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## I spent high school in front of my computer

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### #41way2lazy2care  Members

Posted 06 December 2011 - 02:26 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?

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?

I would also add that biologically you will more than likely heal slower and probably have much more permanent damage to your body after university/as time goes on. This becomes non-trivial if you are an active person; especially if you do full contact sports.

Even by the end of university I felt like a crotchety old man after rugby games compared to highschool where I went to the emergency room a couple times and left feeling 100%

Here's another as well. In highschool and college you have the unique situation of everyone having generally the same schedule. I remember going on group vacations with 30 friends that were amazing that would be completely impossible with my schedule now. My friends and I have a hard enough time getting everyone to show up to play board games for 2 hours.

edit: You can also get lifetime scuba certification for like $50 at most schools AND GET COLLEGE CREDIT. That's like a$350 investment after you leave college (this one is half a joke, but being a student can net you tons of discounts on things you'll never be able to afford otherwise).

### #42Cornstalks  Members

Posted 06 December 2011 - 02:32 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?

Go on that band trip. Hang out with your buddies who all split ways after high school. Enter that FIRST competition. Etc.

Most importantly though, you can do enjoyable things and gain new skills while in your youth. Sure, you can learn a lot of these things and enjoy a lot of things later in life, but then you're only making the most of part of your life as opposed to making the most of your whole life. Enjoying your later years is not the same as enjoying your current years. Making the most of your later years is not the same as making the most of your current years.
[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

### #43smr  GDNet+

Posted 06 December 2011 - 02:41 PM

I also spent my high school years mostly in front of a keyboard, cutting my teeth on the CoCo 3, GWBASIC, QBasic and Turbo C. I don't consider even one minute of that time wasted. Sure, my social life in high school sucked. But I grew up and the world got bigger. Now I get to choose who I spend my time with. I have enough friends, a great girl, and a great job doing my favorite hobby. It all worked out. Life is good.

### #44ZBethel  Members

Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:02 PM

I started programming and music at age 12. By my senior year I'd already made a couple games, a terrain renderer, and experimented with high dynamic range lighting, bump mapping, stencil shadows, depth-of-field, and other graphics techniques. I also learned how to play the electric guitar really well, worked out three times a week, and had a circle of friends who I regularly hung out with.

Granted, I didn't really start working full-time until I was a Junior, but there is so much free time in High School and potential to really succeed. I'm appalled at how often kids waste it playing video games 6 hours a day. Life is so much more fun when you pursue something you're passionate about.

At the same time, balance is always important in life. If we make our work our identity, then we become slaves to it. Life's too short for that!

### #45Promit  Senior Moderators

Posted 07 December 2011 - 05:27 PM

I'm starting to grow concerned about the adult lives some of you are leading, the way you talk about high school. If your 'fun' life ended because you have a 9-5, I think it might be worth rethinking things. Even running a company, doing open source, keeping a household, etc I've found that time works out better for me overall. High school was just work.
SlimDX | Shark Eaters for iOS | Ventspace Blog | Twitter | Proud supporter of diversity and inclusiveness in game development

### #46way2lazy2care  Members

Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:07 AM

I'm starting to grow concerned about the adult lives some of you are leading, the way you talk about high school. If your 'fun' life ended because you have a 9-5, I think it might be worth rethinking things. Even running a company, doing open source, keeping a household, etc I've found that time works out better for me overall. High school was just work.

I think you are misinterpreting enjoying the memories of making the most of circumstances you will probably never have again with wishing you were still in high school.

I can do plenty of fun things now that I couldn't do when I was in high school. The problem is I can do all of those fun things tomorrow, and the next day, and probably for the next 20 years. I cannot, however, take a 3 week vacation with an entire rugby team to go get drunk all over England and Scotland; not without putting in enough work to totally ruin the experience anyway.

edit: this is not to imply that I am not doing those fun things. Just that my ability to do them will more than likely not diminish the way the benefits of being a student diminishes pretty much the second you are done with school/are legally an adult.

### #47ChurchSkiz  Members

Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:29 AM

I'm starting to grow concerned about the adult lives some of you are leading, the way you talk about high school. If your 'fun' life ended because you have a 9-5, I think it might be worth rethinking things. Even running a company, doing open source, keeping a household, etc I've found that time works out better for me overall. High school was just work.

I think you are misinterpreting enjoying the memories of making the most of circumstances you will probably never have again with wishing you were still in high school.

I can do plenty of fun things now that I couldn't do when I was in high school. The problem is I can do all of those fun things tomorrow, and the next day, and probably for the next 20 years. I cannot, however, take a 3 week vacation with an entire rugby team to go get drunk all over England and Scotland; not without putting in enough work to totally ruin the experience anyway.

edit: this is not to imply that I am not doing those fun things. Just that my ability to do them will more than likely not diminish the way the benefits of being a student diminishes pretty much the second you are done with school/are legally an adult.

Yeah I'll second that. I'm planning an epic Vegas road trip with my old buddies for my 30th birthday. 10 years ago we just hop in the car and go. Now I have to clear work and family schedules with 6 other businessmen and fathers. Kids are sick, people are travelling on business, wives have things planned, some people can't afford plane tickets or can't afford to take off.

I don't have 5pm-bedtime 5 days a week to devote to a hobby either. I tried playing Rugby again so I wouldn't go into my 30's with regrets about what I did or didn't do. It's hard to work 40-60 hours a week, have a wife and two kids, finish school, and practice twice a week while travelling every other weekend for an entire day. Yeah you CAN make it work, but when your a single guy going to school and have little responsibility, you're pretty much free to do whatever you want without anything really holding you back.

Making time for stuff in adulthood requires a sacrifice of something else. It's not, "Hey i'm going to pick up the piano and get awesome!", it's "Hey I've got to give up some work time/family time/hobby time to learn the piano, is it worth it?"

But in general I agree with what you're saying, it's really easy sometimes to give up on the fun things and just become a drone. That's not healthy at any age.

Posted 10 December 2011 - 07:07 AM

I like being in front of a computer!

Especially once I get the skills of a great game developer, I can create my own fantasies through games, and somehow allow other people to be immersed in the same fantasy that I have created....

Besides swiftcoder is right, I can squeeze this between breaks and other times when I want to at home, like while I'm trying to constructively distract myself from homework.

### #49szecs  Members

Posted 11 December 2011 - 09:37 AM

I've found (on myself too), that having nerd hobbies is really just escaping from the hard and frightening social life. More than just the biological introvertedness (I read some time ago that there is a biological base of introvertedness). Sure, programming is a wonderful way of getting away, so as making paper models or listening to music or building Lego stuff. But it was really escaping for me, and I was filled with regret after HS. I didn't regret those hobbies, but regretted the things I didn't do. Now i did some things, I can do those because I'm somewhat lucky (free university education, profession that will never be obsolete).

Now, I'm thinking that maybe I'm really "nerd" or hermit. But being a hermit after experiencing life is lightyears away from being a hermit because of pure cowardice.

### #50swiftcoder  Senior Moderators

Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:16 AM

Ok, so, I only just found this thread, and I have to say, it's cracking me up a little. My response to the other thread was intended to be flippant, and I didn't expect anyone to take it all that seriously - it was just an inunction to make the most of youth's freedom. Imagine my surprise to find a 3-page thread dedicated to a discussion of my philosophy*...

As Cornstalks and a few others have argued, I did not suggest that one should give up programming. Hell, I spent a very good portion of my youth glued to a computer screen, and a not insignificant part of it here on GameDev. But in that same period of my life, I became an expert sailor, learned yacht construction, carpentry, masonry, was first alternate for a national swim team, narrowly avoided a run at the olympics in fencing, made a fair penny in graphic/web-design, volunteered my time to teach disadvantaged kids to sail... I could go on, but it's going to bore all of us.

