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I spent high school in front of my computer


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#21 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1881

Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:23 AM

... chase after that redhead ... because it's the kind of thing you can squeeze into half-hour breaks between class, work, and so-forth.


That half hour is about all I need to find out the name of her boyfriend and figure out if I should be moving on or convincing her that her guy is scum,...
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#22 Kryzon   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 3314

Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:25 PM

I'm not going to try and get into this too much, but I'd just like to note that "doing fun things" to some is "sitting behind a computer and learning how to script, program, model, etc."
The quoted user seems to imply that chasing after girls and playing sports is the definite, static description of "fun". Plus, the "usual highschool things" seems like it could vary wildly depending on who you're talking about.

I commend this post for its scientifical, objective and unbiased point of view.

#23 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6991

Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:40 PM

I'm not going to try and get into this too much, but I'd just like to note that "doing fun things" to some is "sitting behind a computer and learning how to script, program, model, etc."

Let's face it, if you're on this site, you probably enjoy "sitting behind a computer and learning how to script, program, model, etc." swiftcoder wasn't saying that's a bad thing (I'm sure he enjoys it too!). He's saying there's more to life. If that's all you ever do, you're missing out, and you may not even realize it.

The quoted user seems to imply that chasing after girls and playing sports is the definite, static description of "fun". Plus, the "usual highschool things" seems like it could vary wildly depending on who you're talking about.

Emphasis mine. I think swiftcoder understands this, and I don't think he was saying you have to chase girls and play sports to have fun. It was a small sample of things one could do. The fact is there's a wide variety of things someone can do and enjoy. In addition to programming.

To everyone saying that you spent your life in front of a computer and you've had a good life, I'll bet you 20 bucks you've done more than just that your entire life. Programming may have been your favorite, and that's cool (it's been one of my favorite things), but I highly doubt that's the only thing anyone has done their whole life. And if you really haven't done anything more (at least one thing you've enjoyed, however small), you have issues.
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#24 jtagge75   Members   -  Reputation: 139

Posted 03 December 2011 - 02:20 PM

Never at any point did I think swiftcoder implied that you shouldn't program but that you should have some balance in life. A lot of people seem to be taking some kind of personal offense that you can like programming but not have it the complete focus of your life. I self taught myself C in my teenage years as well as doing sports, band, and school dances. I've learned to rebuild a small block Chevy. I've learned to frame interior walls and drywall them. I've learned to shoot high powered rifles. In college I drank four and five nights a week, did a lot of drugs, and consorted with women of loose morals. I learned how to repel. I learned some very basics to black smiting. I skydived. I learned to fly planes. But, I still took time to learn new things about game programming. I now have three quite successful games to my credit and I'm going to be the overall lead on my companies next game. I'm not going to be the lead because I'm some super ace programmer (I'm average at best), its because I've become quite the people person and can relate to most anybody I meet because I've done a wide range of things in my past. My companies CTO didn't get where he was because he is some super ace programmer.

You only get 70-80 years on this planet if you are lucky. If you want to spend that time hunched in front of a computer that is certainly your choice. But there is a wide range of things you are missing out on. If you are at some bar and guys are talking about crazy things do you want your story to be how you repelled down a sheer 100 foot cliff after a two day hike in the Utah badlands or that you got jacked up on Redbull to stay up for another WoW guild raid?

#25 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3730

Posted 03 December 2011 - 03:35 PM

I thought the point was that there are some things you can do when young that you can't do when older. I can't go chasing smoking hot love interests or something that is highly physically demanding even if I wanted to now. My old, out of shape joints can't take it, and there are no age-appropriate smoking hot unmarried/uncrazy members of the opposite sex. I can sit in front of a computer and gain skill there. I can play video games.

It's up to whomever do spend their time as they deem fit. It's hard though for teenagers to fully grasp just how much responsibility and loss of free time happens when you become an adult. In short, I read the post not so much as advice to go be your stereotypical teen, but a warning that certain opportunities don't exist for adults... so if you want to partake of them, do it while you can.

Nothing wrong with that.

