I don’t have much time currently to pursue the activity on this blog. This is just a quick note that i’m not alone in my confusion. A usenet post from another student:
As a student major in computer science, I finally found myself lost in this field. Last night, I stood up all night long to think what i have learnt in my four-year’s college life and what i need to learn in my future career. The result make me confused.When i was still in school, students in higher grade loved to talk about the “real hackers”, who seems had the magic power, and nearly knew everything essential in their fields. A real hacker can write code in secret ways that lead to high efficiency. However, It seems i can never be this kind of guys.
I once participated in the ACM competation. The result is i found my stupidity at last. I can not implement my algorithms clearly in a short time. And countless little errors in all implementations of mine annoy me.
Also, I took part in some open source projects. There still are problems. I was newbie no only in the discussions of IRC-channel but also in the forum. This is fine, since I thought i should be newbie at first. But this newbie life is too long because i don’t know what should i learn to improve myself.
Almost, from every perspective, I was a loser in study. Althought I had read some additional books, spent lots of time in thinking, I still lost my way in such a big world…
The best comment (though heavily buddhistim-oriented) came from Mark Tarver giving several links.
There’s no real magic power you know. It’s practice really thats all.
Apart of the problem is that CS is such a mess as taught in many depts. Some people (me included) think that CS does not exist as such.
Don’t think that your confusion is your confusion. Plenty of people out there are confused by CS – including people who don’t know they’re confused and think they know it.
You can’t possibly know it all; so all you can do is pick a piece and learn to understand it.
This business of feeling a failure comes up several times. Have a look at what I said about failure in a thread to the Buddhist group, also about succeeding at school and failing at uni and finally about Wu Wei and the characteristic of being a sage -of being in the world but not dominated or swept away by it. The gist of it for you is contained in the conclusion of the first link.
One extra remark; forget this goals thing though. You’ll find your deepest happiness when you follow the path of your heart for the sake of the path itself. When you do that you forget yourself and failure is defined away.
At that point your deepest passion and the Buddhist goal of self-abnegation fuse together. Remember this and you will not fail.
In other words if you feel passionate about something you just get involved in it and forget yourself. On the other hand if you’re doing it because you want to be a guitar hero, chances are you’ll get bored, disillusioned with your abilities and give it up and feel a failure.
You’re young, give yourself time and experiment with stuff. You’re on a path.