So today I spent my life at an event related to computers. Its not anything big, but I was excited. Unfortunately, it was a little bit of let down because I
couldn't do too much actual programming. I don't know, I'm trying to keep my spirits up, but as a senior in high school, I just feel like a chicken running around without
it's head, because I'm trying to learn more about programming but everywhere I go I get shut down. My backwards rural town in Flyover Country, USA doesn't have a big enough library
to carry any CS textbooks, nor does any (of the 3) bookstore. I tried finding ways on the Internet, but I have been bombarded with options, each promising more than the last. Unfortunately, these promises oft go unfilled because online courses just haven't taught me much (or have been over my head)- with the exception of MIT 6.001 EdX course, which I took last year and nearly passed but I missed the final due to real-life obligations. Anyways, one online failed programming course and attending one event at which I was the most ignorant
programmer in the room isn't good on a college application. I barely code Python and Java, and as for Bash I only know what the minimum required for Ubuntu is (hint: the GUIs make it none at all).
So I'm a high school senior in low spirits in the ides of October. Obviously, I need to submit my applications for early action deadlines to colleges. However, I've had zero to negative motivation in actually filling them out, and I'm not sure why. Maybe its a product of stress and family pressure and watching all the good students submit their apps before me. Maybe I'm just a natural born fuck ass who is destined to work at Wendy's for the rest of his life. It's frustrating that I can't make myself do them, because I have dreams of doing big things with CS, but it's like sand slipping through my fingers. I can see it happening, yet some part of me refuses to tighten my fingers and stop the sand from falling. I am left helpless by the passage of sand. I've got until November 1.
My favorite pastime as a small child was to play outside with my friends. I had three best friends in the whole world- N, Z, and best of all my sister, M. We would play outside all summer, and one memorable day- the last day of summer beak before I had to go back to third grade- I hosted The Greatest Summer Break No School Olympics in the Universe. All of us devoted the whole day to competitions in chalk drawings, highest tree climbing (my mother quickly shut that event down), hula hooping, and probably twenty other things lost somewhere in my memory. At the end of the day, all of us started arguing because we each thought we won. In the end, we all sat together and ate popsicles. This is the basis for what I believe friendship, and summer, to be.
It's kind of sad thinking that N grew up to be pretty, and so was considered the idol by our school, became a cheerleader, was separated from us because of popularity, and has now been living in zero contact with any of us for three years. It's also sad thinking that age and videogames split Z and I, that he unfortunately had parents that bought anything he asked and he became obsessed with Call of Duty and Roblox and Medal of Honor and whatever new MMO was popular. We also haven't talked much in two years. My sister was the last to leave, moving out of the house to go off to college, where she has been very happy since. We still keep in touch, if only because we are related. So for the past year my three best friends in the whole world have been estranged from me. I've been largely left to my own devices. I have other friends I've made since starting high school, but there is something to be said for losing the people that represent friendship in your head.
Now, I spend much of my time online, and have been reading a lot on the world around me. I used to read to escape my boring life- that was when my friends all stopped talking to me, in 5th or 6th grade. I read Tolkien and Paolini and Rowling and Doyle and Dickens, and hundreds of others. But now that I have turned the same level of attention to the world I am expected to live in, a world where friends are sucked away by circumstance, where parents buying you things can actually be bad and where being left alone can be the most eye-opening experience possible, not only am I let down by the lack of magic in the world, I am revolted by the inattention and mishandling of it.
Unimaginable masses are living in starvation or subjugation, some of them in countries where they don't even have the freedom or education to read Rowling and Tolkien and Doyle. First world countries have so much surplus in food it is hurting our lifespans, while third world countries desperately try to emulate their decadence. We are so addicted to oil that we use it to drive 5 blocks to the grocery store, and that we partake in war after war after war to obtain rights and trade deals for more of it, because we know we are running low and sometime soon our wants will be more than our supply. Propaganda tells us to spend our lives ignoring these issues because all we really need is another Big Mac. Adults live in more of a fantasy than I did when I wished with all my heart to wake up one morning in a hobbit hole. Electoral cycles have become literal jokes, and the population is split between anger, apathy, or apprehension. As someone who is expected to contribute to this world, it's nearly impossible to discern whether society wants me to fix problems or follow the crowd and have them sort out themselves.
And I only have begun thinking and reading and seeing these issues because my friends left.
I don't know what I should do