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I'm moving off to college in 7 days, I'm really excited to move out but I'm going to be busy 24/7 it seems like with working to pay rent, I have my tuition all figured out through scholarships and ~$3000 in loans, I think I'm gonna do alright.
Any tips for a wagie/student to get by in college?
>pic related is my laptop, totally unrelated to post


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Be regular about your school work and try your best to attend every lecture and optional event. If you fail a class, keep going and don't lose hope. Try your best to avoid dropping out, as being the 30-40 year old stocking shelves because he dropped out just isn't fun. Better to work a job you hate that pays well, than working a job you hate that pays like shit. Having a finished degree also looks so much better on a resume, even if you're not applying for jobs directly related to that degree.


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I know a lot of people who didn't care to maintain relationships with their professors. After their undergraduate degree, they couldn't get any letters of recommendation from them. They also didn't get any special projects, opportunities for undergraduate research, or opportunities for teaching assistantships.

During the four years they were there, most of my peers didn't do anything beyond or even different from the required coursework. When asked during interviews what they learned in college, they were only able to talk about the same things that the next guy in line had to talk about.

In the end, I ended up getting many more opportunities out of my education than any of my peers. I attribute this directly to maintaining relationships with my professors and doing things outside of school that immediately prove my worth to potential employers.

Unfortunately, this stressful cycle never ends. In the interviews for your next jobs, they ask you the same sort of things. "What did you do in your previous job that makes you better than the other schmucks?" Then, they all get together behind closed doors and talk shit about you. I was privy to these shit-talking sessions multiple times in my first job.

Basically, I'm trying to say that you get more out of your education if you put more effort in the right places. However, all that effort only leads to a selling out of your soul as you work yourself to a point of burn out and realize that the career / academic ladder is a farce.

TLDR: Your goal should be to do the minimal amount of work required to maintain the lifestyle that makes you happy. Any more than that is a type of slow suicide.


yeah. I want to honestly just save as much as possible for a year or two after I get my BSN, and then move to japan and teach english over there. I want to experience something completely different that my mundane life that makes me want to jump off a cliff every single day. I've never been out of my town for more than ~1 week, and even then I've never been outside of like 3 big towns in my life, all of which were in the west coast. I just want to fucking leave here :,/


to add off of this I am starting jp101 this fall too so that I can hopefully be semi fluent by the time I graduate


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I don't want to say I know anything about teaching English in Japan, but I do know that it is another job and a lot of JETs complain about it. In general, jobs constrain your autonomy. That's the nature of having a boss.

If possible, I think that experimenting with a start up during your college years or attempting to establish some sort of passive income is ideal. Finding the leverage you need to remove the time-for-money constraint is the real goal since it will allow you to do almost anything. If you want perspective for why I am saying this, I had several high paying jobs but I never had any time to enjoy my money.

During college, I did have one foreign exchange classmate who started a web design service, making money, learning, and building a client base for his post-graduate life. After I graduated, he tried to hire me to do the work that was sucking up his time. He understood then what it took me several years in the work force to understand. Get somebody else to do your shit work. Most of the time, they will even be grateful for the opportunity.


Also, remember that there is no teacher, you have to walk your own path, and all that sort of thing. See: Waking Life (2001). Also, if you want to practice your Japanese, check out the video.


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this is my worst fear, i am already in the path to not doing anything during my time in undergrad.
i despise academia and am socially crippled.
don't know how to set that aside in order to save my future.


I understand that feel
I'm kind of panicking because I leave literally in 2 days and it's just so crazy to me that I am actually doing something on my own for the first time.


1. Organize and stick to a regimen/schedule.

2. Actually make sure you're enjoying it. This was my first mistake which led me to drop out of college 1 month in. Enrolled again a year later, in a course I actually enjoyed, even if it had lower employement. Barely had to study at home since I was so interested in the lectures and everything was crystal clear in my head. Ended up getting an award for best undergrad, which made later job interviews quite interesting.

Admittedly, I'm from one of the "poorest" EU countries, and education & employment here is so much more affordable and lenient respectively.

I susbcribe what this roll >>5980 said. Make sure you know exactly what you're looking for in college, work towards it, and don't waste time with anything else.

