I am really excited to be going back to school. I wouldn’t have said that a couple months ago but I really mean it.
I am getting emails almost daily now that the school year is about to start and it gives me a warm feeling, like I belong to part of a community. The Pitt staff are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and are genuinely helpful.
I got my appeals approved and so this semester is just a confidence building semester. When I stepped foot on campus for the first time last fall, I was super excited and confident. I may have been about to break emotionally, but I was feeling good about Computer Science and my chances of success. I wasn’t wrong.
I did extremely well. The mini-quizzes I studied for I did really well in. The ones I didn’t I did fair in; could have done better. The projects started out easy and then got harder but I was still maintaining a B average. For my first CS class no less!
Then, the final project.
It was hard. Not impossible, but hard. Implementing algorithms was completely new to me and I was also working on algorithms for Free Code Camp. They baffled me. Divide and Conquer, what? Object-Oriented Programming what?
I became paralyzed with fear. And I choked. I didn’t finish and even though she was giving out generous curves I failed. I didn’t implement anything correctly. I could have gotten a C with a half-finished project. I got a fat F.
Spring Semester and Too Much Crap
I was starting to buckle under the weight of my failure in CS- I got a C but I was demoralized. My depression and other things were starting to grip me. I went into CS 0401 full of fear. Some of the assignments weren’t hard but I overthought all of them. The pressure crushed me.
I had the podcast, which editing took hours, I had this blog, Programming in Progress, That Mac Nerd, Free Code Camp, Treehouse, and so much other stuff on the side. I buckled under the weight of all of it. I had a pretty bad nervous breakdown. I quit school. Anxiety was too much. I wasn’t leaving my apartment, not even to take out the garbage. It was very, very bleak. I lost my mentor in the process.
So, this time around I have a plan. Podcast has folded. I don’t have the time to edit it, or the money to have it professionally edited.
No Free Code Camp during the year, or at least until summer and winter break. This blog, That Mac Nerd, and Programming in Progress will be written for but less that usual (though lately the blogging has slowed down as I work on more projects and learn more things). Steel City Maker will have to wait until summer.
Also, as I wrote before on a post about tracking your learning with Trello, I have made a couple public Trello boards for my schooling. They are accessible to anyone, and I want it that way. I want a way to stay accountable. I am putting myself out there for scrutiny and, to some extent, help. I will post my grades, resources I am using, etc in order to track how and how well I am grokking the stuff I am learning.
Here are my Computer Science Mastery (B.Sc)
and Mathematics Mastery
Let’s Get It
As all the meatheads I know say. I say it too, especially when I am tired and am headed to the gym. Which is something all of us could stand doing, or walking. I find that a little bit of exercise has the power to lift my mood like nothing else. So, get out there. Learn. Walk. Be the best you can. I am trying my hand at this again and this time I won’t fail.