Should I drop out?
Balancing your tech career with school.
Getting into technology seems easy at first, but as a student developer or designer, it’s quite difficult to maintain that balance.
Technology as we all know is exciting, but as time goes on you begin to have problems coping with whatever technology you are using and your school work, mostly when you are not studying a computer science related course.
When I kicked-started my tech career, it felt fun and exciting to jump from learning one new technology to another. But the moment I got into school, the story changed.
For me, studying Philosophy in school and being an Android developer were two very different things, and each required a lot of my time and attention.
Most techies in school find it frustrating to be in school and have this mindset of dropping out of school and focus on their tech career.
I spoke to a Product designer about this, she was like “I don’t think am the perfect person to talk to about it”. Asking her why? — her reply was shocking, she said: “ I don’t really like the course am studying anymore and I feel like dropping out of school”. This was someone in her 3rd year at the university. Asking her further to know why she’s still in school, her reply was “family”.
Come to think of it, the moment she encountered tech she lost interest in her course of study and still continue schooling , just because she’s afraid to be disowned by her parents or be a cause of depression for them. And her grade is suffering from it.
Neglecting her school work, thinking it doesn’t really matter anymore so as other techies, believing they needed no certificate anymore to get a tech-related job.
Also spoke with a UI/UX designer, on how she manages her school work and tech career. From her reply, I was able to draw out some fact that can help us.
She said “I go to class in the morning and work at night, when an idea run into my head during lectures or I got a deadline to meet, I usually sketch out the idea in class on my notebook and later in the evening come back to work on it. Sometimes I carry my laptop to class, and when there is a free time in class I work some project”.
Continuing with her she also said, “ I have time for work and studies, and was able to partition my time and close every thought of me dropping out”. Stating “if not for her being in school, she won’t have had contact with tech”. Why drop out now? when It’s almost time to graduate.
I also spoke with some developers, who were excelling in their school work, working remotely and also building awesome products.
Speaking with a 400 level Mechanical Engineering student, who’s a Web developer and also working remotely.
Asked how he was able to keep those grades up, still build awesome stuff, stack the bag and also grow in his tech career?.
He said, “I got into tech early 2nd semester while I was in my 200 level and usually got only the nights to practice and learn, whilst attending lectures. So later when I got more engrossed into tech and got jobs coming in, that was in my 300 level and I know I have to plan out my time”.
“I usually skipped workshops and lab classes( Not really advisable tho ), cause they don't really matter to me”.
“I also took out time to check out my departmental timetable and figure out the day I usually don’t have classes or just one, and decided not to attend, so as to work on some project”.
Asking him, if he usually touches tech related stuff during exams period, his answer was fascinating. “I usually code a little during night classes, just to chase away sleep and start reading afterward, that’s just the way of balancing my self”- he said.
I really think this cool.
Asking him one last question — Have you ever felt like dropping out ? He was like, “yeah for sure; every student techie got that thought most times, but you know what? It never lasted in my case. You know why? Cause I still have the aim I got into school for, and I got introduce to tech while in school, moreover I could still get introduced to a whole lot more.”
Lastly, I got a chance to talk with a 300 level computer science student, who’s also an amazing Software Developer and community builder.
His reply just gave another way of balancing your tech career with school.
For him, he said — “I set a benchmark of graduating with 2:1 CGPA".
“I usually split the whole 24 hrs into two, like working at night and not doing any tech related stuff at day, and mostly not even touching tech related stuff during exams period, notwithstanding I’m still this church guy”.
So you see, there are various possibility of balancing your tech career with school work, and not thinking of dropping out.
- Starting by setting a benchmark of what you really want to graduate with.
- Partitioning your time throughout the day, and choose either to work at night or day.
- Checking your school timetable for lapses, and take advantage of it.
And finally, chase away the mentality and thought of dropping out of school with just this word — “ Not now. I can still be introduce to a whole lot more”.
Thank you very much for taking out your time in reading this. Please kindly share this to so as many students you know who are involved in technology.