#26 Lifepower   Members   -  Reputation: 118

Posted 03 December 2011 - 03:51 PM

To be honest, I resent the implication that 'sports' and 'girlfriends' are the normal high school pursuits and everything else is squandering your youth. I also dislike the suggestion that you should strive to be normal, or that only doing fun things during high school is the right choice. It strikes me as an incredibly shallow and short-sighted bit of advice. I don't have anything against sports, really -- fitness is good, and sports can be a big door opener if you're serious. But I have a huge problem with telling our younger audience, hey, spend your time on frivolous stuff and come back when you're older. That's not right.

"Normal" is an ambiguous term, you should have probably used "average" in your description. Even so, "average" is quite relative, so sitting in front of computer all the time being good for you might not be so for someone else.

However, you only described the problem but did not provide any solutions. I agree that some people who can easily find their passion, which could help their career, could very well do it on their own. For instance, I work in IT sphere and it's something I enjoy, therefore even when I work, I have fun. In fact, I get a lot of pleasure for finishing projects and getting things done. Yet, there are people who might not be that focused (e.g. some people who work with me), who cannot accomplish a single thing without proper guidance. Therefore, motivating some people to do things, either for work or for fun might not be such a bad idea after all.

On the other hand, I would rather let my kids spend more time with the family or even sit on the computer more often than get AIDS from having unprotected sex with random gals or get drugs from random "friends", but that's just me. Everyone is free to do what they consider best.

In my own case, sure I've sent more time with the computer and books, but I did have a lot of fun when studying for engineering career ten years ago. For instance, we went to ACM programming contest on the institute's bus, we got pretty drunk and made a lot of trouble while other teams were laughing at us - the same day my teammates went to the strip club, while I was calling my ex and making a mess. Next day we went to the contest with a huge hangover and diarrhea (from local food); we returned from the contest with 1st place award and this time the other teams were not laughing anymore. Moral of this story? You can still have fun and accomplish wonderful things (but if you are wondering, I haven't had an alcoholic beverage for 4 years now and *that* I don't regret).

#27 Oberon_Command   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1959

Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:27 PM

If that's all you ever do, you're missing out, and you may not even realize it.


How can you miss something you never lost? Can you lose something you never had?

#28 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6991

Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:56 PM


If that's all you ever do, you're missing out, and you may not even realize it.


How can you miss something you never lost? Can you lose something you never had?


I never said you'll miss it (as in you'll have the feeling of missing something you've lost). I said you're missing out, as in missing out on the fun that's to be had in the world.
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#29 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 03 December 2011 - 06:12 PM

I think taking SC's quote out of context makes you not able to read what he was really saying. In the thread a highschool student was getting worked up about trivial differences of opinion between him and his teacher and implying that the teacher was ruining student's futures. SC was just saying that he shouldn't be wasting his youth worrying about such things. There are things that you just won't have the time or ability to do later in life, so do those while you can.

Perhaps his point was hurt by him using specific examples rather than the more general reply along the lines of, "You're young, don't you have better things to do with your time than worry about things that are trivial in the long run?"



#30 ChurchSkiz   Members   -  Reputation: 458

Posted 03 December 2011 - 11:47 PM

I'm responding to the OP not SC's advice. I think if you're involved in programming and you're actually doing significant things with it, that's awesome. By significant I mean building a portfolio by completing legitimate projects from start to finish. However, I wasted an assload of my adolescence just playing video games and "tinkering" on the computer. I don't consider that time wasted, but I certainly could have been doing more productive things. Now honestly I wish I had spent more of that time working out or training harder at sports.

That being said, a lot of my peers ONLY worried about sports and girls. I think they missed out too in many ways.

I had a very eclectic high school experience and I'm very grateful for it. I played football, track, and Rugby. I was in band. I dabbled in programming. I was a hardcore gamer. I was involved in my church and FCA.

Of all those things I have the fondest memories of the non-computer stuff. Computing always seemed to be in isolation, and the time always flew by (it's 6am already??). Contrasted to football where practice seemed to take forever and I was surrounded by 100 other guys. It's only natural that I wish I would have spent more time with people than dicking around with a game prototype.

