Category: Philosophy
Author: Marco Aurelio


by whatever_user   2018-10-26
OK. This is a throaway account, I'm a Software Engineer with 10 years of experience working in Madrid. Currently head of development of a 5-people team. This is my advice, take it if you want.

# About failing in University

Failing some semesters in Ingeniería Informática (Computer Science in Spanish universities for our English speaking friends) is normal. Nobody pass the exams on the first try but:

- People with extensive Math experience (not my case). - People that study like all day (my case). - Gifted people (sadly also not my case).

So, you're not less than anybody. From I remember, the average time the students spent to achieve the degree was like 7-9 years. I spent 5 + 1/2 years (I know I'm old and our degrees were 5 years) but had no social life (apart from my girlfriend) and ended the degree with a anxiety, depression, stress... Let's say my mental health was deficient.

In recent years the degree has improved and Software Engineering degree (at least in Madrid) has more practice classes and has less theoretical content.

# About lying, depression, seen a psychologist

Everything you have written is normal. You are not a freak or are damaged, stupid or whatever deleterious thing you think about yourself. You were unprepared for one of the most difficult degrees in Spain. High School is a joke and (during my time) nobody had enough foundations to pass the tests without private teachers help or without studying very hard. You are most of people.

Maybe this is an unpopular opinion but do not lie, be a man and accept what you are and the consequences of your actions.

You think you are not smart? Do you think that everybody that is successful is smart? They work like hell and work in a smart way (like checking old tests of a subject when studying).

What are you passioned about?

During recent times when I'm low of morale I like to read "Marcus Aurelius Meditations" [1] and watch motivational videos [2][3][4][5] (funny isn't it? But it works). Once you know in your inner-self that your life is ephemeral and you are destined to greatness, you'll start working.

I visited two psychologist for years after university (and other health issues that depressed me). It helped me to gain confidence and believe in myself. Also, how to be organized and to know that I was not crazy and that my feelings were normal.

# Study/Work/Etc.

Have two plans: short-term and long-term. My advice would be:

## Short term

Study your vocational degree and do some projects on the side. Useful projects that motivate you. Try to start working at a job as soon as you end your studies (if you can, choose a "dual FP" (FP with emphasis in real work practices).

Hop each year or two years until you are earning enough money to live a comfortable life. Now the hard part starts.

## Long term

During your short term period you have discovered:

- You crave for understanding of the foundations of software. - You have a glass ceiling if you don't have an University degree.

Do not panic. Enroll in a distance university (UNED is fine, Universidad de Burgos seems easier but more expensive, etc.) and take some courses each year. You'll graduate in like 7-8 years. I know you'll have to make sacrifices like studying in the summer and in the weekends but keep the good work. When you graduate you'll have enough real-work experience to double your salary and from now on, increase each year or couple of years.

Move to where the work is, i.e. Madrid.

# Corolarium

I hope I've helped you, or at least I've given you something to think about.

If you want more advice or need to talk about your future, I'm available at