Where do I go from here?


#1

Hiya,

Brand new to the forum. Thought this might be a good place to air some things out and see if anyone has been in a similar situation and has any insights.

Let me start by saying that I enjoy computer science, it makes me think in interesting ways, it’s fun, and I definitely see myself having a career in it. I am a junior CS student with no prior CS internships, but work experience in other places. I was really hoping to land a summer internship going into my senior year, so I could distinguish myself and look good for the Fall career fair to get a solid job after graduation. However, after getting to the final stages of the interview process for a couple companies, they ended up going with someone else. I understand that’s just the way it goes sometimes, but it’s discouraging nonetheless.

So now I’m looking at a jobless summer and I am beginning to feel the pressure of graduating with no real CS job experiences. My parents have never placed an unreasonable amount of pressure on me and have always supported me. That being said, me not getting a job makes me feel like I am wasting my time, their time, and that I am letting them down and wasting their resources to put me through school, living expenses, etc.

I have always done well in school. I’ve maintained a 3.5+ GPA, but this semester has done me in. I might be lucky to keep my GPA above 3.5. And since I have no real CS job experience, this is causing me a lot of stress, because I want to show companies that I am competent and willing to work hard to succeed. However, this semester I have just been going through the motions, barely putting the time in, and just doing OK(which is not good enough for me). I feel no motivation to get ahead. I am pretty critical of myself, because I know I am capable and I expect great things out of myself, but when I don’t get good marks or don’t understand something right away I get easily discouraged. I know I am not a genius and I know it’s going to take me a good, honest effort to understand something, but I can never get myself to put in the effort, and then I get down on myself. It’s like a constant negative feedback loop. I don’t have patience with myself, and even though I recognize that, I still can’t seem to do anything about it.

People always talk about finding your passions and going from there, but for me, I don’t really have any passions or at least I don’t know what they are right now. I don’t have any interests, no motivation, and I am not really sure what I should be doing with myself. So that combined with everything else has left me in a defeated state. I am feeling pretty burnt out on life, so nothing is enjoyable for me right now, not video games, not reading, not anything that I would consider relaxing or fun. I don’t feel anything. I go home from class and basically do nothing and think about all the time I’ve just wasted. I’ve never been diagnosed with depression, but I sure feel like the sorry state I am in would be labeled as something along those lines. I have never once thought about carrying out suicide, there’s no way I could do it, but I have thought how convenient it would be for it all to end. I honestly hate admitting that, because I want to be someone that fights, I want to battle and come out victorious, but that’s how my thoughts have been as of late, just defeated. Despite all that, I feel confident that I can overcome this, but it’s not easy to take those steps when you’re down.

I haven’t told anyone close to me how I am feeling, and honestly, I don’t really feel the need to. Perhaps I should? Just in general, my mom seems to think that me getting a girlfriend would help me in life, but I am kind of a loner, and I don’t think I would be a suitable boyfriend. I don’t mean that in a negative way, but I think I’m a little odd when it comes to the romancey stuff. I am fine being single, it’s not something I dwell on. Anyways, my parents know how I am, how I behave, and on the outside I am not acting any differently, so they have no reason to be concerned or worry. Although, my mom will always worry about me because in her words “that’s what moms do.” Like I said, I don’t feel pressured by my parents, but I pressure myself because I want to do right by them and I don’t consider myself doing right by them currently.

All this aside, I know I should at least try to find some kind of work over the summer, so I can get a little experience in something and make a little money on the side. However, at this point I feel like telling my parents that I’m not right mentally and that I need to take a little time off to get myself sorted. Maybe work on some projects to buff out my portfolio, work out, just live healthier, etc. But I feel like I am letting myself and family down, which just weighs down heavier on me. Ideally for me right now, I would go live with some random elderly couple in a cabin in the mountains, somewhere cold, and just chop wood for them haha. Though, realistically I know I need to find a real solution, but I just don’t really know what I should do. I feel lost, like I am wandering around aimlessly with no real goal in mind.

Therefore, my question is, where do I go from here? I appreciate those that take the time to read all that and reply.

Thanks


#2

I really identify with this. When I am in the depths of a depressive spell, these types of feelings & thoughts are pervasive.

I know talking things out isn’t always helpful for everyone, but I do think externalizing it can be helpful to some extent, especially as a first step to figuring out a plan of action. Especially since you mentioned you feel confident that you can overcome this. Sometimes someone who is separated from the scenario can have a new take or analysis to provide that can help broaden the scope a bit.

From what you said, it sounds like you think taking time for yourself would be best in the summer but still feel obligated by the ‘shoulds’ of what a “typical” timeline might look like (internship, experience, etc.).

Maybe there’s a halfway point in-between? Is there a coding group or organization you could work or volunteer for that could add to your CV but be the type of time commitment that allows you to focus on your well-being as well?