Now, my point is that I wouldn't trade any of that for more hours spent programming. I don't regret learning to program at that age, but I learned it one hell of a lot more efficiently once I got to university (I think a side-effect of having better thought-out goals by that age), and I do kind of regret not having taken up scuba diving in my youth (which is impossible now, due to a nasty ear infection a couple of years back, I can no longer handle the water pressure).

*If this philosophy takes the world by storm, Promit is going to have to be my apostle.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @ Amazon - [swiftcoding] [GitHub]

### #51swiftcoder  Senior Moderators

Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:43 AM

I don't regret having a solid five year head-start on my peers when I got to university.

Let's be very clear about this: I had the exact same head-start when I hit university, despite pursuing all the other stuff. I even was waived my entire first year of CS courses, based on my background in programming.

somehow skirt-chasing doesn't quite set you up for the future.

Perhaps not, but social skills do. Chasing girls seems to be the major motivator for developing social skills at that age, so I used it as an example. Computer club (or, god forbid, Chess club) might work just as well for another person.

I also dislike the suggestion that you should strive to be normal

Sitting in the basement, hunched over a linux box is any less stereotypical? Please.

The way I see it, doing is the single most important force we have, and you're almost never too young to start doing what you are passionate about.

Riddle me this: how do you know, at age 14, that computers are, with absulolute certainty, the one-and-only thing you are ever going to be passionate about? Especially if you have never tried anything else.

Because you know what? I'm very passionate about computers. But I'm also passionate about sailing, playing guitar, discovering import ciders, and let's face it, chasing redheads. And I never would have experience all those things, if I had locked myself in a room with my computer.

I guess my bottom line, is that if you are only passionate about one thing in your life, then I pity you very deeply.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @ Amazon - [swiftcoding] [GitHub]

### #52/ SteveDeFacto   Banned

Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:02 AM

I learned it one hell of a lot more efficiently once I got to university (I think a side-effect of having better thought-out goals by that age)

Actually, that probably has more to do with the development of your brain. In my psychology class the teacher had almost an entire class devoted to showing that the human mind is at its peak from ages 20 -25. Before this the mind is too fluid to form truly complex concepts. After that point the mind slowly gets so rigid it becomes harder and harder to learn new concepts.

### #53way2lazy2care  Members

Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:04 PM

Actually, that probably has more to do with the development of your brain. In my psychology class the teacher had almost an entire class devoted to showing that the human mind is at its peak from ages 20 -25. Before this the mind is too fluid to form truly complex concepts. After that point the mind slowly gets so rigid it becomes harder and harder to learn new concepts.

While I don't doubt this for more general topics, in the US CS education sucks in high school. It's probably just as much to do with him not being surrounded with anyone who really has a deep knowledge of CS on a regular basis. When you go from having a teacher who took a couple CS classes in university but primarily teaches math for 1 hour a day and compare that with having 5 professors with a doctorate in CS who're constantly doing research on the topic you're probably going to gain more just from that.

In the case of math, high school can get some very good teachers, but CS is just an afterthought for most schools. I think even art has higher standards in high school.

### #54/ SteveDeFacto   Banned

Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:00 AM

Actually, that probably has more to do with the development of your brain. In my psychology class the teacher had almost an entire class devoted to showing that the human mind is at its peak from ages 20 -25. Before this the mind is too fluid to form truly complex concepts. After that point the mind slowly gets so rigid it becomes harder and harder to learn new concepts.

While I don't doubt this for more general topics, in the US CS education sucks in high school. It's probably just as much to do with him not being surrounded with anyone who really has a deep knowledge of CS on a regular basis. When you go from having a teacher who took a couple CS classes in university but primarily teaches math for 1 hour a day and compare that with having 5 professors with a doctorate in CS who're constantly doing research on the topic you're probably going to gain more just from that.

