Reflection On First College Year

It’s finally summer time and after a surprisingly quick school year, I get to rest my exhausted mind and body. This also means writing a long-overdue blog post about the very busy and eventful first year of college!

All the AP courses I took in High School earned me a total of 30 credit hours, meaning I was a Sophomore (2nd year) student on paper before even starting. This gave me the tremendous advantage of taking higher-level courses early and giving me a shot at transferring to Georgia Tech after only 1 year.

My Fall semester at Georgia State University, I took 5 courses to receive 14 credit hours:

  • ENGL 1101 (English 1)
  • ECON 2100 (Global Economy)
  • PHIL 1010 (Critical Thinking)
  • CSC 2310 (Principles of Computer Programming)
  • CSC 2510 (Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science)

CSC 2310 was basically a beginning Java course so I easily breezed through it, barely showing up to class and acing all the test/quizzes/homework assignments. CSC 2510 was a very challenging discrete mathematics course, and I had a lot of fun with this one. After a lot of stress and studying, I earned an A in the class! The other three were trivial core classes that I had no trouble with.

The first semester, I took mostly easy courses to slowly ease myself into the college life, especially as I lived in the dorms, rooming with a very good friend from high school. I had an excellent first semester, enjoying the downtown Atlanta city life with all the sights, places, and delicious restaurants (the Vortex is the best burger place I’ve ever been to!)

After the end of the fall semester, I went back to live with my parents for the winter break. It was at this time that I was offered an IT Consultant position at a local company where I had good connections. This position was mainly shadowing the IT guy and responding to HelpDesk tickets. I began in January and absorbed as much knowledge as I could. I learned a tremendous amounts of the inner workings of server rooms, Microsoft Servers, and, of course, SharePoint.  I got hands on with moving computers around, patching cables, fixing issues employees had, writing scripts to automatically update software, and tons more! I completely enjoyed my time there! However, I did not stay for long. Late January, I received an email from the Travelport internship manager to setup a phone interview for a potential internship opportunity with the company. After a successful phone interview, I was offered the 12-week part-time paid Software Engineering Internship beginning mid-February and ending early May. I had to make the difficult decision of leaving my IT job to accept the internship as I felt it was more in line with my career and future. I will be talking more about my experience at the internship in a separate blog post.

My Spring semester at Georgia State, I decided to increase the difficulty a bit and challenge myself with sophomore/junior-level college courses. This worried me a little bit as I was also doing 20 hours/week at the internship. Needless to say, I lost massive amounts of sleep but thankfully came out on top at the end.
I took 5 courses to receive 17 credit hours:

  • ENGL 1102 (English 2)
  • HIST 2110 (US History)
  • MATH 2215 (Calculus 3)
  • PHYS 2212K (Calculus-based Physics 2 + Lab)
  • CSC 3410 (Data Structures)

English 2 and US History were again trivial core classes that I had no problems with. CSC 3410 was another Java course, this time focusing on data structures such as lists, queues, stacks, and trees. This was a very easy course, so easy that I felt I could have taught the class better than the professor himself, as I did not feel he was very knowledgeable. This inkling made me yearn to transfer to Georgia Tech as soon as possible, as I longed for difficult computer science courses with knowledgeable professors where I could actually learn!

Physics 2212K, or Calculus-based Physics 2 accompanied by a lab, was the most difficult course I have ever taken in my life. I have never experienced this much stress, anger, and frustration before. The in-class lectures were completely out-of-sync with the labs, the professor could barely convey the material in an understandable manner, and the material itself was very difficult to understand and memorize! I was very relieved to manage a B+ in the class, my only B this semester.

Thankfully, I still had a fun math class to enjoy: Calculus 3. To say that it was a joy to show up to class is an understatement. I looked forward to it as we were dealing with calculus in 3 dimensions! My love for this material was proven when I finished with a 107 average (above 100 thanks to completing extra credit assignments), giving me an A+.

All in all, I finished my first year with a 3.91 GPA and earning 61 credit hours, making me officially a Junior (3rd year) student after only 1 year of college. 😀 Thanks to this, I have applied to transfer to Georgia Tech in the fall and I am waiting to hear back on June 15, this upcoming Sunday, about their decision.

Now for the summer, I have decided to take a break from classes and work. I am spending more time with friends and much more time on the computer, keeping up and expanding into my programming hobby. I am currently beginning to do more web development, diving into HTML and CSS while learning backend languages such as Ruby and Python and tackling frameworks such as Spring, Play! framework, Rails, and Django. So far I’ve had a lot of fun and hopefully things keep improving from here.

If you have read this far, I am flattered with your interest into my life and I hope you keep reading in the future! I have much more to share and I will push myself to post more programming-related blog posts, no matter how dull they seem.

2 thoughts on “Reflection On First College Year”

  1. I feel very unfortunate, that we had Mechanics and Engineering Drawing in Computer Science. But, I had passed it. By the way can I know what these credit hours are?

    I’m experiencing the same as you. We will be completing our first year in a month and one thing I can say is that I’m happy with the course, I was the only one to get cent marks in C in the entire semister. Waiting to go to third year to actually learn Java. (I’m self taught).

    I also had some days in this year completing the assignments of my seniors, I’m very proud.

    Just wanted to share the same experience as you have. Thank you for reading it.

    1. Hey Sri Harsha,
      Credit hours is the unit for giving weight to a course and they generally mean how many hours per week you’re in class. Most classes are 3 credit hours, but there are the few simple ones that are 2 hours and the really tough ones with 4 hours. PHIL 1010 was 2 credit hours while Calculus 3 and Physics 2+Lab were 4 credit hours each. All other courses were 3 credit hours.

      Good luck with your courses! 🙂

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