Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I feel like I'm being dragged through this tedious system which will later prepare me for work at a company coding Blub, it's driving me nuts.

To some extent, this is true and will continue to be true. But, as others have no doubt pointed out and will continue to point out, you'll learn more from school than just coding Blub (or lisp, or haskell, or whatever); you'll be learning how to learn, how to get along with others, how to live on your own, and so forth.

The big advantage you'll have at UW is that you'll be hanging around a lot of very smart people, especially in the CS department (I assume you're from Washington; I actually went to Newport HS in Bellevue). The connections you make, whether from demonstrating your skill or just from hanging out, will probably serve you for the rest of your life. If you impress your professors, you'll find research/internship opportunities you wouldn't elsewhere. And don't underestimate the larger social aspect: you'll never be around so many people in your own stage of life again. So go to the occasional party, hook up here and there, and learn how to be a person too, which is more important than you might imagine.

You should at least start college, although it'll be easy to get lost at UW. Still, this advice: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1183085 seems good to me; if this is you, don't go. But the weight should be on going; if you really hate it, you can quit. But try to find challenging classes while not underestimating the social potential. And don't get side-tracked by run-of-the-mill jobs; the only way you should drop out is for a game-changing startup opportunity.

You're probably reading variations on a lot of the advice above because it's pretty good advice. It won't apply to everyone, but it will apply to most—especially people as driven as you. A few more observations: read my post about why laptops in class are often a distraction: http://jseliger.com/2008/12/28/laptops-students-distraction-... and, as soon as you can, get a copy of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061339202?ie=UTF8&tag=... as soon as you can. There's another thing you'll find in college: books that are essential but that you don't currently know to read because you don't have people around you who are sufficiently knowledgeable to recommend them.

Anyway, if you have other, specific questions for me, send an e-mail to the link at http://jseliger.com , which is my blog, especially if you by chance are going to Newport.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact