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High School Student with High Goals -- Need Advice

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Hello everyone,

I need some advice from you all. I have two problems, one is lack of money and one is lack of drive.

I am a Sophomore High School student who wants to be successful early and is able to go to Stanford. From what I understand Stanford is looking only for the best, so in order to be "the best" I am trying to hold a 4.1+ GPA, trying to make some video games that I can sell so Stanford can see that I show initiative and so that they can see that I can program, and I am trying to play sports at the same time to show that I am a well rounded student (and I enjoy them). I enjoy making games and programming. I like to use C++ and OpenGL and when I was learning and just messing around with that language and library in middle school, I had no problems (probably because I had more time and was less stressed). Now I have problems.

I am having problems with drive. I have this game idea that I like and have been working on but I think these high aspirations of mine are not allowing me to apply myself to programming because I am too busy (and stressed) with school and sports. I go to school at around 8 and I get home after sports at around 5:30. I have plenty of time till bed, but I just don't have the drive to work on my self produced projects (my game for example). Does anyone have any ideas as to why I can't seem to hop onto my computer and start programming? I always seem to drift to youtube and just start watching videos there. I just don't have any will power at this point in the day to push myself to start programming. If I ever do start, I enjoy it, but I just can't seem to start. Does anyone have any advice for me?

Also being a high school student and soon to be college student, I need money. I am looking to use my intermediate programming abilities to make some extra cash and my video game endeavors are not producing any income at the moment. I have looked at freelancing on freelancer.com but it seems as though the amounts are always low and the bids are always in before I even have a chance to compete. So is there any other site or way I can use my programming abilities to make some extra cash? I have looked locally but there isn't much.

Thankyou,
Brent

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I am  in a similar situation, I find it helpful to instead of open up youtube, open up an online timer. Time yourself doing at least half an hour solid work on your game without getting distracted. Then go to youtube or whatever you want. I also find music sometimes helps me concentrate, I know that not everyone does but you should try listening to music while you program and see if it helps.

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<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="JackBid" data-cid="5023218" data-time="1358617488"><p>
I am in a similar situation, I find it helpful to instead of open up youtube, open up an online timer. Time yourself doing at least half an hour solid work on your game without getting distracted. Then go to youtube or whatever you want. I also find music sometimes helps me concentrate, I know that not everyone does but you should try listening to music while you program and see if it helps.</p></blockquote>

Alright i will try this, thanyou! I am worried that i wont even have the willpower to get on my pc though and i might just go on my phone.. Any ideas on a fix for this? :D Maybr have my parents take my phone away? Hehe. Also do you have any ideas for the money flow problem? I have a job oppurtunity on saturdays for some extra cash but i would really like to know if there is a worthwhile freelance programming alterative.

Thanks,
Brent

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Well I am making games because I want, but i also know it will help me. So i am not doing it for the sole purpose of college. Also the only reason i really want to go to stanford is because of the cs oppurtunities there (such as the amount of other people who are good and interested in programming). But I think the idea that I NEED to make a game is what is actually holding me back, so I will stop pushing to make a game because i have to. Also i like the idea of science fairs for programming, i will check that out.

I am still have a shortage of cash though, so are there any oppurtunties that you guys know of?

Thanks a ton!
Brent

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<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="JackBid" data-cid="5023218" data-time="1358617488"><p>
I am in a similar situation, I find it helpful to instead of open up youtube, open up an online timer. Time yourself doing at least half an hour solid work on your game without getting distracted. Then go to youtube or whatever you want. I also find music sometimes helps me concentrate, I know that not everyone does but you should try listening to music while you program and see if it helps.</p></blockquote>

Alright i will try this, thanyou! I am worried that i wont even have the willpower to get on my pc though and i might just go on my phone.. Any ideas on a fix for this? biggrin.png Maybr have my parents take my phone away? Hehe. Also do you have any ideas for the money flow problem? I have a job oppurtunity on saturdays for some extra cash but i would really like to know if there is a worthwhile freelance programming alterative.

Thanks,
Brent

I am fairly new to programming and haven't made any money off it so far so I may not be the best person to ask. However I know some site like addicting games, funny games and armor games pay you to have your game on their site. it has to be flash though. I know some people who have made flash games in only a day or two during game jams, so maybe if you work very hard you could produce a basic flash game and generate some money.

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I am in a similar situation, I find it helpful to instead of open up youtube, open up an online timer. Time yourself doing at least half an hour solid work on your game without getting distracted. Then go to youtube or whatever you want. I also find music sometimes helps me concentrate, I know that not everyone does but you should try listening to music while you program and see if it helps.

Alright i will try this, thanyou! I am worried that i wont even have the willpower to get on my pc though and i might just go on my phone.. Any ideas on a fix for this? :D Maybr have my parents take my phone away? Hehe. Also do you have any ideas for the money flow problem? I have a job oppurtunity on saturdays for some extra cash but i would really like to know if there is a worthwhile freelance programming alterative.
Thanks,
Brent
I am fairly new to programming and haven't made any money off it so far so I may not be the best person to ask. However I know some site like addicting games, funny games and armor games pay you to have your game on their site. it has to be flash though. I know some people who have made flash games in only a day or two during game jams, so maybe if you work very hard you could produce a basic flash game and generate some money.
Yeah it is starting to seem like c++ and opengl isnt really the way to make much money as a student. It is starting to seem like web is a more viable option for a steady income. I will definately consider moving to the web but if there are any other options that involve c++ and or graphics APIs like Opengl that someone knows about, please let me know.

Is there a money making oppurtunity in making mods for games? I like doing that and have done that in the past.

Thanks for your reply!
Brent

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I am in a similar situation, I find it helpful to instead of open up youtube, open up an online timer. Time yourself doing at least half an hour solid work on your game without getting distracted. Then go to youtube or whatever you want. I also find music sometimes helps me concentrate, I know that not everyone does but you should try listening to music while you program and see if it helps.

Alright i will try this, thanyou! I am worried that i wont even have the willpower to get on my pc though and i might just go on my phone.. Any ideas on a fix for this? biggrin.png Maybr have my parents take my phone away? Hehe. Also do you have any ideas for the money flow problem? I have a job oppurtunity on saturdays for some extra cash but i would really like to know if there is a worthwhile freelance programming alterative.
Thanks,
Brent
I am fairly new to programming and haven't made any money off it so far so I may not be the best person to ask. However I know some site like addicting games, funny games and armor games pay you to have your game on their site. it has to be flash though. I know some people who have made flash games in only a day or two during game jams, so maybe if you work very hard you could produce a basic flash game and generate some money.
Yeah it is starting to seem like c++ and opengl isnt really the way to make much money as a student. It is starting to seem like web is a more viable option for a steady income. I will definately consider moving to the web but if there are any other options that involve c++ and or graphics APIs like Opengl that someone knows about, please let me know.

Is there a money making oppurtunity in making mods for games? I like doing that and have done that in the past.

Thanks for your reply!
Brent

I am not sure about mods, it probably depends on what game the mod is for as different companies may have different views on it. If its just a simple mod, you may be able to have people download it for free through adfly, then you profit from the ads from adfly, although I doubt you will make much from that.

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Alright, well I will work on personal projects for fun and I will freelance on the web side of things to make a steady income. I will spend 30 minutes a day minimum on my personal projects and i will work on freelance projects on the weekend.If anyone knows of a good freelancing site for web and c++ that isnt overrun by people who undercut prices, it would be awesome if you let me know about it. Thankyou everyone so much! Brent

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