Albeit late, I think I will take up the following ambitious projects over the short winter quarter, just as a personal experiment.
First of all a change of attitude is in order: grades and thoroughness are important, but they are not everything and as Bryan Shu pointed out, I should try to take only what I need and find worthwhile out of any textbook.
I am glad I have been honest with myself for my new career aspiration.
I have been living in the self-prescribed nutshell for too long and it’s time to breathe in the wind the freedom (which is still strong). So the next mindset change is that I shouldn’t be afraid of getting tired during the day and rely on late nights to finish my academic work. Time spent at home should be reserved exclusively for fun and extracurricular knowledge including news. So take a nap in the library if I found that necessary. But usually after getting out of the habit of extended academic life, one feels so much more refreshed in the morning and spontaneously needs less sleep, which not only saves time but builds up confidence. This was suggested jointly by my mother and my new roommate. I thank thee both.
Finally Bryan Shu had another insight about getting to know more friends of diverse academic fields, such as those with background in certain types of cutting edge engineering. Such is the way into so-called insiders’ knowledge which can help tremendously in stock prediction, or to broaden my wordly knowledge in general. I need to take that seriously from now on too. Maybe joining a club or two would be helpful since right now my colleagues are all hardcore math folks who are too preoccupied with their trade to care about other things.
This list shall expand in forthcoming days. But to fulfill the above goals will already be a major feat.