Sometimes I really love what I do. I love developing, I have some sort of knack for it, and some amount of frustration with all the barriers to entry, but at the end of the day I can’t blame anyone for those things. At the end of the day I really love making things in code, I really love knowing how a computer works, I really love being able to code.
And sometimes I hate having to learn all the details of the cache. I hate having to write proofs, although on the other side often the solution is novel and fascinates me. But sometimes I hate the grind, I hate having to learn what a Schmidt trigger is, I hate struggling to understand and the feeling that I’m falling more and more behind with every week, despite that I loved soldering for fun last summer, despite that I loved learning about these things peripherally and I ate up anything I could learning about them in my spare time. Sometimes, all the passion is gone, and the work is just work, or the passion was never there, and I go, burnt out and unsure, from assignment to assignment, doubting myself, selling myself short, acting like I’ve given up and I don’t care when really in me I care desperately to do well and more importantly I value myself greatly by my ability to be interested in things. Too many people I see care are uninterested in what they’re in school for, or lack the ability to take an interest in others and what they’re studying, what their lives are like. It is amazing that people are even alive, it is amazing that the universe even exists, and yet I see many people unable to pull themselves from the meta of life, the hashtags, the swag, how many likes their posts get and how many people of the opposite gender they can sleep with. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these things, but I take issue with people who can’t see that there’s a difference between likes on instagram, Facebook, tumblr for curating quality content and gather likes for the sake of likes. If you can’t recognize when talking to someone about their passions that it’s something they’re so interested in something they’d literally give their life for it, and you can’t appreciate that, then something is missing.
That being said I know there are a lot of people majoring in things they’re not passionate about; I know, I know. CS is saturated with people in it for the money, people in it because it’s what everyone else is doing, etc. It’s.. conflicting to me. I’m doing CS because I’ve realized I’ve loved it, starting from being the cocky “computer expert” kid in elementary school, to the begging my dad for more RAM, to the fateful 8th grade spring break in which I learned C++ for no reason other than I didn’t have much better to do. I don’t want to be one of those guys who’s on about how much coding he can do, how early he started, how great he is… I know too many of those people already. But if I keep selling myself short, how will other people recognize me, how will I break out of being treated like I’m a noob, like I’m stupid when really I know what you’re telling me already and I swear to god I’m not an idiot, I just act like it because … well the brutal truth is it was the easiest way to make friends for a while for me. Camaraderie over acting like you failed a test. Yeah I was that asshole.
The real struggle is how can I show people I’m passionate about what I do, when I really am and I want to stand out from the people who aren’t? How can I not be an asshole while doing so? How can I not feel burnt out when doing school work, how can I revitalize my ability to do things I’m not so keen on (EE42…) while still being able to find time to work on what I love? How can I care less about what other people think of me? How can I be myself and not be afraid of what others think? How can I feel less alone?
How can I be happy?