The Fears Of Computer Science
Computer Science is truly a prestigious field to be in and I think kind of a scary one too! Well we can say all career fields are scary if you do not know what to do and more importantly how to do. In this blog, I just want to cover my story of how I thought Computer Science was never made for me to actually really loving it, being interested in it and now trying to learn everything possible. And by *never made for me* I mean, I suck at it, I have no interest here, I forget after learning it once or twice or any other reason that makes you run away from a beautiful world of softwares and technologies! 🏃
By the way, I’m Avi. I used to define myself as a Computer Science Student but well I have changed that definition quite a bit. I guess I have expressed myself the best on my website http://viiii.tech/ (hehe side plug) if you want to check that out. Anyways back to the topic. 👉
So in my first year of college, I had a course name FCP which was basically a fancy name for learning C programming. The first lecture, my professor comes in and starts talking about loops and i++ and I wonder to myself, what the heck did I get myself into. I had no prior knowledge of any Computer Science related stuff and I had to do this for the rest of my life. I felt like everyone in my class knew everything about C programming but me. The semester went by but with every other lecture, the difficulty just kept on increasing for me I think. It became harder for me to understand Recursion, Pointers, Structures, etc. By this time I was only learning about variables and loops and functions. So the course got over and I ended up scoring average here. It was my mistake that I did not try to make my C programming better and just assumed that it is super tough and I’ll be fine with what I already know.
The next semester had Data Structures and Java in store for me. So I did not hate it, nor did I love it. The thing with me is, I used to be really good with theory and couldn’t put it down in code. So I scored really well in Data Structures and average in Java. It was my laziness and mistake that I did not push myself harder. I really liked Databases and Discrete Math for some odd reason. My friends used to say “who tf likes Databases” . So with each course completed with an average score, it made me think, I ain’t good enough and I really don’t have interest in Computer Science.
The problem with me was,
1. Laziness- not trying to code or understand the algorithm.
2. Making notes the wrong way.
3. Doing it the wrong way. I was not trying enough.
I desperately needed help and also considered doing a stream change. You see, I have always loved writing, reading, singing and sketching. I used to think I have these creative parts in me and I am wandering in a non-creative background. I was really really wrong though and you’ll soon know why. I spent 3 out of my 4 years of undergrad like this. With every interview fail, it was becoming difficult for me to accept myself for me until I finally decided to get help. I finally thought to myself, enough is enough. I at least need to give it a full fledged try and not just give up. You see, I was the brightest student up until 12th grade. I used to know everything and this challenged me like nothing ever did honestly.
The help changed me fully. It completely transformed me and changed my thinking process. So I was really good friends with this guy who is also really good with anything in Computer Science and one day I laid to him my insecurities and everything that was going wrong. He understood me fully, did not judge me and was very kind. He made me realise where was I going wrong. He helped me prepare a time-table and we started from the beginnning. From Python3 to HTML, CSS, JS to Markdown. And oh, Git. The most important I believe. We then moved to Flask, APIs, React, Gatsby JS and much more.
That was the start. I now am confident enough to not depend on the time-table that we prepared together. I make my own time-table. I am also independent enough to now think the process by myself. I genuinely feel very interested and am always curious about what to build next or what to learn next. I have this hunger inside of me now to learn the most possible. By no means I say that my laziness is no more . It very much does exist. But I have accomplished several things, both big and small. I created my website for the first time (well of course) and deployed it. I created a website using Node and Angular( and I might never use Angular again !!!). I don’t feel daunted anymore by GitHub of all things :p and it goes on and on alright.
The message I want to convey here is, even though I had someone to talk to, I feel I might be one of the privileged ones. I got to share and rebuild myself. Quarantine was a blessing in disguise for me! But not everyone might have someone to talk to! In that case, I just want to remind you to be consistent. Do something, even though it is very little or small, do it. We as humans, often think that we donot need something or want something and most of the times it is because we donot know of it enough. I needed motivation everyday for a while and after I became consistent, I was somehow able to create motivation for myself. The journey started as me not liking who I was to loving myself now. I now know to not be extremely hard on myself and cut me some slack. But I also give myself a tough time on days when I don’t follow my schedule at least by 50% so I know my day was not pointless. Do the following to be the best version of yourself.
- Do something everyday. Read about documentation on something, new tech stack(Reddit and GitHub), make a commit, do a project, write your standup(what did u do today or want to do today), etc.
- Make a time-table. By time-table, I DONOT mean write everything you want to do today. Make a TIME-table and allot time slots for that task. Don’t go overboard because you will be overwhelmed in the beginning.
- Because you want to grow in the tech field, does NOT mean you give up on awesome non-tech stack. Google Calender, Notion, Google Keep, Microsoft Excel, Spotify, etc. might become your best friends who knows. ;)
- Be CONSISTENT. I cannot stress it enough. It is very easy to go over board in the initial days and stop it after a few days. Be slow, be steady. That is how the tortoise won the race okay? Do something, be it writing one line of code or reading one page of something(yes, this should be minimum but please do better 😞) but you should do it. This will make you feel bad and make you do something small daily and eventually you will feel bad about doing only small things and you will definitely move on to greater stuff.
- If you do this, then donot be hard on yourself when things go wrong sometimes because they will. Do remember to take out some time of the day to do something you absolutely love and that drives you. I love music, singing, reading and sometimes sketching. (Synonym = Hobby). Don’t let hobbies die. Social media is not a hobby. K bye!
These days ain’t coming back and you don’t want to look back at yourself and criticize YOU. By no means I am perfect now. I still consider myself a rookie and have yet to explore so many fields. I will though. :) Anyways, thank you for reading this. I hope that I impacted you at least 5%. I mean come on, you wouldn’t read this line if you were not curious enough or felt motivated enough. If you do feel either of the two, you’re on the right track buddy and I wish you all the very best. If you want to talk to someone, my socials are open and you are welcomed in my DMs. :)