Should I change my major? Drop out of school to become a plumber or electrician? I need some advice.
So, right now I'm a comp sci major in the middle of my fifth semester. Problem is, I'm feeling really burnt out right now with regards to programming and math/science "left brained" stuff in general. I'm much more of a language oriented person than a math one (I got a 750 on the critical reading section of the SAT and a 660 on the math section), but I figured I might like programming and computer science because a lot of it has more in common with the kind of stuff you might learn in a formal logic class than calculus, though I'm not terrible at calculus or anything (though I could never be an engineer). Besides, I'd known law school was probably a bad decision all the way back in the fall of 2009 when I was first applying to colleges given my penchant for scouring the web for stuff to read about w/r/t politics and economics (I believe the earliest thing I read was this post
from 2004), and I had no idea what I might do with a BA in philosophy or something otherwise. Also, I applied to UT Dallas as a safety school, and they gave me a full ride, so even though I could see the flaws in going here my parents did not and refused to pay for anything else. I'm not sure what it would be like to graduate with an economics degree (what I've been thinking about switching to) from this school, but I have a feeling it wouldn't be that great. Their comp sci program, on the other hand, is pretty excellent. Problem is, I never code at all on my own and this leaves me feeling rusty and burned out whenever I come back.
I'm taking a class right now called competitive learning in cs in which the professor assigns us a couple programming challenges from contests and encourages us to go to a couple. I've done terribly at these. If you were to ask me right now to write some pseudocode for a quicksort algorithm or something, I would be at a complete loss. I mean, I could study all that stuff prior to an interview or something, but somehow I feel like that's sort of defeating the purpose.
I've thought about biology/medical school, and I almost did that instead of comp sci right out of high school, but I absolutely despise the notion of being obsessive about my GPA and making sure my transcript is squeaky clean and all that, and there's just something about the American medical establishment generally that I find off-putting (e.g. interviewers for med school asking questions like "would you do medicine if it only paid $50,000 a year?"). Again, if I didn't seek out post-graduate education, what would I do with a B.S. in biology? Kiss doctor's asses as a drug rep to try and convince them to give my company's medicine to their patients?
I've done no internships so far and I actually had to drop my technical writing class because for some reason, no matter how hard I tried, I would fail to format stuff satisfactorily enough for the professor to give me anything above like a 50 on the assignments, so I don't even have a resume written. As you should be able to surmise from the previous sentence, I have a hard time getting anything done unless some external authority has put a due date on it.
At any rate, as I mentioned above, I enjoy reading stuff about politics and economics and that sort of stuff on the internet, and I particularly enjoy Paul Krugman's explanations of stuff for lay readers (this slate article
was really great in helping me finally understanding how monetary policy works and what money is and how it's created). If it hadn't been for Paul (well, and also some major real world events that coincided with a period of my life during which I was still impressionable), I would still be the libertarian Reason-reading geek I was back a freshman in high school. Now I'm a metafilter-reading geek instead.
Anyway, my main goal in life right now is to become financially independent of my parents and I'm open to any and all suggestions as to the best way to go about doing that. My family would have major issues with my going into a blue collar trade and my older brother (an investment banker at Deutsche Bank for what it's worth) would not be very happy at all were I to try and switch into an economics degree from UT Dallas. There's a lot more to say about all that but I've already typed on long enough that I think we can call this a post.