How I Spent My First College Winter Break

I spent a week in New Orleans

My first ever college winter break is officially coming to an end, and it’s been a fairly productive few weeks. I enjoyed the well deserved rest after an exhilarating first semester. I’ve also learnt new things through working on some side projects.


I revamped my personal website this winter break, moving it to Github pages and spent some time redesigning it. Github pages is supported by Jekyll, a static site generator coded in Ruby. Jekyll makes it easy to have constantly updating material (like blogs) on your website.

Overall, Jekyll was easy to use. Initially, all my pages were displaying only in plain HTML and I couldn’t find any record of this problem on documentation and online forums. I found the source of my problem by checking my code on Github. It turns out Jekyll only supports UTF-8 encoding without a Byte Order Mark (BOM). For some reason, Visual Studio Code encodes my files with a BOM of UTF-16E. After changing the encoding format through the settings on bottom right, my website was good to go.


Another project I worked on involved data visualization using the Mee6 Discord Bot API and Python’s numerous modules. The program takes in a few inputs from the user and shows the data of up to 1000 members in the server. You can view the program here. The Python modules I used were requests, csv, matplotlib and numpy.


Packing my class materials, I wonder if I had made the most of my month-long vacation to prepare myself for next semester. Winter break was a nice breather, but I’m now aching to getting back into the groove of things and take on the challenges to come.

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