I also somewhat agree with the advice that there's a limited timeframe on sports and social activities vs. programming. Unless you are really conscious of your health in your 20's, eating right and working out consistently, you're going to hit a roadblock after college where it's not realistic to be getting knocked around on a regular basis. I had a rude awakening with this when I went back to Rugby practice for the first time in a few years last year. Where as I could take my licks and wake up the next day feeling pretty great, at 29 I'm waking up like a ton of bricks and feeling it for the whole week. Same goes if I have a wild night drinking, it pretty much takes me a whole day to recooperate.

I wish more people were more willing to do things that interested them instead of being too afraid to step out of their comfort zone. If I could offer advice to someone in HS, it would be to get out and try new stuff while you're young. If you're a jock, try some brainiac stuff. If you're a programming nerd, put yourself out there and try some sports or social activities.

#31 SteveDeFacto   Banned   -  Reputation: 109

Posted 04 December 2011 - 09:01 AM

I agree 100%. Heck if swiftcoder really feels that way he should just give up on life and start smoking crack or other illegal substances. In truth that is where the real fun is at and you only live once!

#32 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8050

Posted 04 December 2011 - 05:54 PM

My high-school schedule typically looked like this:

8:10am - Wake up, roll out of bed, shower, dress, head to school.
8:30am - Classes start
12:00pm - Lunch, Bullshit with friends, then back to class
3:30pm - School's over, go to work
6:30pm - Work's over, eat, program.
1:00am - Sleep

Aside from revealing that I'm not much of a morning person, though, that hardly sums up everything I did. I went to school dances on occasion, I hung out with friends, went to parties, drank, did stupid, reckless things like throwing myself through tables in the local backyard wrestling league. I didn't do sports because a) I was far too apathetic to be required to dress up for game day or be beholden to general 'honor code' bullshit, and b) practices for any sport I was mildly interested in had morning practices. I didn't chase much tail because I knew I was moving across the country after graduation, and didn't want to feel tied down or attached.

I don't regret it, and the time I spent in front of the computer has given me a huge push, but I do think its important to experience the stupid, pointless part of life. My girlfriend and her sister grew up in a very strict Asian household -- Orchestra, academics, strict curfew, basically no sanctioned social life that wasn't in some way academically related. Denied of the experience of balancing the mundane and the frivolous, they've both spent some time awash in sub-optimal decisions -- some small, some large. There's a a wide band in the middle where you will be varying degrees of "ok", but going too far to either end can very easily set you up for woe.

#33 Nytegard   Members   -  Reputation: 823

Posted 05 December 2011 - 08:22 PM


If that's all you ever do, you're missing out, and you may not even realize it.


How can you miss something you never lost? Can you lose something you never had?


Honestly, to me, that's what regret is. Sorrow over something you never did, had, or whatever. It's about the loss of what could have been. (*EDIT* Well, as long as there is potential for an event to happen. I'd agree about not being able to regret if there's no such ability for an event to happen...)

But I'd probably agree more with Promit. There are things I regret, but high school isn't one of them, despite living an outcast life. I hated high school, and was your typical nerd. But the great thing is, there was college. I don't regret high school, because I was able to supplement my life experiences through college.

Yes, you're only young once, but unless it's an opportunity with a limited time-frame, there should be nothing to regret. Sports, chasing women, etc., I'm sorry, those aren't events with such limited time frames. Even when you get older, you still have an opportunity for them. Sure, it might be harder, but there's more time before it becomes impossible.

What can high school offer you that under no circumstances can you ever acquire a similar experience? That's what you'll regret. I regret missing that last Christmas with a family member who passed on later that week. I don't regret spending time in front of a computer while in high school.

#34 J-dog   Members   -  Reputation: 120

Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:43 AM

Well, I did not code in high school. I mean I fumbled around with C++ but I only got serious about it in my university years. I do NOT regret this at all, but I do regret not pursing art more in high school (I only did so in my final year). I had pretty bad grades in school but I had a great time, I did some sports but not so much. I drank too much, which was definitely a waste of time, but at least I got over it and got the stupid out of my system.

