couple nights in the garage this week just staring at the car and scribbling notes on paper about what I need to do next and what I need to research. Boy how I’ve missed doing that!

I’m looking forward to catching up on everyone else’s progress too, and seeing all the newcomers since I last spent much time on this forum. Seems like its grown quite a bit!


This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>