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I don't know!

Discussion in 'School, Uni and Starting Out' started by Chipetele, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Chipetele

    Chipetele Aspiring techie

    I'm in my second semester of uni now, studying IT. I worked really hard last year and got an A in a notoriously difficult programming class. So I started this semester thinking I've got this, this is the career for me, finally found something I'm good at.

    A little over a month into the second semester and I've noticed a few things that have changed (you can skip 2 and 3):
    1. I can't concentrate. I've been completely unable to read and work on programming etc the way I did last year. I'm really far behind and I'm driving myself crazy. Every day I tell myself I'll spend hours reading and catching up but I just can't do it and I don't know why. Maybe it's winter draining me of energy?
    2. Four classes this year, two of them about vague mathematical and philosophical concepts, one of them more programming, and one about information systems.
    3. I liked java (what I learned last year) it's neat and tidy, you always know what everything in a program is and does and where to change it. We also learned it in a really great way, one chapter at a time, one concept at a time. This year we're doing javascript and WTF, it's complete chaos, there are no rules, it's all over the place, and we're using two books, one of them massive, no natural progression, there's no way to get through it all in one semester.
    4. GROUP PROJECTS. In 3 of the 4 classes I can do the projects alone but not in the fourth, it's mandatory, you have to find people to group with yourself(they should not be allowed to do this to people) and I don't work in groups, nor do I write long papers, which is what the project is. I don't communicate well. I haven't joined a group yet and I think I might have a breakdown if I do, the pressure to contribute to group discussion and deliver my part of the paper so the group doesn't hate me combined with my inability to write long papers (I chose IT so I could just do technical stuff like write programs) will just not be good for my mental health and wellbeing.
    5. I've realized that what I'm headed for is a 9 to 5 job, stuck in an office for most of my life. And that's not the life I want to live. I want to be outside when the sun is shining, I want to spend time in nature, I want to be free. I want to make money/have a job too, of course, but I don't want to sleepwalk my days away inside an office, barely seeing the light of day.

    #4 has made me think I won't be able to complete my degree(because of that one class :/) and #5 has sort of made me not want to.

    However I don't have anything to fall back on. I'm on disability benefits right now and it's not really enough to live on, I'm in debt and I keep getting bills and having to make downpayments as if I have any money to spare and I won't even have enough money for food until the next payout. So my situation needs to change and getting a degree/well paying job is my way out. That and I don't feel like I'm disabled so I'd want to come off it anyway.

    I've never worked a day in my life (long story).
    I've been thinking I want to learn how to take good pictures and try to become a photographer but that's not steady employment, nor does it pay well and consistently, you can't rely on that working out, or, even if it does, that it'll keep working out. But that would be something I'd enjoy and I'd get to spend a lot of time outside, while it's light out, doing my own thing, working irregular hours and living more freely. It's just such a shame it's not realistic. Can't even afford a good camera.

    I just don't know what to do! I want to finish the current semester before I make a decision but...#4
    I'm 27 and I don't want to waste any more time than I already have.

    finally {
  2. Rockclimbinggirl

    Rockclimbinggirl SF climber Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Many students change what they are studying. Is there anyone you could talk to at school?

    All science, tech, math, engineering, etc programs require you to take communication courses or arts/social science electives. Is dropping the course possible? Or taking a different course?
  3. JustLovely

    JustLovely Wants to become a cat

    Maybe it's possible for you to take a leave of absence for this semester? For me it looks like you could use some time to rest and get your energy and motivation back. If you keep forcing yourself it will only get worse. And from what I read you enjoy programming! I know a 9-5job is not perfect, but it's not your whole life, you have time after work, you have weekends, you have holidays! It's really important to manage your time efficiently.
    You say you're interested in photography. Maybe you could focus on that during the leave of absence? You don't need a super expensive camera! Actually I believe it's better to start with an older one and learn and get to know your camera. Getting a fancy expensive one doesn't automatically mean the pictures will be great. It's your skill that takes the pictures, and it is entirely possible to take better pictures with an older camera when you know what you're doing, than with a fancy one when you don't even know what half of the options are.
    I think for most people there are subjects that are just hell to go through. Don't give up on just that one! You have excellent results in other important ones, you can do this one too even if your grade is not the best one it's OK! Noone is perfect at everything.
    BarryW and Chipetele like this.
  4. Alwayswrong

    Alwayswrong Well-Known Member

    Hi! I HATE working in groups, too!!! While I was studying law and then in another carreer
  5. Alwayswrong

    Alwayswrong Well-Known Member

    (I'm sorry. I was trying to edit my other post but I took too much time and it was not possible. So here I start again.)
    Hi! I HATE working in groups, too!!! While I was studying law and then in another career what I did is convince my group that they were more busy than I was. I would do the task and then give it to them for approval. In Physics, however, we have to form groups of four. But what we do is get to know what each one is best at and split the task, ... and convince the lazy ones everything is under control.
    For #1, divide tasks/study material in small chunks lasting the time you see you can concentrate (let's say: 10 minutes). Set the alarm clock and rest for 10 minutes (go for a walk,etc). Repeat for each chunk.
    (See if you're not lacking magnesium).
    And for #5, I'm not sure, but I think your career might allow you to have an online job...
  6. Innocent Forever

    Innocent Forever Go as long as you can. And then take another step. Chat Pro SF Supporter

    Can you speak to the counsellors on site?
    You may be able to change tracks and or get help with figuring it all out....
    Sending strength your way.....
  7. Chipetele

    Chipetele Aspiring techie

    Not everywhere :p And no, it's a mandatory course. The curriculum of the course itself is very relevant.

