A Reflection of my First Semester For My Second Degree

I wanted to write a little post about my feelings this first semester of working on my degree. It has been way more challenging than the four and a half years I spent working on my English degree. That is the whole truth. The new degree I'm getting is an Associate's in Web Design and Development. I love doing stuff with photoshop and making things. That's where my heart resides. However, as part of my degree, I'm required to take programming classes.

This semester in particular, I was in an Intro to C# class. It started out easy, and I still got the concepts, but a lot of it I felt could be taught in a better way. I found myself feeling jealous of my other (mostly male) classmates because they would brag about the fact that the homework was so easy and they knocked it out in an hour or two. I don't think a lot of people realize that not everyone's brains are wired for math and languages. Learning a computer language is a whole new concept to me (and I've never been very good at learning languages...hence why I took French after 14 and a half years of Spanish). And I learned I'm not very good at it.

The farther we dove into the language through the semester, the longer it would take me to work on the assignments. I found myself at a loss because the internet was giving me answers far too complex, the online tutors were no help, and I felt alone. I was 75% online this semester and we didn't introduce each other for this one class (my only in person class). So I was unable to email my classmates for help, instead, asking them for help in the few minutes between our class beginning and the last class ending. I love what I'm learning, and it's so cool to see a product at the end of it, but it's easily the hardest thing I've ever done.

I also find it difficult to get on the same level as many of my classmates because they are on the programmer side of things. So of course they're going to have an easier time. I believe I was one of two Web Design and Development students in this whole class, and therefore, there's a good chance I'll never see these guys again. I love being able to work on homework from home, but it also makes me feel like there's no one there for me to ask for help to. I'm not one to regularly cry, but I've cried so much over stress levels this semester, it's not even funny.

Part of me is glad I chose to go back for a different degree, but a larger part of me is sad that my English degree didn't work out with finding me a job. I am so much happier working on writing, and I still hold high dreams of becoming a writer. There's nothing more I want to do in the world. But right now, and with the circumstances of where I live, I've been forced to sacrifice what makes me happy to do something that will earn me a wage. I know tons of people who work in IT because I live in a huge IT bubble area (one of the most concentrated areas across the whole of the states). That means the likelihood of me finding a job with my English degree was very slim. I tried, but all I qualified for with a Bachelor's Degree was call center jobs. That is not what I went to school for, and I am not the only one who suffered at the hands of dreams.

In the past four/five months, I've gone through a lot of changes. I started school again (separate from the friends I made), I got a new job, my mother's health forced her to retire early, money has been tighter than ever, and I've been struggling. I have never been one to let stress get the best of me, but right now, where I'm at, I almost feel like I'm a little in limbo. I don't know what direction my life is going in from here. I admit, I'm more lost than I have ever been because I've had such a hard time this semester.

I've had to force blocks of time for me so I don't get overwhelmed, but I still managed to get overwhelmed on a daily basis. Writing is so precious to me (as I'm sure you've guessed if you've perused my website). It's something I've been trying to do for such a large chunk of my life that I don't know anything else. It's the fabric of my whole being, and I don't know where I would be without it. My dreams are to be creative and eventually have a full-time writing career. It's the hardest thing I've ever worked towards, and right now, that bright tunnel is flickering in darkness.

Basically, to wrap up this post: I'm lost and I'm grateful for the month off of school I have starting this week. I wish I didn't have work this week, but it will get better. I'll always find my way through the dark.



Writer from Wisconsin who loves reading, writing, crocheting, and watching way too much of The 100. You can often find Amanda playing The Sims and procrastinating everything. 

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