As a freshman in college, you may hate computer science as it is difficult, boring, and hard to grasp.
Upon attending classes, you realized that computer science wasn’t the right fit for you. You felt frustrated and hopeless because of the long lines of code and complex algorithms. You wanted to ask professors and teaching assistants for help, but seems they’re unavailable most time and not friendly. So you feel stuck in your situation.
It may be different from what you thought before entering the college. You chose to major in computer science because of the chance to get a high salary after graduation, such as working at Apple/Google/Amazon and can make six figures when just starting your programming career.
While the idea of changing majors crossed your mind, the promising prospects of computer science held you back.
So what to do? Here are 9 tips that may be helpful to you.
1. Ask Yourself Why You Hate Computer Science
Before making the decision to change to a different major, you need to figure out what makes you hate computer science.
One of the common reasons is subjects like algorithm theories, data structures, and discrete mathematics can be abstract and challenging to understand, especially for those without a strong math background.
If so, maybe you need to approach the subject differently or seek additional help.
2. AI Is The Trend And People With Computer Science Degree Will Benefit From It
AI is the trend and future so computer science is a prospective major as it offers high market demand, high earning potential, and good job security. Many people from different fields are learning programming, hoping for better pay or wishing they had chosen a computer science degree.
So if you want to make good money you’d better think twice before switching the major. And your situation may be improved if you stick with it and keep pursuing it.
3. What You Learn In School May Not What You’ll Do In Your Job
If you realize that what you study in school isn’t always how your future job will be, then you may be distressed.
College is just the first step in the computer science journey. Go to college to get your degree and try not to let that pressure overwhelm you. There are many job opportunities for a computer science degree, such as IT, databases, project management, UX, networking, sales, etc. So if you hate programming, you can choose non-coding roles in your career.
Think about what you want to do and give it a try.
4. Understanding the Nature of Computer Science: Boring and Hard to Understand
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and question your choice for computer science, especially when faced with challenges. And you aren’t alone, many freshmen have the same situation as they don’t know why they are sitting in the computer science class.
As you have experienced, most of the computer science work is repetitive, tedious, and hard which makes you struggle. Courses about coding are not interesting, sometimes even frustrating, they introduce a completely new perspective on thinking compared with your prior knowledge. This shift may feel uncomfortable and require you to adapt.
However, don’t change your major quickly due to this struggle. Yes, it’s not easy at first and you’ll suck for a while. But like other fields of study, there will be most difficult situations at the beginning.
If you just spent a few hours on a topic and find it challenging, it may be too soon to judge you’re not suitable. Hard work can help you understand the courses. Try to think in a positive way, you may be better after hours studying or next semester.
But the situation may be different if you’ve consistently struggled despite dedicating significant time and effort, and you need to seek guidance or consider changing the major.
5. Seek Guidance
Some professors may not be available during office hours, and teaching assistants are not good at teaching. You can consult with your undergraduate advisor for the Computer Science Department. Your advisor may provide guidance, resources, or alternative paths within the CS field that may be more suitable or enjoyable.
You can also learn the material online. There are many free computer science learning resources, such as Khan Academy Computer Programming, Codeacademy, Udemy, etc. You can also search for learning videos on YouTube for your specific subject.
6. Find a Passion Subject
7. Focus On a Niche Project
You can also consider focusing on a specialized project that aligns with your likes and hates. For example:
- Web development
- Game development
- Mobile app creation
8. Not Everyone is Suited for Computer Science
You may be really not suitable for computer science. Computer science is currently a trendy and sought-after career and degree choice. Due to its popularity, more people are pursuing it than ever before. As a major becomes more popular, it attracts a broader range of individuals, including those for whom it may not be fit.
As you can imagine, not everyone excels at it, and there are very few people who can be employed in Silicon Valley. While the high salary of a computer science career prospect is motivating, you’ll not be happy if you truly dislike it.
You may have learned that programming is intense work, which will influence your physical and mental health. Prolonged periods of sitting and staring at a computer screen can lead to physical issues like back pain, neck strain, and eye problems. Intense focus on complex problems for extended periods can cause mental exhaustion. And the pressure to meet deadlines can lead to burnout.
Programmers always work late into the night or over weekends, and an imbalance between work and personal life.
9. Change the Major With Passion
If you have tried several ways to make yourself not hate computer science, but finally failed. Consider switching your major to something else you’re more passionate about. And you’ll be happier.
For some people, the career related to your major will accompany you for 30–40 years. So you need to choose something you truly enjoy. There are other majors that also pay well such as business, finance, law, healthcare, engineering, marketing, and more.
However, you have to be careful when you make the decision to change your major.
As a freshman, it’s natural to grapple with uncertainties, especially when faced with a demanding field like computer science. The allure of lucrative job prospects may initially draw you in, but passion and genuine interest are the cornerstones of long-term satisfaction and success.
Every individual’s journey is unique. While computer science offers immense opportunities, it’s not the sole path to a fulfilling career. The key is to find the intersection of your passion, skills, and market demand.
Whether you choose to persevere in computer science or venture into a new major, ensure that your decision aligns with your personal and professional aspirations. College is a time of exploration and growth, embrace the journey, seek guidance, and most importantly, prioritize your well-being and happiness.