    The group project is 40% of your final grade, the exam is 60%. I'm thinking even if I don't do the project, I can still pass the class if I read up and do well on the exam...?

    Most definitely. However I just can't waste any more time. I've wasted about 9 years of my life, I turn 28 this year, never had a job, never really tried to live, never really felt alive...I just can't waste more time.

    After work -> During winter, by the time I'd get off work, it'd already be dark outside. I'd only know darkness. During summer, most places around the world it gets dark around 8 pm. So I'd only have about 3 hours of daylight a day. 3 hours of daylight a day AT MOST...does that seem right to you?

    Weekends -> that's 2 out of 7 days. 28.5%. That doesn't seem right, either. It should be the other way around.

    Holidays -> a VERY small minority of the year. At best you're going to have 5 weeks of vacation a year. That's 9.6%. Less than 10% of your life spent actually living your life...

    Obviously I need to make enough money to live comfortably, though, so I'd need to do something, but it should be something meaningful that'd make me feel alive, where I'd get to experience all or most daylight hours, even during winter... I just can't see what that is but 9-5 jobs/ 35-40 hour work weeks really should be illegal imo.

    I should talk to a counsellor...I do talk to a sort of student counsellor, but not connected to the uni...I don't think it's very helpful, she helps me make a schedule for when to read what during the week but I can't stick to the schedule because I can't concentrate.

    I'm also considering the option that this could all be happening because winter has just gone on too long ( =not enough hours of daylight)

    This is good advice! I'll try this! Thank you :)

    Yeah I think it will. Knowing javascript, html & css could take me far...if I EVER learn javascript. Oh my god javascript, why can't you be more like java...
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    Alwayswrong likes this.
  8. JustLovely

    JustLovely Wants to become a cat

    I absolutely understand that. I'm in a similar situation and I used to think exactly the same. But try not to look at it as a waste of time but rather as an opportunity to develop (maybe photography, maybe study programming on your own during this time, maybe prepare for the next semester), to rest and to give yourself a chance to do better after the break. You're human, and there's only as much as a human being can take. It's not a race, and looking at it that was will only make you miserable, it's OK to do it at your own pace.
    Chipetele likes this.
  9. Chipetele

    Chipetele Aspiring techie

    Maybe. It just really sucks coming down from last semester, and it sucks because I'm tired of not having gotten to the point where I need to be to be truly happy (making my own money, having free time when I get off work, having enough money to not only survive but live comfortably in a bigger/nicer apartment, being able to travel now and then) and I don't want to delay getting to that point until my thirties.

    My brain is built in such a way that I'm always obsessing over something and this is the problem I'm facing. It's one of the symptoms/habits of Asberger, which I coincidentally got diagnosed with in my teens (was undiagnosed later). I'll obsess over a book series or an author and read every book in the series/by the author. Then suddenly, after weeks or months, I won't care anymore and I'll never speak of it again, won't be able to focus on it even if I try. Same with tv shows, movies, goals, topics of interest. Last year this worked out perfectly because what I obsessed over was my degree, getting that A in programming so I could be on my way to a degree in IT so I could get a well paying job here or abroad. I spent all day every day working on it. Then the obsession ended like it always does and I've been completely unable to care about it, spend time on it, concentrate on it.

    What I have been able to do is watch lectures about the brain, free will (or the lack thereof), consciousness. Then that obsession faded (still an interest though) and I forgot so much of what I learned. After that I've probably watched 20+ hours of Eurogamer and Ian Higton playing pubg. It's always something! But it's not uni. I don't control it.

    This is going to get me nowhere. I wish I was making my own money and living freely right now.
  10. Alwayswrong

    Alwayswrong Well-Known Member

    Are you sure you're aspy? I'm a mild aspy. Maybe there are different types. In my case, I can add interests but my passions are - I can say - permanent.
  11. Chipetele

    Chipetele Aspiring techie

    No, I don't think I am and neither did the docs, eventually. Diagnosis was removed
    Alwayswrong likes this.
  12. BarryW

    BarryW Well-Known Member

    Someone once told me that an important part of college is that you are made to do stuff you don't want to do or don't like to do. Anyone can work on something they like easily enough. But at some points at your jobs in the future, even if you got into the career you wanted, you'll be given tasks at work that you think are "bleh". So, building the ability to work through those items is a good thing. Next semester what about slowing down on the coding classes and do a photography class instead? It could help you decide whether that is something you want to pursue as a hobby or career. There's no rule that you have to graduate in 5 years or even 10.
    Alwayswrong likes this.