I can't believe it's gone by as fast as it has, but this May I'll be graduating college with a Computer Science degree and an Entrepreneurial Management certificate. Five long years of homework, exams, projects, quizzes, tests, work, and no sleep is almost at an end. Aside from what I've learned in school, I've also learned a lot about life, people, and personal happiness. So, even though it might not make much difference now, I thought it would be fun to compile my list of the top things I wish I knew when I started school.
- Do your freaking homework. Seriously, it's far more about time management than it is hard work. Of course prereqs like Calc and Writing aren't too much fun, but just get them out of the way and enjoy the rest of your day.
- Put yourself out there. I didn't really start doing this one myself until a year or two into school, but take advantage of everything that's available to you. Talks on campus, meet and greets with companies, free movies, free food, and everything else you can imagine. There's never a shortage of interesting things to do on a college campus.
- Understand that Computer Science != Software Engineering. This one is of course particular to Comp Sci majors, but I really wish I'd known this for the first few years in school. Even though CU really likes to emphasize Software Engineering for their Comp Sci students, you can get away from all of it after two years in the program. After that, you get to take even more fun classes like Computational Theory, Human Centered Computing, UI Design, and Numerical Analysis!
- Take electives you're interested in. They make you take them anyway, so you might as well pick something you like. The Philosophy, Econ, Geology, and Business courses I took were some of my favorites.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. This one will serve you well not just in college, but for the rest of your adult life as well. We all get stressed out, irritated at stupid things, and flat out angry for no reason. Here's a trick I've learned: separate yourself from everything for 15 minutes, go over things in your head, and realize that the world ain't such a bad place after all. Even when you aren't stressed, laying down on your bed with the door closed and lights off for 15 minutes a day and just unplugging yourself from everything can really help you mull things over.
- Have fun! Four (or in my case five) years will go by unimagionably fast. Make some great friends, have some crazy nights, and live life without regrets.
Well, that's about all I can think of for now. Even though past-me won't get much benefit from it, maybe a young college student halfway through their first year might.