fear and anxiety · personal experiences

How I Lied to Myself

Sometimes I think about how glad I am being in a Computer Science program. But sometimes I believe that I am making the biggest mistake in my life, and I am wasting my talents.

Well, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy programming, problem solving, and learning new languages. The best part about computer science is that you get to create programs that can do what humans need to do repeatedly. Just make the program once, input some data, and then boom, you get something that takes ages for a human to do.

So why did I say that I lied to myself? Well, ever since forever, I had always been with my creative side of the brain. I drew all the time, I had too many sketchbooks, and I loved anything that had to do with animation. I especially loved making art with the computer. I even took a lot of time being cooped up in my room self-teaching photoshop and adobe flash. In fact, when I got my first ever (gigantic) computer in 5th grade, the first thing I did was draw Cosmo and Wanda from F.O.P. on Microsoft Paint. I also learned a lot of HTML from Neopets so I could build do web design. I did all of these at quite a young age.. As a 13-year-old, I thought I was pretty awesome.

When I was in middle school, my dream was to become an artist/designer. My grades were pretty bad because I spent everyday drawing. I spent most of my weekends drawing avatar art for people online to get virtual money (if you’ve been in GaiaOnline, you know exactly what I’m talking about). Because it was a huge success, I kept on going with everything I was doing.

When it came to my last year of middle school, I realized that I had to do something about my grades. So I started studying really hard and eventually got my first 100 on my Math final exam. Ever since then, I changed from a straight-C student to a straight-A genius in the course of 6 months. Everybody started to like me and I finally was not bullied anymore. However, all of this came at a huge price – I stopped drawing.

I still couldn’t decide if that was actually a bad thing or not. The thing is, ever since I don’t draw that often anymore (I drew probably one thing every 6 months), I started to become a learner. Everything suddenly interested me: music, physics, biology, mathematics, computers, finance, etc. This definitely complicated my decisions on what to major for college. Other people say “follow your heart” but I felt like I wanted everything. I wanted to be a doctor who does electrical engineering while doing research in a biology lab.

Here’s where it gets ugly.

Even though I stopped drawing, I was still able to draw very well. Occasionally, I would draw and people recognized them. The people who knew me ever since I was little suggested me to go to art school. But I didn’t really want to listen to them because psh, come on.. art school? How am I supposed to get a job? How am I supposed to support my family by going to art school?? Plus, I didn’t really believe that I could do it because I didn’t draw that much anymore. So instead I majored in Computer Science where the prospects are (supposedly) better. Because at the time, what I wanted to do was to get a job. That’s it.

Two years down the road, I felt like I lied to myself. Again, I don’t HATE computer science; it’s just that at most times, I feel empty and wish that I had gone to art school instead and follow what I wanted to do ever since I was brought to this world. For some reason, I convinced myself that as long as I get a job that pays well, I would love it anyway. However, this assumption quickly fell apart when I got my first job (you can bet I was excited for this). I was only sane for about 2 weeks, and then I lost my mind. But it might because I was working in customer service, which was something that I really don’t like to do. Then again, every time I decide to apply for computer science positions, I hesitate and ask myself: do I really want to do this? My heart says I don’t. My brain says I do because I need the money. My gut says I should go build a business because I truthfully don’t like to answer to anyone.. that’s probably why I can’t stand a job for more than 2 weeks. I don’t like having people tell me what to do.

So the question still remains.. do I really want to do this? Heck, I don’t even think I fit in the computer science community. I don’t really connect with my colleagues! But that might be because I don’t get along with humans. Ugh, I don’t know! My life is confusing.

How on earth did I end up in computer science anyway? Bravados? Possibly. Some part of me also wanted to impress other people because most of them are majoring in things like accounting, business, engineering, mathematics.. you know, things that make other people seem stupid. I was very competitive, so that’s probably how I defied myself in the end.

I don’t know who to blame. I absolutely don’t know. I just wished that my parents were more supportive of my interests in art, instead of pressuring me so hard with getting good grades. “You better get your brother into a good school,” they said. “Your sister is your responsibility,” they all scold. I wish that they noticed that I was only a 18-year-old who couldn’t even take responsibility for her own life… excessive pressure don’t make diamonds – they kill spirits. They have certainly killed mine, but I really need to rekindle it somehow.

Now I am 20 and I absolutely hate life. I am working jobs that I hate, doing homework on things that I don’t particularly care about, and I do not know where life is going. Learn from me, money is NEVER EVER the reason to do something (dear future me, please don’t ever forget this). I don’t know if you’re ever gonna see anyone else say this, but I wished that I hadn’t became a “genius” in the first place.

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