I’m still alive.
(This post will be in two parts. Part 1, which is this one, will be about school.)
Life had gotten hectic for a bit there because my final exams were rolling through and thankfully I survived that. I had a bit of a fiasco there for a little bit though because in my ADHD, I didn’t get the correct time for the final exam for Data Structures. As a result, I ended up arriving an hour and 30 minutes late for the final exam. I had 30 minutes to complete the exam but what was worse was the fact that had I been on time, it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway because I had studied all the wrong things for the exam and none of the stuff I’d reviewed came up.
Even if I had had the full amount of time, I wouldn’t have been able to answer much, so it turned out that the 30 minutes was a blessing in disguise as I had less time to sit around and mope about how I couldn’t answer any of the 5 questions. I left feeling pretty okay, despite my anxiety trying to tell me that I was stupid. I shrugged it off by laughing over the fact that my executive functioning is sometimes so poor that I could really fail out of school thanks to the ADHD. It’s not like I wasn’t trying too because for the entire semester, I struggled really badly with getting to classes (and work, and anything to be honest) in time, and couldn’t even really tell you much about what was happening sometimes because I wasn’t even really listening.
For Data Structures, thankfully, I’d done decently for the rest of the semester – I had a steady upward trajectory where my grades were concerned – for my first programming assignment, I had gotten 19%, then the second one, I received a 75%, and the final assignment was a 92%. The Professor could clearly see that I was improving. When the grade for the final exam came out though, I was so weirded out by the fact that I had actually received a 39% – don’t ask me how I managed that. I swear I didn’t know how to do any of the questions. I just wrote gibberish. Sometimes I marvel at my achievements – a lot of them are what I’d call “flukes” because I really don’t believe I deserve these grades, especially since I can’t even explain the stuff I’ve learned to someone to deserve the grades. I have what I found out is called “Impostor’s Syndrome” (this is self-diagnosed of course), and with the kind of anxiety I have, it’s not surprising at all.
Anyway, so at the end of it all, I actually passed Data Structures with a C. It’s not just a scrape through kind of pass, but a decent pass because Data Structures is a known weed-out class. Almost everyone who has taken this class either just barely scrape through it or would have to count on retaking it. It’s a killer class. So I’m pleased that I survived it.
I received a B for my Mobile Computing class where my group and I created a mobile app that creates and monitors an inventory for a client. It wasn’t my best work, and I admit that I totally dropped the ball on this class because halfway through it, I couldn’t understand a lot of the things that the Professor was lecturing on but because I was already semi drowning in my other classes, I didn’t bother following up with the Professor to get help. So a B is to be expected, and to be honest, was probably a far more generous grade than I really deserve.
I received an A- for my Fundamentals of Web Development which should have rightfully been a proper A, or an A+ but due to my poor executive functioning (again!), I had missed several quizzes, and had lost 40 points throughout the semester which had dropped my grade. I made some brilliant looking websites though if I may say so myself. I am actually quite proud of the kind of work I did. I took to web programming like duck to water and I am very happy to announce that I’ve found my niche. I enjoy web programming and I’m glad that I am able to find something I am good at (especially since I’ve bemoaned my time in Computer Science so much since I started).
Below are some screenshots of my final project. I would post the link to the actual site but since I maintain this as a semi-anonymous blog, I’m a little hard pressed to reveal the name of my college as well as other more personal information about myself (since I actually created a portfolio website as my final project and so the site contains my resume and whatnot).
I also got an A for my Fundamentals to Human-Computer-Interaction class which I had expected because not only am I top of the class in this class because I show a great aptitude for HCI, but also because the Professor had mentioned on multiple occasions how my work has been the best he’s seen in a while.
His comments had ranged from:
Best in the class, Jules. Hands down. Fantastic work.
Nice work again, Jules. Fantastic job.
Another excellent job, Jules.
I enjoy HCI so much and am so thankful that my friend, El, had introduced me to it. She had theorized that this was something that I’d be good at because of my creative skills, as well as my technical skills. While I trusted El’s assessments of me (she’s very perceptive and has never been wrong about me yet – or even my relationship! She was the one who pointed out that my ex was an emotional abuser and she turned out to be right!), this was also something I had to see to believe and I’m glad to see that I am actually as she believed me to be, good at this subject. Thanks to this little foray into HCI, I am actually even considering doing a graduate degree in HCI and becoming a User Experience (UX) or User Interaction (UI) Designer – someone has to stand up for the users, and who better to do that than someone who understand what it’s like to have good aesthetically pleasing design that works as it intends, like me?
If I don’t end up as a programmer or a web developer, I’m definitely going to gun for a UX/UI Designer job. My Professor who is actually an adjunct Professor has promised the top students of his class a position as a UX/UI Intern at the company he works at full time. I am very much hoping to hear from him in the summer so that I can get some real world experience doing UX/UI to see if I’d like to do this for longer term.
My GPA wasn’t anything to shout about – but at the end of the day, I learned quite a bit this semester and I’m thankful for all that I’ve learned. It’s been an amazing semester due to that. I just hope that I can get my executive functioning back in order.
On Friday, I’ll be speaking to my psychiatrist about my medication and how little they’ve helped me throughout my time taking them. I am going to insist that she listen to me this time.
Continue to Part 2 for updates on my mental health, and personal life: HERE.