By Kafoumba Doumbia
I am a 2013 high school graduate and now a freshman at the University of Maine at Farmington. After my exciting life at South Bronx United as a student athlete, I found myself in the middle of an unfamiliar place and where I will pursue the rest of my education.
It is another milestone for me. My first day in United States; my first day in high school, and now my first day in college facing the biggest part of my life. I am here for the challenge I have prepared for. I have been waiting for this moment for so long, and I bet most high school students have also waited for this. College is not just a place to study and get an education, it is also a place to get to know yourself and better your personality.
Discovering your passion. I started college this fall hoping to learn and grow as much as I can. I never knew that learning could be so exciting until I took my first computer science class. I was impressed to see myself writing programs that tell the computer exactly what to do. I almost feel like I have some sort of magic power to make the computer do things. One of the first things I learned about was game design. I created a soccer game from scratch. I worked on a project with some classmates to create game on processing that might be formatted for iOS. I originally thought computer science was only about programing but it’s more than that. It involves a variety of topics such as analysis and design of algorithms, formal design techniques, design of programming languages, software engineering.
I decided to study computer science because I was interested in Math and Science, and more importantly I wanted to do something that would have an effect on how we live in society. I was very curious about how computers work, how to implement data that allows it to do things we, as humans, can do. Even though I was told that computer science is one of the hardest major and that I will suffer doing it, I convinced myself that I can anything if I put myself into it. When I look at around me, I cannot imagine anything that is relevant in our society that is not related to computers. Computer science, in my opinion, is part of just about everything that touches our lives from the cars we drive, to the movies we watch, to the ways businesses and governments deal with us. Understanding different dimensions of computing is part of the necessary skill set for an educated person in the 21st century. However, I will advise you to follow your heart whatever that major is. Nothing is impossible if you are willing to put the work into it.
The College Life. College is very different from high school in many different ways. In college, there is no one to tell you study or do your work. The professor will only handle you a syllabus that shows everything you will have to do for the semester and you will have to be responsible enough to get your work done on time. Do not procrastinate. There is so much work to do in college, so much papers to write that if you procrastinate, you will find yourself writing more papers than you did in your entire high school career. Learn to say sometimes and plan your socializing time according to your class and study schedule. Do not go party when you have a morning classes or have homework to get done. Talk to your professor and go to class. The more classes you miss, the more knowledge you miss. Some professor might fail you for missing more than three class time. If you are planning on being late, email your professor at head of time and he will excuse you. I need to be responsible for yourself because there is no mom and dad to hold your hand to school. In college you are free to make your own choice, so make better ones that would not affect you in the long run.
If you are a high school student, this message is for you, challenge yourself by taking higher level classes in math and science if you are planning in majoring in math or science related field. Set a goal for yourself and I know what you want before you start college so you can save time for yourself. Enjoy your time while you are still in high school because college will be a lot more stressful.
I have succeeded my first semester of college. Even though that I was taking higher level courses, I was able to maintain an A in all my classes. I was willing to work as hard as possible can to best student I can be. I understand that it can be sometimes overwhelming and hard, but you can do it. Nothing is impossible.
College life is very fun if you do your work on time and stay top of everything. Work hard in high school and graduate, college has a lot to offer.