Here's my 50c worth though - think about what you really gained from high school? Do you really remember all you learnt? Chasing girls and being shot down by them - playing sports, getting injured, losing, dealing with failure, dealing with people, even work ethic - these things, they teach you a lot about life though experience. And they are important things to learn and are the things that can carry you far in any and every career - I know incredible coders who are great people, but they are socially retarded, and it has always hurt their careers and social interactions. Many people whom I respect - from technical backgrounds - have said that they learned more from playing sports than they did in their respective disciplines. That says a lot to me.

As has been said, it's all about balance - and you have to decide what's important to you. Personally, I feel that there is so much important stuff to learn outside of coding, and although you can always get to that stuff later, it's just a great environment in which to have such experiences. Some people on this thread are going on as if coding is all there is to life, and if that's how you choose to live your life, then fair play to you. But it hardly seems balanced to me.

#35 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 901

Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:16 PM

The problem that keeps coming up here is everyone thinks they are always right. I would have said the same thing. What is your gripe with not having fun in the real world and meeting people?

I don't think anyone's saying this - on the contrary, the point of this thread seemed to be arguing against the idea that people should be doing one particular thing at school, and leaving programming to later.




Sitting in front of a computer is 1 thing to do. If that is all you want in life, then that is boring. I partied, played several live shows in band, recorded other bands, was a well known skateboarder, hung out with drug dealers, had a g/f, job, and still at the time of attending digipen, was miles ahead of everyone. If you never had fun in high school and weren't social, then you wouldn't understand. I had so much fun and so much time to do whatever I wanted, I learned a lot more things than just programming though.

I don't think anyone's saying you should do programming and nothing else - rather people are just saying that programming when you're young is fine, and not something you regret.




Once you are older you have time for maybe 1 thing, while working 9-5. When you are young you have the time to learn a lot more, meet a lot of people, and shouldn't be burnt out.

I wonder what sort of social life these under 18s have! As an adult, I have a much better social life, I have money, I have time, I have my own place, I'm not restricted by laws on what children can't do, and I'm not living with my parents, and needing their permission.




I meet a lot more people now, than when I was at school, when I could only meet the same people in my class every day, many of whom were immature. As for having time to learn a lot more - yes, that includes programming :)


I've met some people that are afraid to even smoke one cigarette just for the hell of it, because they are so afraid and isolated.

As an adult, I make the decision of whether to smoke based on reason, and my own opinion. In school, it seemed much more about peer pressure. Indeed, the way you tease someone for being "afraid" of not smoking is just the kind of attitude I saw at school...

Starting a stupid opinion (non factual) fight with another long term member on here does no good. His post also got 8 thumbs up.

I would rather people disagree by posting their own view, than going by the popularity contest that is "thumbs up".
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#36 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 901

Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:27 PM

Here's my 50c worth though - think about what you really gained from high school? Do you really remember all you learnt? Chasing girls and being shot down by them - playing sports, getting injured, losing, dealing with failure, dealing with people, even work ethic - these things, they teach you a lot about life though experience. And they are important things to learn and are the things that can carry you far in any and every career - I know incredible coders who are great people, but they are socially retarded, and it has always hurt their careers and social interactions. Many people whom I respect - from technical backgrounds - have said that they learned more from playing sports than they did in their respective disciplines. That says a lot to me.

You're still associating sports with being social, and teenage programming with being unsociable, which is just the kind of attitude that people are disagreeing with.

I know plenty of programmers who are very sociable. And have sex with lots of people :/ Sure, it's good to gain experience through a range of things, but the same goes for people who play sports, or awkwardly chasing after girls (or boys). And I'm skeptical about the idea that if you have a job in a technical area, they learned more through sports than what they need for their job.

Does this work the other way round? Should professional sports players have spent time as teenagers learning programming, because it will be more useful to them than sports, and there'll always be time for them to learn sports later? Well no, no one says that.




As has been said, it's all about balance - and you have to decide what's important to you.

And no one is saying you shouldn't do sports if that's what you like. Just that there is nothing wrong if people don't do sports, and there is no reason they would regret that, more than not doing anything else.




