How to not be so lost during your first semester of undergraduate studies in Computer Science ?
You have been accepted to the Bachelor, but you feel kind of lost on your choice of double major ? You are thinking, well why not Computer Science? It is popular and there are big salaries involved, but you suspect it is too late for you to start. Don’t worry, we are here to help you on your journey to the truth.
We are delighted to write this article and to share our experience with you. Indeed, when we arrived last year, we didn’t really know which major to choose. Reflecting back, we were certainly too afraid to fully commit to a subject we had never studied before. So don’t be afraid to uphold your ambitions because they will drive you to achieve great stuff!
- The first semester CS course (aka CSE101) is a great introduction to Python, where you’ll learn a lot of important concepts of Computer Science and programming (everything from loops to recursive algorithms and others).
- Definitely overthink this course. Discuss it with your peers, ask your teachers for help. If the Math-CS double major is an option for you, it is necessary to have a strong basis of knowledge and to be comfortable with every concept seen in CSE101.
- You will want to try to do all the mandatory TD exercises, even if they look hard, you can do it ! In fact, many times in CS, you will be discouraged, you will be beaten down by your cerebral cortex who will not want to visualize what’s happening, but you need to fight this!
- Think hard and push your mind to its limit, you will be amazed by what it can do and see. Don’t hesitate to pick a pen and some paper to draw what you want to see. This may sound as a trivial/useless advice, but it has saved many lives to this day.
- Try to be curious about everything, it is important to try out things even if they seem too difficult. Most of us are not naturally gifted with that eagerness and interest in hard problems. You will become a good and autonomous programmer if you practice, and, at some point, you will figure out problems on your own.
- Remember that taking this class assumes you have no prior knowledge in CS and that experience isn’t a requirement for the course. Eventually, you will have the impression that some are already fit to be cyber-Ultron-hacking maniacs. Truth is, they took courses in high school, and you have other knowledge that they don’t.
- Finally, watch your posture as you’ll likely be sitting in front of your computer for long periods of time. You don’t want to end up like this:
- Feel free to watch some YouTube. The world’s biggest university! If you do not know him already, you might want to check out the one and only 3Blue1Brown.
Lastly, don’t forget that it’s okay to be an absolute beginner, you’re here to learn and it would be very sad if you already knew everything.