What is your life like?

Are you in the library 24/7?

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#1 valor  Icon User is offline

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What is your life like?

Posted 19 October 2010 - 07:57 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm gonna be going back to school for computer science in June, I've been self studying Java at a slow pace for about 6 months now in my free time since I do work full time. Anyways I'm looking to get a look into what your life as a computer science student is like because I'm sure it's different from my experience as a humanities major as far as academics are concerned.

I'm a little worried if I'll be able to handle the coursework. I enjoy programming and problem solving, but I just don't know how I'll compare to other people because I've never had anyone to compare myself to. I'm really studious, but I feel like programming is totally different from being able to read history books, remembering facts, and writing papers. I already have a degree in History, so I know what college life is like, but I never took heavy math and science courses in University, and it worries me a little.

I'd like if you could answer the following questions for me. It's OK if you are a current student or a student who already graduated. I'm looking for someone who has gone through a computer science program in the last 10 years to answer these questions. I'll start off by giving my experience as a history student.

BTW I am 24 years old, turning 25 in December.


What year are you? Graduated
How many hours/credits are you taking? I used to take 15 hours a semester or so, that's 5 classes that met 3 hours a week.
Class names this current semester? n/a
How many hours would you say you study/code in a given week? I studied about 15-20 hours a week, rarely on the weekends. I would never miss class unless I was horribly sick, took good notes, and kept up with my readings. I pulled all A's and B's easily.
Are you struggling with your classes? n/a

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#2 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 19 October 2010 - 08:05 AM

I'm actually an engineering student, and my life is chaos. Given, I could work a lot harder, but still I seem like I'm in a constant state of mania. My apartment is a mess due to redirecting priorities, I work more than I probably should as a student (I have to keep my home and car after all), and the engineering classes are super hard, so I'm always stressed out. I've ate hardly anything but rice and mountain dew all quarter, as it's generally cheap and keeps me going, but it's taking a toll on my health. Hell, I've been so stressed with time for my classes I've hardly worked out. :( Just 4 more weeks...
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#3 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 19 October 2010 - 10:30 AM

It can be hell.

If your weak in the mathematics area especially, brush up.

I have been a computer science student(mine is integrated into the school of business instead of strictly science though my program is generally related towards building/running networks, programming, and other IT related course work).

Science is generally easier for me because I get "the big picture". Math was always more difficult because it seemed abstract.

Anyway, I have been a student off and on since I was 18 (full time for my Associates and part time for my bachelors degree).

I graduate in august of 2011 and I will be 27 years old then. So my life has just been extremely busy.

The one good thing about it all is that it sparked interests I never knew I had.

Oh! yeah I typically took 12 credit hours when I was full time and I did 6-9 part time.

This post has been edited by AlbuquerqueApache: 19 October 2010 - 10:45 AM

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#4 TokoYami200  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 19 October 2010 - 07:10 PM

I'm not in a programming class, though I'm way ahead of my friends who are taking C++/Java classes. I'm lost in math and have pretty much no idea how to catch up; in Calc I have a tendency to either totally understand a topic or manage to be completely lost in whatever we're doing.

With that said, I'm currently on the search for books to teach math/theory from Algebra to Multivariable Calculus so I start messing with more advanced stuff in programming.

Oh! And I love video games. And my kitty. <3
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#5 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 19 October 2010 - 07:32 PM

I think I can help in calc 1. Just not 3, and preferably not 2. :x
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#6 TokoYami200  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 19 October 2010 - 07:57 PM

Sweet, you shall be my new teacher and train me in the ways of the ninja.

Or math...or whatever we're talking about.

Well ninjas would probably be more efficient if they knew Calculus anyway. :shuriken: <--- WHAT an awesome smiley.

I'd do better in Calc if I didn't forget my previous math; I blame it on my vacation during the summer!
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#7 thinkdevcode  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 19 October 2010 - 08:02 PM

View PostTokoYami200, on 19 October 2010 - 06:10 PM, said:

I'm not in a programming class, though I'm way ahead of my friends who are taking C++/Java classes. I'm lost in math and have pretty much no idea how to catch up; in Calc I have a tendency to either totally understand a topic or manage to be completely lost in whatever we're doing.

