This is exactly the advice I was going to give!
C and C++ really drive point the home that magic is not free. Java, C#, and many other languages would like you to believe that their fancy abstractions have no hidden costs, but abstractions always do. Once you've had to muck about with handling everything manually, or at least transparently, you really come to appreciate all the implications of, say, that "magically resizing data structure".
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