About Me

The first website I ever built hit 15 million views in a year. I peaked pretty early. Fuck.

I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I designed a static site to upload and download in-game creations for a game called Unturned. I showed it off, knowing there was no way it could work. I got a comment from a person named Jake, asking if I wanted help with the backend.

“What’s a backend?” – yeah, Jake was definitely needed because I had no idea.

So here Jake (age 14) and I (age 17), building the most popular site for one of the most popular games, created by Nelson (age 15).

A bunch of young kids putting a small dent in the world.

Behind the screen, things were not as successful.

I grew up in a town where people were much of the same – in religion, in style, in race, in personality. It was a mold that I did not perfectly fit into. It also gave me a very siloed perception of the world.

Thus, in early high school, I went through an introverted stage and didn’t have a lot of friends.

I had thousands of followers on YouTube, and a successful website – and I didn’t have the confidence to tell anyone about it.

Junior year (of high school) changed it all.

One November, I decided to take a leap of faith and throw a birthday party, begged my parents to allow us to have alcohol, and invited the people I had lost touch with.

It was shit – I really marketed it wrong. It wasn’t much of a party – more of a hangout with old friends (new strangers), and a couple of beers.

Weeks later friends from the party asked me to hang out at the mall – the rest was history.

Over the course of my final two years of high school, I was taught to be an extrovert. Whether it was the dozens of times approaching girls with corny pickup lines or hosting more parties – it was oddly the largest growth experience I ever had.

It was more important than any successful thing I had created online – and out of pure distraction, I forgot to renew our website’s hosting. Tens of thousands of photos, uploads, comments were lost.

By the end of high school, I had gained confidence – and it was the perfect transition into college.

My siloed perception of the world was completely wiped away when I entered one of the most diverse colleges in the United States, Rutgers University.

I may have gained confidence, and learned how to become an extrovert – but I still hid my hobbies and talents. Maybe it was a fear they’d bring me back down to my old unconfident self?

It took me a few years of college, and a couple of really close relationships – to realize that wasn’t the case.

It was my differences and quirks that made me human – and rather than hiding them, I sought out people who believed what I believed.

From then on, rather than fitting into certain molds, I developed my own mold – and found others who could fit in.

I realized and expressed my love for traveling, music, film, honesty, vulnerability, computer science, being a nerd, being an introvert, humility, dark humor, empathy, risk, humility, and a lot more.

Today I enter my final year of college. Writing this post made me realize how much I have changed. My values have not, but rather the way I show and express them.

Although myself and my life are certainly not perfect (and they never will be) – I’ve been incredibly lucky compared to most, and I’m so grateful.

I would have never got this far without people – to name a few, I can’t thank Andrew, Gavin, James, Vince, Bryce, Bri, Benny, Tiffany, Ephany, Rob, Abhi and Palak enough.

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