With that said, I'm currently on the search for books to teach math/theory from Algebra to Multivariable Calculus so I start messing with more advanced stuff in programming.

Oh! And I love video games. And my kitty. <3


I would highly highly highly recommend "Calculus made easy" by Silvanus Phillips Thompson. It was written in 1914 and though it may seem dated, it still has a wonderful way of teaching you all of the foundational material you need to succeed later on in more advanced calculus.

link: http://books.google....epage&q&f=false
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#8 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 20 October 2010 - 06:44 AM

View Postthinkdevcode, on 19 October 2010 - 07:02 PM, said:

View PostTokoYami200, on 19 October 2010 - 06:10 PM, said:

I'm not in a programming class, though I'm way ahead of my friends who are taking C++/Java classes. I'm lost in math and have pretty much no idea how to catch up; in Calc I have a tendency to either totally understand a topic or manage to be completely lost in whatever we're doing.

With that said, I'm currently on the search for books to teach math/theory from Algebra to Multivariable Calculus so I start messing with more advanced stuff in programming.

Oh! And I love video games. And my kitty. <3


I would highly highly highly recommend "Calculus made easy" by Silvanus Phillips Thompson. It was written in 1914 and though it may seem dated, it still has a wonderful way of teaching you all of the foundational material you need to succeed later on in more advanced calculus.

link: http://books.google....epage&q&f=false



Sweet book man! I will have to read this.
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#9 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 20 October 2010 - 07:36 AM

I like the manner in which the author of that book speaks.



@OP

well I'm a drop out so this is from a self taught point of view.


What year are you? - drop out math majour, self taught programmer

How many hours/credits are you taking? well I have 8 text books on my toilet right now... that's what 32 credit hours?

Class names this current semester? - abstract algebra, the art of programming voume 2, introduction to risc processors, WCF... and a few other I would rather use as toilet paper (you know crap like history and lit)

How many hours would you say you study/code in a given week? - 80 hours a week minimum since I wrote my first line of code july 2007

Are you struggling with your classes? Kind of, but isn't that why it's fun?





When I WAS in college learning math it was far less then that. It's probably why I dropped out. I was bored miserable... I had so much free time that I would rather go out and blow lines off some toilet bowl in new york... how I got to new york? I don't know... I kind of remember someone saying we should fly to new york for the night. Ok... where'd that money come from? I don't know, eh who cares... sniff.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 20 October 2010 - 07:37 AM

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#10 SpeedisaVirus  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 20 October 2010 - 08:26 AM

What year are you? Senior...last semester.
How many hours/credits are you taking? 12cr now. Typically took 15-18cr for the rest of my time
Class names this current semester? Advanced Software Engineering, Computer Graphics, Computer Networks, Computer Architecture.
How many hours would you say you study/code in a given week? 20-30 hours a week.
Are you struggling with your classes? Graphics is insanely intense...it's been a challenge to wrestle openGL into submission.

Was a math major up until halfway through my junior year minoring in CS. Decided to just make the jump into CS as I just didn't have the passion for math. Learning to write code isn't the hard part of a CS education. It is understanding the theoretical topics...especially for someone that doesn't have strong math skills. Rather than practicing programming you should be brushing up on Calculus, Discrete Math, and maybe Linear Algebra. If you have strong math skills the CS theory topics come much more naturally.
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#11 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:11 AM

I missed this part I suppose.

What year are you? Technically, sophomore, but it's my 3rd year

How many hours/credits are you taking? Currently 9, started out 16.

Class names this current semester? Air Force Way (dropped), Air Force Today (Dropped), General Physics for Scientists and Engineers (dropped), Calculus 3, and Computer Programming II.

How many hours would you say you study/code in a given week? Umm, I usually spend about 10-20 hours a week on calculus, and about 10-15 on Java.

