This shit has gone far away for far too long. The computer scientist’s conundrum conceivably confounds my cranial concoction (brain).
Education. *Sighs* .What a fucking fallacy. Paying a huge shitload of money for a piece of paper that you will or will not get depending upon your behavior, to be given a place as a corporate slave into the “under-gears” of society, is , in my opinion a successful conviction on the part of the devil, to make sure his materialistic minions get paid!
I was a typical 18 year old Pakistani screw up (copied the lines from the opening monologue of “Limitless”) who couldn’t get admission into a medical college. Yes, I take the responsibility of that. I did not work hard enough for deserving med school. I did not work half of half as much hard as those guys who got top marks in their intermediates and couldn’t get in.
Anyways, I am not complaining about that at all. No sir. Med school wasn’t for me. I was not cut out to be a doctor. But, upon the wishes of my family ( non-Paki people may not understand it, but family pressure is an actual thing here), I repeated my intermediate exams in hopes of getting admission a second time. Needless to say I did not get in the second time around too. Hell, I even got even lower marks to prove my disillusionment with the whole “number lo dakhla lo daktar bano pese kamao bhar me jao” concept.
There I was, at a crossroads with no route except one (which is why I am regretting calling it a crossroads now) ; give an additional mathematics exam to get the necessary prerequisites for Comp. Sci. school.
Why in the good fuck did I decide to get admission into computer science?
Firstly because I was now off-stream of the education stream for 2 years now. While my previous Fsc. class mates were in their 5th semesters, in their third years at college, I was un-institutionalized (strictly education wise speaking, although you can see why I used the word in the first place) and relatively uneducated with procrastination and sloth-ism impregnating the remaining parts of my un-stagnant brain.
I had lost it. The whole concept of a classroom, class fellows and like Sméagol, had forgotten how a college felt like. Well, to be fair, I didn’t know how a college was like since the last one I went to was like one of Hitler’s concentration camps. “Ja Mein Fuhrer, Ich werde Ihnen gehorchen”(yes,my leader, I will obey you) and shit.
Secondly, because computers had always baffled me and I had wanted to delve into the art of computer repair and construction and quite literally, anything having to do with computers. Ah my naivety! I finally got admission into ‘bachelors of computer science’ at a local institute. A locally well known institute, know for it’s merit and huge campus.
How I got in and when, that’s a miracle in itself, I must give God credit for going way out of His way to guide me to a path that I thought, was for me.
Maybe, it isn’t. Maybe it is. To quote Coldplay, “maybe I am in the black, maybe I am on my knees, maybe I am in the gap between the two trapezes…”, yes, that’s how I feel like right now.
It turns out, Comp. Sci. is not about computers as macroscopic entities, as much it is about the microscopic things that make computers, computers.
The nubile fervor of getting admission and being a part of a community ( by the way, fuck this community [except for some people], and fuck you too, reader, if you are a part of that despicable community[unless you are one of the few good ones]) was short lived
as now I had to deal with calculus, physics and electric circuits. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I cannot study them, I just don’t want to spend four years of my life studying this peripheral shit that I wont need in my professional life. So far, I have made 2 games, 20 websites and 3 enterprise applications and I haven’t used the abovementioned subjects once. I am not aiming low, but I am content with the content that I create. I don’t want to move onto and into the realms of AI conception, quantum computing research and designing simulations for weather forecasts (apparently that’s what utilizes calculus, according to a teacher of mine).
I love programming, discrete mathematics, digital logic designs and anything related to computer directly, but not anything that has to do something with too much mathematics involved ( discrete mathematics is pseudo-mathematics, not actual mathematics, in my opinion). Yes, I know how foolish and naïve that sounds.
How the actual fuck am I to balance my GPA and skills when I don’t even like half the subjects that comprise my GPA and when the university wont stop teaching nonrelated defunct early 20th century technologies to a 21st century “google-it-all” generation?
But a senior, who now works as a software engineer at one of the most lucrative software companies in Pakistan, told me that I should be not a mere coder but a computer scientist whose knowledge enshrouds all aspects of computing, not just one.
Be that as it may, I still cant get over my reluctance to dabble with shit I don’t want to dabble with ; which is why I am referring to it as shit in the first place. Now that too much time has passed, I am in my 3rd semester and have already invested a fuck-ton of money into this degree, I cant just leave.
If I stay, I will have to face my fears, my despicable university staff and classmates who think they’re shooting “The Stanford Prison Experiment” in there, judging by their huge egos and severe disregard of rules of humanity, civility and cooperation, my hateful subjects and most importantly, my imperfect past performance as I did not give it my all in the previous two semesters.
After reading what I wrote, I think I sound like a pussy ; a coward hiding behind excuses, a ranting lunatic, an unthankful person, a depressed sociopath and a lazy, good for nothing procrastinator.
Harsh Songra, Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Erickson ( the protagonist of Silicon Valley) and countless other silicon valley outliers are telling me to take a leap of faith and drop out. I may have an IQ of ~140~ but I sure am not intelligent enough to duke it out in Silicon Valley, or any other valley except the valley of despair. Now you can add “self loathing” to the list of my characteristic personality flaws in the above paragraph.
There is another option, a safe, tried and tested method that does not promise fame, money or contentment. Complete my degree, get another degree, teach at a university (not ever though, “those who cant do, teach ” :Woody Allen ), become a manager at a multinational, safe and stable conglomerate and bide my time as an under-gear slave whose only purpose is to pay the bills , pay the mortgage, grow old and die, with unpaid debt, unhappy children and an unsatisfied wife. This method is applied and used by every other Pakistani.
So, should I drop out now? Should I pursue my passion? Or should I continue to grind in this claustrophobic, catatonic, crucible and drop dead in the process? Because if I stay, that is what will happen. Not in a literal sense, I am not suicidal at all, but in a figurative way in that I will lose my individuality as a person, I will just be another name on another piece of paper stating that I did my Bachelors in Computer Science from University of Engineering and Technology Lahore with *.** cgpa and blah blah etc etc.
In my opinion, I should do neither and both. I should bide my time and complete my degree while pursuing my passion in my spare time and when I get out of this institute, I should be thankful to God, as should I be right now, after all how many people can say that they got a chance to study further than high school, or even school at all. So why write this rant? Why complain and moan and then suddenly come up with a solution that looks pre-prepared?
This article was my version of “shikva – javab-e-shikva” albeit with a lot more Shikva than an answer for it. These thoughts and fears will haunt you, as they do me still and when they do, I want you to re-assess the situation from a “what’s the worst that can happen?” scenario.