As of December 16th, I have only 12 credits left (or one semester of classes) to complete to finish my Bachelor of Computer Science degree! Which is very exciting, as being a 28-year-old full-time undergraduate student has lost most of its charm – over two years after it began.

Computer Science is Time-Consuming

People have always told me “Don’t take more than X computer science classes in one semester!” (The number varied depending on who was telling me, but I’d normally nod in agreement without any real idea of the horrors that awaited). However, due to the structure of the BCS program (and UBC’s weird, short summer terms), you don’t really get the opportunity to take more than two until after your first co-op term. And since I extended my first co-op term to also be my second co-op term, which then bled into those weird summer terms (AGAIN), this semester was the first time I’d taken more than two CPSC classes in a term.

And it hurt. A lot.

Since I commute ~3 hours a day, I had decided to stick with my 4-classes-per-term plan (it only extends the BCS program by a single term) – and I took a COMM (business) class in there to fulfill my “bridging module” requirements, so I only had THREE computer science classes, and I am still fairly certain I laid awake at night thinking of JavaScript callbacks and TCP vs UDP considerations most nights.

Having taken another degree, I can definitely weigh in: computer science requires a LOT more time than biology. The amount of time I would spend on a single CPSC assignment probably eclipses the amount of time I would spent on an entire BIOL class a lot of the time. Granted, there are other things at play here: I want this to be my real career; I 100% do not want to go back to school a third time, so I am trying to do this right. Also, my CPSC grades are about 10% higher than my bio grades, so the increased effort does appear to be paying off.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

I don’t really know what the point of this post is – just to tell you that even if you’re in the middle of a semester and you feel like you’re going to drown in assignments and quizzes and midterms and finals – there is an end. The end will come. You don’t need to keep up forever, just a bit over 3 months. And then you can vegetate after exams finish and laugh about those times you stayed up until 2 AM trying to figure out how the heck LaTeX works and cursing whatever prof decided that is how you needed to format your assignments.

I’ll do a quick review of the 4 classes I took (CPSC 310, CPSC 304, CPSC 317, COMM 335) in some future posts, for anyone interested!

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