Hi, I just found this board a few hours ago and have been reading through it. I’ve been trying to make sense of what happened to me the past 2 years and where to go next.
Two years ago I quit attending classes during my junior year because I just lost interest and was quite depressed and lost, I lost the will to go out, socialize etc, I just locked myself in my room all the time only leaving for meals if I felt like it (and could afford it). I was a computer science student but I no longer had an interest in my classes. I also ended up failing out because I didn’t drop the classes. I decided to transfer and enroll to a new university thinking that a change of environment would reinvigorate me. I like programming. Let me rephrase that; I like reading about programming. I enjoy reading about computer science things and technology. I enjoy thinking about how to solve problems or even designing solutions. I also like teaching and mentoring other people in programming and computer science related topics. I find programming itself to not be fun at all (I did at one time enjoy it a great deal). The biggest issue being that I just lose interest really fast when I actually start working on anything. I have done a few self-started projects but I never made them public since it was before I decided to actively use github and bitbucket, and I’m not much of a blogger. I also generally receive praise from other people that I work with regarding my programming and problem solving ability when I do work in groups (generally if I work with someone else I will finish my work load just out of curtesy).
After transferring I still did pretty terrible, I felt spaced out most of the time, even more lost, and even more depressed than before and failed out again after my first semester there. I spoke with my advisor (albeit far too late) about the issues I was having, although I didn’t tell her about the whole withdraw from everything episode before, and she told me it seemed like I just hadn’t found a niche and burned out. This seemed like a possibility, but I’m unsure if I agree with her. I know I don’t really like web development which seems to be the big thing right now and most of the programming jobs around here are in that. This causes me concern because I feel pressure to learn web development just because it’s employable, but I still have no interest in it at all and don’t really want to end up in a job doing it. I do enjoy game development related topics and robotics programming or playing around with Arduino and microcontrollers and I’ve also found I like science related programming topics like bioinformatics and computations physics as well so I kind of know my interests.
I’m in a situation where I probably can’t return to taking classes for another semester or so and I can’t seem to find employment in programming or software or even IT or tech support because I don’t have a degree, certifications, or connections. This has led me to feel even further depressed because I feel like I’m just wasting more time that I already have that I could be putting towards my “niche” or whatever, but I can’t find what I want to focus on. Whenever I start a project I just lose interest the next day and start something new. Many times I’ve found I can’t focus on my personal projects anymore because I feel like I should be trying something else, or learning something else because there is so much out there to learn.
I guess after all of that I’m just trying to find where to go. Any ideas on what would cause someone to just lose interest and withdraw like that, though honestly I’ve always been a bit of a shut in and not very social. I feel like I need to force myself to be more social to get anywhere (which is funny because I was always told programming and developing is one of the few careers you can get awway with minimum socializing when I was growing up but I don’t think that’s true anymore). Is it possible to find a programming job in my situation? What are some good ways to find my “niche”? I honestly feel like I have no future some days because of my own poor decisions, but I think it’s possible to still dig myself out of this hole and move on with my life. I’ve been suggested before to get contracts but I don’t really know the best way to do that. Sometimes I feel like my biggest problem is that I’m always focused on where I will or want to be in the future I forget about the present.