6 Ways Computer Science Has Changed My Life
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Student Life

6 Ways Computer Science Has Changed My Life

And How It Might Change Yours As Well

6 Ways Computer Science Has Changed My Life
Tufts University

When you're not a "CS person," anything related to technology (past using Microsoft Word) seems daunting. Aaahhhh . . . those hackers . . . wait, what is hacking? Didn't the hacker in that movie break into someone's computer?

Enter college: I made it my goal to figure out what CS really was. Here are 6 ways CS has changed my life:

1. Realizing The Movies Are Lies

The person dressed in all black, hunched over, fingers flying faster than those of a master pianist. Windows appear and disappear in milliseconds and you wonder, "Wow, is that what it means to code?"

I assure you not. At least from my experience, less than a third of what you're doing is actual coding -- the vast majority of it is fixing your code, debugging, going crazy over all the errors that pop up, and it's insane how every time something just has to go wrong. . . . a program out in 60 seconds? More like 20+ hours...

2. Becoming The Almighty CS Insect Killer

20+ hours? Yep, for a homework assignment. Imagine what it means to work on products in the industry. Computer Science is a journey -- a long one at that. When you're stuck on the same old bug 5 hours straight, you either 1) don't give up and go at it like it's not 4 AM, or 2) go crazy. The higher level classes you take may make option 2 seem inevitable -- but after a year of sticking to option 1 (and occasionally option 2), I realized that no matter how many hours I spent on a nasty little bug, it really isn't all that bad. When you get rid of it . . . pure bliss. And learning from those bugs earns you the title of The Almighty CS Insect Killer.

3. Taking On The Ultimate Test of Courage

CS assignments are intimidating -- especially when you have no idea what you're supposed to be doing even after reading the assignment handout 10 times. It takes courage and a willingness to challenge yourself to even start projects. After taking a couple CS courses, I became more confident in my ability to learn new skills, whether it was tackling a new programming language or learning to play the piano.

4. Creating Lasting Relationships

When you practically live at office hours, you kind of get to know the people around you -- especially because they can often be more helpful than even professors. What better way to make some lasting friends who you might actually end up working with after college? (Helpful especially when you know no one at the start of freshman year)

5. Just Know That You're Never "Done"

Look around you -- technology is everywhere, and it's penetrating every part of our lives, from cooking to getting to work or school. When you're not "in" CS, it might seem that geniuses are in charge of it all. Sure, the people in charge are extremely talented and intelligent. But even they don't know everything -- technology is a field so vast that it takes commitment to lifelong learning to keep up.

6. It's the Coolest Thing Ever

I mean, really -- what's cooler than having the tools to make your own apps and solve problems on a national scale? "Curing cancer" might be a phrase people often use nowadays when they're talking about the incredible, the impossible -- but really, CS is getting researchers the data they need and resources made possible through computing. It's a field that plays a huge part of just about any industry there is, because computing is basically problem solving, gathering data, and enabling people to do more than they would otherwise, essentially simplifying and improving people's lives on a global scale. That's my motivation throughout it all -- imagine all the things you can do.

Afraid to try out computer science? Don't be. It's a field so prominent that any knowledge you gain will be useful in a multitude of careers, and, best of all, you'll get a peek into the mysterious world of software engineers, the ones behind our phones, social media, the research happening every day.

You don't have to be a CS major or become a software engineer to learn computer science. Learn it to gain another tool to impact the world.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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