Ultimately, my own goal was to get a white collar job I minimally liked and allowed to me to start anew and build a career abroad, in Japan particularly. I was sick of working in a deafening and hostile factory from 00 to 08AM, and wanted to lead a life both me and my waifu could be proud of. I often joke the reason I got said award was "because I didn't try hard enough".


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1. Schedule time to study. Ideally you want to be studying or in lecture at least 32-40 hours a week (like a job).

2. Educate yourself. Universities have turned into a place that hands out degrees like candy instead of actually teaching meaningful content. As people point out, you probably won't use anything you learn in school in your actual job either (engineering in particular.) Out of the thousands of years of human history, the only thing universities seem to be able to educate people on are in the sciences to become STEM robots or to unleash biased propaganda in their humanities department. You could pick a high school graduate and someone who has a bachelor's degree and you cannot tell the difference between who's been educated and who's not. So that's why I advocate for you to go out on your own and try to learn about this world.

It's still necessary to get a degree for employment, but the educational value colleges offer is close to nil.



In computer engineering or computer science, a lot of the things that you learn in school directly affect how well you can go "above and beyond" at your job.

Do you want to be the guy that learns how to use the other guy's scheduling algorithm? Or do you want to be the one to write it, improving application performance n-fold?


bro in academia you learn about implementing algos on your own

in the real world, you use built-ins and libraries that do it for you


Yea, I have 5 years of experience in the “real world.” The “real world” is full of pandering to your coworkers so that they think you are a smart, likeable guy who doesn’t cause any trouble. Every once in a while you get that opportunity to surprise everyone by improving request latency by 10x and acting like anyone could have done it. Your coworkers ignore it, but your boss recognizes that it makes a difference. You get promoted, your coworkers become envious, and you end up quitting because you find a better job anyways.

All I’m saying is that the bar in the “real world” is very low when it comes to technical skills. If you know what the fuck you are doing, you can pull out those unique moments that make people notice without ruining your reputation. So, in a sense, you’re right. The status quo tends toward reusable libraries. If you can recognize the special circumstances for that graph algorithm you remembered, maybe you can demonstrate that you are the 10x engineer that your boss has been reading about for so long.


for certain tasks, especially when you have tight deadlines, it simply isn't feasible to write stuff yourself
maybe if you're at a waterfall company, they don't mind you taking a long time to reinvent the wheel
but with agile/devops they emphasize pushing to production as quickly as possible, even with unit tests and whatnot


> a lot of the things that you learn in school directly affect how well you can go "above and beyond" at your job.
Its just basic stuff. Low hanging fruit which is just ignored by your average programmer. Its not "above and beyond", but rather "you dont suck".
The real gold stuff isn't found in academia mostly, but rather the "top" of the real world, hidden and obscure.


just had to reply because this is such a fucking stupid post, 3rd and 4th year comp sci is immensely important, you can get by without knowing data structures, graph theory, boolean algebra, asymptotic notation, the underlying logic of common algorithms etc but you're forever going to be working in the dark seeing everything as nail that fits the very, very limited hammer you've given yourself – I guarantee there are patterns and approaches applicable to things you work on every day that you've never even considered because you lack the vocabulary to even think about these problems in a different way

furthermore you're completely wrong, SOTA algorithms are exclusively generated by research institutions. read SIGGRAPH proceedings sometime and tell me how many of the papers didn't come from "academia"


Dude, I'm a master of those things you mentioned.
Learning about all of that doesnt require a school to teach you.
Just grab a book and read it / work through it.

Also I dont think you understood my post.
What I meant was, understanding these things should be the normal.
Knowing about basic CS, doesn't make you awesome, it means you just dont suck (like 95% of programmers)

Computer Graphics is one of the only fields were academia still produces good papers,
but only because there is interesting stuff in Graphics left to be found.
For many other fields in CS, academia remains a circlejerk.
But even when it comes to SIGGRAPH a lot of the shit is really impressive, but if you'd program something like a video-game engine, you can pretty much ignore those papers.
For most of the applications, that you as a programmer, would create that use computer graphics, reading some obscure blog-post about the graphics-pipeline can be a lot more helpful, than reading papers published in SIGGRAPH.

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