I relate very much to your old roommate who commented on your studying Go and attributing it to your intelligence. While I have always imagined myself living in a small wooden cottage with plenty of time to pursue my interests, I find it very difficult to evaluate a freedom/success trade-off while still in university. Even though I could make the case that I will most likely live more-than-comfortably as a data-scientist no matter how well I perform at the next examination, I still can’t shake the feeling that I should be pushing myself to the limit. I feel as if the “fog-of-war” for determining future freedom is too thick, but I realize that I haven’t actually tried to make a plan.
So here’s the first outline of a “wooden cottage” plan:
Graduate with a masters degree to ensure employability
Acquire units of purchasing power in local currency
Pay off debts, build a heap of gold coins under a mountain
Scare off dwarves and a hobbit
I’ll figure the rest out later, but thank you for planting the seed in my mind.