Are you struggling with your classes? Right now just calc. The only reason I say I'm struggling is because I had like no time whatsoever as I was spending too much time on Physics (which was for nought), and never got my assignments done and totally blew off studying. Now I've set myself up for a bad foundation when it comes to sequences and series. Now that I've got all kinds of time for studying calc, I am going back and rereading the chapters all over again. As for Java, I'm pretty much acing that. I have a 89.71% weighted average, 2nd in my class. I'm only second by like ....1-5 points. XD Turns out I wasn't the only who "didn't read the assignment" Hahahaha. Lame!
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#12 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 21 October 2010 - 05:36 AM

I am in my 7th semester as a CS major, and 21 credits away from graduation (provided I survive all of this semester's classes). Since the beginning I've always done a full time load and managed a fulltime job that often ran into 50+ hours per week (not the kind of job where I could get away with studying either). I also have a daughter who just turned 3.
Up until this semester I would have said it's not that hard, I have a 3.5 GPA, and always managed to get my assignments done in between class breaks so that my time at home was dedicated to my family.
Earlier this year I got a really sweet internship at a large, stable company, which lead to less than full time hours as I can no longer work weekends, which should have made my life easier, except that this semester I'm finding out what a fine line I've been walking, started having a hard time with 1 class, and now my whole life has gone to shit. I'm spending every spare minute studying and still struggling to stay afloat in all my classes, instead of being near the front of the curve like I usually am, I'm somewhere near the ass end, with the people who don't go to class and think it's fine to miss assignments. The night before last I didn't go home and didn't sleep, I stayed in my cubicle the whole night working on an assignment that was due at midnight last night. On a typical day I get up at 5am, leave the house about 5:30 for school or work, and get home about 7pm, study for a few hours and get to bed about midnight. The last 5 weekends I haven't left the house.
Every other semester I've had it under control, this is by far the worst semester of my life. All the straight forward programming stuff like assembly, VB.NET and C++ I aced, but all this abstract shit I just have a hard time with, it's like they've taken what's normally intuitive and mechanized it to the point where it no longer makes sense to me.

Anyway....what was the question? Oh, aside from all that, I haven't found CS to be too brutal, but having said that, I've always been very strong in math and science, and programming seems to flow pretty natural for me, so in answer to your question.... :shrug:

(edit: there's no shrug smiley? what the hell kind of forum is this?)

This post has been edited by hookiethe1: 21 October 2010 - 05:37 AM

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#13 elgose  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 21 October 2010 - 09:29 PM

What year are you? For CS I'm somewhere in my second year (all core prerequisite/general education classes - I've done 0 classes related to CS). I had two years of business administration in Ohio before moving to Texas.

How many hours/credits are you taking? This semester 12. 15 next semester. I work a full time job currently, but I'll be doing just school starting sometime next semester.

Class names this current semester? Nothing exciting this semester - Gen. Ed. classes and Calc I. Next semester will be Mechanics, Java 1, Calc II, and more Gen Eds.

How many hours would you say you study/code in a given week? Depends on the week. Sometimes 0, sometimes ~10. But I'm currently full time student and full-time employee (40+ hours/week), so I barely have enough time to do my current classes let alone code. When I have a programming class (1st is next semester) I'm sure that'll increase dramatically.

Are you struggling with your classes? Difficulty wise? No. Time wise? Sometimes, but I do whatever's needed to make it happen. After a year of full-time classes and working I've got a 4.0.

This post has been edited by elgose: 21 October 2010 - 09:29 PM

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#14 Uushie  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 23 October 2010 - 10:06 PM

What year are you? Junior I think?
How many hours/credits are you taking? Around 15 - 18 credits per semester
Class names this current semester?

Geometry for Teaching (3 credits) - Fun but I suck at geometry (getting a low B in the class now >.<)

Historical Methods (3 credits) - Boring because we only talk about the south and my teacher is a real nit picker when it comes to proper English despite it is a history class (just found out that he is part of the English department as well)(Middle B)

History of America (3 credits) - Awesome, I love the professor due to his sarcastic nature on pretty much everything we cover. (High B)

Asian History (3 credits) - It's a fun class, I'm Asian so it only makes sense that I'm in this class right? (Low A)

