It feels incredible to finally be posting this. Last summer, a friend asked me to help him with his build. I didn't know anything about building computers back then. But after seeing what kind of performance he was getting for the price he paid, I was hooked. I started saving for my own build and convinced my friends who were in the market for a new PC to build their own. Helping them with their build was exhilarating. Before I knew it, I was regularly browsing /r/buildapc and giving advice to strangers on the internet.
After 9 months, it's done. Words cannot describe how much of an improvement this is over my $600 3-year-old laptop. I often envied those that could run games smoothly at high settings and, finally, that dream is a reality. I was really glad to find out my uni is in the vicinity of a Microcenter. As a result, I saved a ton on the CPU and mobo.
Acknowledgements I couldn't have done it without the collaboration of the all the /r/BaPC contributors. I learned so much from the Tech Tuesdays and the numerous Build Ready improvements that taught me what to do and what not to do. To all of you, http://i.imgur.com/YjB1E00.gif
Special thanks to /u/JohnnyNoCares for the build advice.