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    Tale of a Newby.


    I'm using this post as a form of ventilation, motivation, and possible understanding. Feel free to move it to the relevant section if it's in the wrong one.
    Maybe someone might even gain something from this post, I don't know. Maybe even offer suggestions to me.
    But anyway, I'm going to begin.

    I'm 18 years old, nearly 19. My motivation is, if it could be calculated numerically, in the negatives and beyond.
    I haven't exactly achieved much in my life, mostly sitting on my arse, browsing the internet. Wishing for a miracle to happen. I've always been a creative person and never had an outlet, and have been envious of those children and people I've known growing up because their parents gave them a hobby to do at a young age, and now they are 'masters' or their chosen craft and/or art. Or even both.

    I don't know what I want to do with myself, however I am taking an ICT course at college. Sadly, as you all know public education is at an all time low. I cannot afford private programming lessons, due to financial circumstances or anything private for that matter.

    I got kicked out of my house 3 days before my 18th birthday, and have been living with a relative ever since. Life was really bad. I managed to convince my relative to get internet.
    Life is looking bleak but everything leading up until now has just made me a mentally weaker human being.
    No goals. No motives. Nothing. I feel broken and my goals seem more unobtainable each day.

    I can pick up mostly anything relatively easily. I am proud that I am a confident person in my opinions and dreams. I love motivating other people. To see other people strive is a fantastic feeling, but also a curse.
    Envy kicks in, then jealousy, then sadness. It is a vicious cycle for me.


    I am good at writing, but see no point as their are billions of successful authors. I would like to program, but then you see Notch of Mojang, or the gang at Elysian Shadows, and you feel pitiful. Less of a being.
    I could run for miles, to keep fit. But I'm going to die anyway, no matter how hard I try to preserve my body.
    I feel pessimistic at times, but I know if somehow, somewhere, I got a boost of motivation, I could be one of the most successful beings on this planet.
    Keyword being 'could'.

    I'm not looking for sympathy. I would like help though, but I don't even know what kind of help. I do not feel depressed, I just feel, well, 'meh' on a constant basis. You can take what you want from this rant, for better or for worse, I just thought it was relevant to programming as I would like to start, it's just so overwhelming that I give up, because there's no spoon feeding, no light bulb, no light at the end of the tunnel for me and was wondering for suggestions.

    Thank you for reading,
    Aaron.
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    Originally Posted by morilash
    I don't know what I want to do with myself, however I am taking an ICT course at college. Sadly, as you all know public education is at an all time low. I cannot afford private programming lessons, due to financial circumstances or anything private for that matter.
    There are so many good resources for learning programming that private lessons would probably be a misstep even if you did have the means.
    Originally Posted by morilash
    I can pick up mostly anything relatively easily.
    Fantastic. Programming isn't brain surgery: you can teach yourself programming. Depending on where you decide to start, you might not even need a textbook, since there's likely to be tutorial material on the internet, but you might want to get some books anyway, since sometimes you do get what you pay for.

    Regarding the other things you spoke of, I'll leave you with a bit of philosophy: as people, our identities and our value are defined by actions, not thoughts or words. Action must originate within. Therefore, you have complete control over who you are, but (1) you exercise it by doing, and (2) it's all you: not friends, not family, not internet forums. There are no miracles; they simply don't exist.

    P. S. I hope you see the irony in this sentence:
    I am good at writing, but see no point as their are billions of successful authors.
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    You sound like a typical 18/19 year old to me. Been there, done that. You'll get through it.

    Some of this is going to sound a bit like a Dad (which I am), but all of it comes from experience.

    So... here's what you do (probably in order):
    1. Get a job. If you're still in high school, get a job evenings and weekends. If you're out of high school get a full time job. For that matter, get two full time jobs. Save as much of your income as you can. If you're staying with relatives, offer to pay your portion of rent, utilities and food. Save everything else (try to hit 50%).
    2. Move into your own place. Once you've saved up enough money, get your own place. If you can't afford to live on your own, look to friends or co-workers or even Craigslist for roommates.
    3. Apply for college. At this point in your life, given that you feel like you're drifting a bit, I personally would not advocate going to college full time. Without a goal, you'll drift - probably into partying and drinking too much, and end up dropping out. Keep one of your full time jobs, and take one or two classes at a local community college. 99% of the first 2 years of college is a re-hash of high school, anyway - you won't learn anything new. The classes should be easy. Plus, you'll save a ton of money not going to a 4-year school and blowing 4-year-school tuition on the first 2 years of re-hashed high school classes.

    During your working full-time going to school part time phase, figure out what it is you want to do. Don't think for a second that what you choose as a 19/20 year old will impact you for the rest of your life. Most people go through 2, 3 even 4 major career changes as an adult. Find something you like that makes a decent living and chase it down.

    Save up enough cash working full time to pay for your community college classes with case. DO NOT take out student loans. They will haunt you for the rest of your life. Once you get your associates degree (in anything - business, finance, liberal arts, it DOES NOT matter... just get A's and B's), pick what you want to major in for your last 2 years. Go to real college / university full time - but, as much as possible, pay for classes in cash. Not only will you avoid student loans, but you'll gain an appreciation for just how much college/university costs. Knowing that you're going to school on your own dime will hopefully inspire you to work really hard at it.

    That's about it. Find a hobby in between - write some bad poetry, try coding a bit, go bike riding, have a few relationships, go on a roadtrip; eventually you'll find what it is you want to do.
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