In the case of math, high school can get some very good teachers, but CS is just an afterthought for most schools. I think even art has higher standards in high school.

Why does that matter? I never even went to school and picked up programming on my own. The internet has all of the information you could ever want on programming.

### #55way2lazy2care  Members

Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:54 AM

While I don't doubt this for more general topics, in the US CS education sucks in high school. It's probably just as much to do with him not being surrounded with anyone who really has a deep knowledge of CS on a regular basis. When you go from having a teacher who took a couple CS classes in university but primarily teaches math for 1 hour a day and compare that with having 5 professors with a doctorate in CS who're constantly doing research on the topic you're probably going to gain more just from that.

In the case of math, high school can get some very good teachers, but CS is just an afterthought for most schools. I think even art has higher standards in high school.

Why does that matter?

For the same reason that owning a textbook is not the same as taking a course. Having access to knowledge is a very small part of learning in my experience.

### #56/ SteveDeFacto   Banned

Posted 12 December 2011 - 12:11 PM

While I don't doubt this for more general topics, in the US CS education sucks in high school. It's probably just as much to do with him not being surrounded with anyone who really has a deep knowledge of CS on a regular basis. When you go from having a teacher who took a couple CS classes in university but primarily teaches math for 1 hour a day and compare that with having 5 professors with a doctorate in CS who're constantly doing research on the topic you're probably going to gain more just from that.

In the case of math, high school can get some very good teachers, but CS is just an afterthought for most schools. I think even art has higher standards in high school.

Why does that matter?

For the same reason that owning a textbook is not the same as taking a course. Having access to knowledge is a very small part of learning in my experience.

Just having the text book can be far better than taking the course. This entirely depends on you and your willingness to take the time to read the text book and practice the skills in it.

### #57alnite  Members

Posted 12 December 2011 - 12:18 PM

My high school had half programming and half hanging out. Though I didn't hang out with the 'popular' kids, but I never wanted to hang out with them anyway. I had my share of ditching classes, partying, gf, and all that.

My anti-social didn't begin to kick in until freshman college when I try to catch up with programming, though I reversed that during junior and senior year.

My biggest regret I didn't do in high school? Not finding anybody else passionate about game programming.. :/

### #58Lex224  Members

Posted 24 December 2011 - 12:16 PM

Opinions. People are allowed them and you are suggested to respect them, whether or not you agree with them.

Be happy in who you are and don't let other people opinions belittle you.

I for one wished that I had done more programming in my high school years so that I had more time at university to get further ahead. I hear about people who have been programming since they were in their early teens and I'm jealous of those. All I can do now is try my best to get where I want to be.

### #59Smeagol  Members

Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:15 PM

My school years were pretty pants, had to move to a different part of the UK when I was in year 10 (second to last year of school) and subsequently I didn't have many friends at my new school so did tend to spend alot of time inside on the computer, though I did find time for the normal going out at the weekends to a mates house and getting drunk on half a bottle of White Lightening. When I went to College I still spent a lot of time on the computer, but as I was doing a BTEC in Software development I think this was acceptable.

I have never wished I was back in school and I don't think I wasted my youth because I wasn't out playing sport or chasing girls (much). I'm of the opinion that most people who bang on about your school years being the best years of your life are normally the people who have ended up in a rut in a job they don't enjoy and don't want to put any effort into making their lives more interesting.

What was the secret, they wanted to know; in a thousand different ways they wanted to know The Secret. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared, to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heartrending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottom of his training shoes.

### #60DarklyDreaming  Members

Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:38 PM

"I will personally burn everything I've made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames."
~ Gabe

"I don't mean to rush you but you are keeping two civilizations waiting!"
~ Cavil, BSG.
"If it's really important to you that other people follow your True Brace Style, it just indicates you're inexperienced. Go find something productive to do."
~ Bregma

"Well, you're not alone.

There's a club for people like that. It's called Everybody and we meet at the bar."

~ Antheus

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