Wrong Major?

I’m drowning under a pile of homework etc. right now, so I’ll be brief. Just wanted to write a few thoughts down. Basically, the problem is that I’m a comp sci major, but lately I’ve been wondering if I might have picked the wrong major.

I’ve always been able to keep up with classes without having to study. In high school, it got to the point where I didn’t even consistently keep track of when tests were. I would walk in, notice everyone’s desks were unusually empty, think “Oh, I guess we have a test today,” and then proceed to ace it.

But this year (my third year of college), it stopped being that way. When I hear about a test, I actually get worried, and start reviewing. And then when I actually take the test, there are questions I’m not quite sure of. Which might not sound like a big deal, but for me it’s a bit of a new experience.

And as I was thinking about it, it occurred to me that the reason for this is that I’m just not interested in my classes. So as the teacher is going on lecturing, I’ll be reading manga on my phone, and then when he assigns homework I don’t know how to do it. So then I have to read the textbook in the time when I could be doing other things, and that means less time to catch up with the other classes that I’ve been reading manga in, and so on. Which would explain why things have been spiraling out of control for me lately.

This is not how things work out when I take a class I’m interested in. In that case, well… a lot of the time, I’ll already know what the teacher is going to teach us before he does it. If not, then once he starts teaching, I’ll start playing around thinking about the material covered in the class in my spare time, trying to apply it to various things that the teacher didn’t mention it was applicable to, and then a few classes in I’ll be at the point where I already know what the teacher is going to teach us before he teaches it. Or I’ll formulate my own pet theories that contradict what the teacher says (but of course, on the tests I’ll pretend to agree with the teacher).

Of course, this is also true of my experience with comp sci courses to some extent. In my first year as a comp sci major, I learned nothing new, except the syntax of Java, the primary programming language used in the comp sci department. It didn’t take long for me to decide that I hate Java. Instead, my favorite language is Common Lisp, the cult classic with syntax that looks positively alien to people with a background in any other programming language, ranked number one in amount of esoteric self-referential thinking required to use it. Naturally, I aced all the tests without studying as well.

The reason I started thinking I’m probably not that interested in comp sci is because lately, I’ve noticed a pattern in my manga-reading. I’m currently taking five classes, two in linguistics and three in comp sci. I mostly read manga or do research (of things irrelevant to the class) or draw or whatever during all three of my comp sci classes. But I don’t do that in either of my linguistics classes.

So that’s why I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I should have majored in math. I had a lot of fun with discrete math, calculus, and linear algebra. For me, the homework in those classes was like a nice treat at the end of a long day. Proving that a set of vectors was linearly independent was a great way to unwind before bed.

But of course, the problem is that there’s always the possibility that majoring in math is just as hard as majoring in computer science. Well, it pretty much certainly is, but I mean I might end up reading manga as much in math classes as I do in computer science classes. In that case, there might not be much point switching majors.

And then there’s also the problem of how this will affect my scholarship. I’m only covered for four years; if I end up taking longer than that to graduate, then I’ll have to take out a loan.

Not to mention math isn’t the only possible alternative to comp sci; linguistics is an option as well. So I’ll have to decide between those at some point, too.

So there’s a bunch of thoughts, I guess. Now I’d better start actually doing homework.


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