You only get 70-80 years on this planet if you are lucky. If you want to spend that time hunched in front of a computer that is certainly your choice. But there is a wide range of things you are missing out on. If you are at some bar and guys are talking about crazy things do you want your story to be how you repelled down a sheer 100 foot cliff after a two day hike in the Utah badlands or that you got jacked up on Redbull to stay up for another WoW guild raid?

I don't think people are talking about playing WoW - the issue is learning programming. And I don't think a story about how you played some games of football at school are going to be a great life story either ;)
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#37 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:42 PM

I wonder what sort of social life these under 18s have! As an adult, I have a much better social life, I have money, I have time, I have my own place, I'm not restricted by laws on what children can't do, and I'm not living with my parents, and needing their permission.


I feel bad singling you out, but this statement pretty much makes it's own counter-argument.

"I don't feel bad not having had a social life in highschool! I have a social life now with all sorts of benefits I never would have had in high school!" totally misses the fact that the social dynamic of highschool and university is a distinctly different experience than the social dynamics of the real world. University slightly less so, but the social life and shared memories you have outside of high school and university will be distinctly different than the ones you get afterward because of that even with everything else being equal.

Specifically in the op:

But I have a huge problem with telling our younger audience, hey, spend your time on frivolous stuff and come back when you're older. That's not right.

When you are in high school and university you can afford to spend your time on the frivolous stuff. How often since you've been a professional have you been able to take 4 months off at a time every year with another month of vacation peppered throughout the year? Of your time in high school how important, really, was the knowledge you've gained compared to the knowledge you've gained since high school? Since high school have you had an opportunity where you could not only make life-long friends, but also take social risks that wouldn't drastically affect your life for more than 4 years? Since high school have you ever been capable of having your criminal record no longer exist?

Obviously you shouldn't spend ALL your time doing frivolous things, but if you're going to do frivolous things at any time, adolescence is pretty much set up for it socially and biologically.

#38 ManOfThePast   Members   -  Reputation: 97

Posted 06 December 2011 - 01:17 PM

There's a lot of good advice in this thread, and some very misguided. You have exactly one life on this planet. Things will pass you by that you can never re-experience.

It was so obvious who socialized in high school and who didn't when I got to college. The ones who had active social lives in high school were social leaders immediately in college. The ones who weren't were followers. Leaches. Personality bums. Sure, by the end many of them were able to play catch-up on social skills but by that point the social ones were already running organizations and events. Some never caught up. When someone who is apt at socializing is around someone who isn't, it's obvious. It's awkward. Social skills are one of those things that if you fall too far behind, it takes a lot of self-development to catch-up. And when you have them, they just seem so obvious you take it for granted. If you don't believe that, then you don't know. Sure social skills aren't everything, but they make life so much easier to go your way.

At the same time, if you're passionate about something --- do it. Lots of us are passionate about computers, so spend your sunday through thursday nights in high school learning to program. But when the weekend hits, go do things that you can only do when you're young.

#39 SteveDeFacto   Banned   -  Reputation: 109

Posted 06 December 2011 - 01:57 PM

I keep seeing people say the same thing over and over but i fail to understand what they mean. What is it that you can do in high school that you'll never be able to do again?

#40 ManOfThePast   Members   -  Reputation: 97

Posted 06 December 2011 - 02:20 PM

I keep seeing people say the same thing over and over but i fail to understand what they mean. What is it that you can do in high school that you'll never be able to do again?


Sports. Clubs. Experimenting. Sneaking around. Getting in trouble with virtually no reprocussions. But it's not just what you can do. It's the scene. It's a time in life when people's personalities are starting to shape. Everyone's trying new things for the first time. For many people it's the first time you have real friends of the opposite sex. And friendship/dating lines blur. It's also one of the last times in life of little responsibility. Lots of people miss out on it and still live happy lives, but they'll never know what that part of life could have been. You can never go back. If their kids have good social lives in high school, they'll never understand. It's not that high school is somehow better than other times in life --- it's definitely not. But it's unique and passes quickly.




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