Not sure my course is for me

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iappletom
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Hello,
I am a first year studying Computer Science, who achieved a BBB in A-Level ICT, History, and Geography.
Having not studied Computer Science at A-Level (ICT studied instead), I decided to enrol in a university which prided itself on being for complete beginners.
Unfortunately, my first assignment has been released and I feel although I am going to fail. I don't even know where to begin. I feel useless, and hate the thought of failing.
I think I'd be seen, and also see myself, as a disappointment if I were to drop out now. I'm considering powering on through the year and seeing how I do, as if i don't do well in May, I can hopefully apply for a different course at the same university. This would mean studying a completely different subject, and obviously starting from year 1 again. At this moment in time, I really don't mind that right now.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do?

Thank you all.
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LuigiMario
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hi, Sorry, (bear with me, I'm trying to help) I didn't quite understand this bit
"my first assignment has been released and I feel although I am going to fail. I don't even know where to begin"

it's too long a sentence for starters - lots of pointers in different directions

is this true, do you mean results released or topic/question released?
"my first assignment has been released"

and here "and I feel although I am going to fail" So have you attempted the question(s), or are your going to attempt such?
probably "although" is a spelling for "as though"

finally (for the moment) "I don't even know where to begin"

I will obviously insert the quote from Alice in Wonderland here:
The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” he asked. “Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

So your first assignment, if you are just reading it and it is too long and makes no-sense , then break it down into smaller chunks like I did above?
Come back to us if it is still like something from Lewis Caroll, or talk to your lecturer, professor or tutorial assistants - or is there an FB chat for your CompSci course?



your other comment about ICT vs CompSci is a worthwhile point, some students find doing the esoteric science of generic computing systems a lot different than perhaps studying applied computer engineering. Notably I heard Rory Cellan-Jones [the BBC science correspondent] today finding it very difficult to accurately report on Google's Quantum Computing systems - what is an isolated qubit, and so on, that is CompSci. Whilst ICT is more, which is the best multi-threaded CPU coming on the market this year for my small supercomputer design?, and what internet accelerator technology should I choose?
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iappletom
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Hello,

Thank you so much for the reply LuigiMario, I am very grateful!
I apologise about the first sentence. It is too long. What I meant was, the assignment question has been released, not the grade.
I have had a read over the assignment and it just isn't making sense to me. I will take your advice of breaking it down, which I think will be really helpful.

Do you think my tutor would be a good person to contact, if I am still struggling after breaking the question down.

I am also considering a change of course from Computer Science to Business Information Technology. This is apparently similar to ICT, rather than computer science. But I am worried about changing my degree to this, as it sounds a lot less appealing to employers than Computer Science does.

Do you have any further advice?


Thanks again,
Tom
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LuigiMario
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OK :-)

Yes, that's what tutors do! help/hint - but they sometimes are hard to find.....

you will find your own path, your experiences and your feelings are quite probably valid

and, honestly, it doesn't really matter what you study for your first degree, nor where you study it!
- nuances are, that obviously you'll work harder if its a subject that you prefer, can understand a bit better, can see easier where it would fit-in
that IDRMWYSFYFDegree is because you can upgrade any degree anywhere, with a one year Master in a subject that Does matter, at a Uni that is very business friendly. My mate did her engineering degree, but is now doing stratospherically well after topping it up with an MBA a few years ago.

(further advice) Any time that you can spend in industry, on stage, internship, summer job with ICT/business content - whilst you are doing your degree will be highly useful, but you need a nice degree pass as well, so if you might get a 2:2 in CompSci, but instead a 2:1 in Business ICT, then that would be highly positive, and it comes back to talk to your tutor, and widely.

We've all been put off by assignments! One of the worst tests/assignments that I saw, in CompSci , was a sheet of A4 "write a program to sort input days of the week to ... etc etc etc", [Note. computers must not be used for this assignment, write the program out in longhand script on the back of this A4, you have twenty minutes]

enjoy!
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ihatePE
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im gonna be frank, maybe compsci is not for you?
When choosing degrees, we are bombarded with prestige, job prospect and pride in doing some amazingly complex course, that is the many traps students fall into... I fell for it and maybe you did too?
I did maths, history and geography at a level, chose engineering, completed one yr of it, hated it. now I do accounting. I love it, it's within my capabilities, and my interest too, which are two important things.

I feel like the window of time to transfer course this yr has ended, but please double check with someone at ur uni. if it has ended, and you have to wait til next summer to change, try the first assignment and see where it takes you. if you end up getting something that you aren't proud of, then start reconsidering what other course you want to do. I say, stick around your a level choices, if you enjoyed any of them that is. seems like you enjoyed ICT? then there are other courses that are computer related but not compsci.

when it comes to employability, the degree you do matters very little. in fact, anyone can learn to code, and a lot of people go into software engineering careers without a compsci degree - they learnt how to code outside the uni environment. after all careers in coding and programming will be more weighted on how well you can code, not what degree you got, though compsci can add a nice touch to your cv. so I heavily recommend you choose something you enjoy and is within your capabilities, then to work on employability, learn to code in your spare time with hundreds of resources online, if thats where you want to head towards.
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studentanon1998
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(Original post by iappletom)
Hello,

Thank you so much for the reply LuigiMario, I am very grateful!
I apologise about the first sentence. It is too long. What I meant was, the assignment question has been released, not the grade.
I have had a read over the assignment and it just isn't making sense to me. I will take your advice of breaking it down, which I think will be really helpful.

Do you think my tutor would be a good person to contact, if I am still struggling after breaking the question down.

I am also considering a change of course from Computer Science to Business Information Technology. This is apparently similar to ICT, rather than computer science. But I am worried about changing my degree to this, as it sounds a lot less appealing to employers than Computer Science does.

Do you have any further advice?


Thanks again,
Tom
Hi Tom,

I am a Business Computing student, and I went through the first year studying the same content as you. The group project being released was the most nerve-wracking moment of my first year, however, after discussing it with my tutor and my peers I was able to break it down and understand what exactly it was asking me. Please do not be afraid to ask for help! I had never studied Computer Science nor had I ever looked at a piece of code before. However, I managed to knuckle down and achieve an A+ from my project through attending labs and asking questions. ASK ASK ASK. You got this. If you ever need help from a second year, although I'm studying Business Computing, there are people to help!
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