Intro to Programming (3 credits) - Annoying cause the teacher is bad at teaching. I'm learning more on this site then I do in class. However, reading the book he made helps a lot. (A - I'm just that awesome/lame)

Intermediate Tennis (1 credit)- I am required to take 3 gym classes so I chose Elementary Tennis and Badminton. (A - it is impossible to get anything lower unless you just don't show up for class)

Calculus 1 (3 credits)- I love calculus especially because it is not geometry. I am doing fairly well in the class and the teacher breaks down everything so we understand it. He also didn't make us buy an expensive book because he claims that it is useless! Yay! I saved 107 dollars! (High B)

How many hours would you say you study/code in a given week? I study around 2 hours on monday, 8 hours on Tuesday (no class, all my classes are on monday because I'm insane), 1 on wednesday (anime club woot!), around 8 on wednesday, 1-2 on friday (Due to me going to work), and Saturday and Sunday is a mix of 4 to 5 hours depending on which day I have off if any. So... around 24 to 26 hours per week. I really probably should be doing a bit more so I can get those grades to As.

Are you struggling with your classes? Only Geometry because I hates it.

My day usually consists of me waking up at 5:30 - 6:30 on Monday Wednesday and Friday so that I can take a shower, do my hair, eat breakfast, take my dog out for a small walk and print out anything that needs to be printed out for classes. My first class starts at 8 am - It's Intermediate Tennis which lasts about 50 minutes. I then change quickly and run to my next class that starts at 9 (intro to java) which is about 50 minutes. Then it is another sprint to my Asian history class which is also 50 minutes. I then stay in that classroom for my next class that begins at 11 am. Then there is about a 1 and a half hour lunch break where I usually just eat something light, take a shower at my friend's dorm and then study or do homework before my next class which is at 1:30 pm and that lasts until 2:45 but it is only on Monday and Wednesday, At 3:00 pm I go to my geometry class and it lasts until 5:00 pm (also only on monday and wednesday) and finally I go to my last class white is Calculus that is from 5:00pm - 6:30pm. I am excused from geometry class a little early so I can get to my next class. I go home on mondays after that and eat dinner, watch some anime or play a videogame for about an hour and do some homework. On Wednesdays, I have anime club at 7:30 pm and stay there until around 11:00 pm. I mainly go there so I can talk to a few people and not to watch the fan service animes that they play there. I also have time to draw so it is pretty relaxing. I pretty much go straight to bed after anime club.On fridays, after 12 pm, I have about 4 hours until work where I serve people food at a small member lodge and that usually only lasts until 10 - 10:30. I also pretty much fall asleep after that day as well, sometimes I take a nap before work but it usually is me just working on some homework and eating a light dinner before work. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I generally wake up around 8- 9 am and eat breakfast, wash up and yatty yada. Then I do some homework for a few hours, eat lunch, watch some anime, play videogames, draw or write for an hour or so and then do some more homework and then watch some anime, play videogames, draw or write if I am all done with my homework and studying (I'm so lazy cause I don't exercise on tuesday and thursday >.<). I go to bed or at least try to around 10:00pm.

On Saturday and Sunday, depending if I have work or not I generally relax on these days because I usually have my homework done but I do study and such and get whatever needs to be done, done. I sometimes play my piano while singing or doing a little violin playing but I am way out of practice with violin. I also hate my voice but I still sing because it makes me happy ^^. I tend to write on the weekends or draw. I don't have many hours for work, I get around 6 - 14 hours each week. I also stay up late which is bad on Saturday and Sunday and sleep in until 11:00am

That's basically my schedule in a nutshell. I probably should go to bed soon cause it is 1 am now. Oh well. I wonder if I posted to much information... I tend to rant on about crap.
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#15 thinkdevcode  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is your life like?

Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:12 PM

What year are you? Junior
How many hours/credits are you taking? anywhere from 12 to 28 depending on how much money I have to throw around
Class names this current semester? Java 1, .NET II, Intro to Software Engineering, Web Design I, Web Design II
How many hours would you say you study/code in a given week? None. This shits too easy, thankfully I finished all of my general education classes already.
Are you struggling with your classes? Not at all. I work as a professional software developer so all these courses are cake.
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