I'd made up my mind even before getting into university. I wanted to gain technical and practical experience in computer science. I somehow thought that I'd become pretty good after learning all those computer science concepts and fields(intro to web dev, data-science, databases, os).
Expectations were to make compiler, embedded software, websites and some interactive software for people and I ended up with 17 errors in 5 lines of code in the first week(C++).
Landed 3.4 GPA in the first semester. It would've been better if I didn't get a D in Maths.
Wait, it's getting derailed. I wanted to talk about me, my friends and some views about formal education.
There are lots of new people here. People that are pursuing their education and that are serious about their future. People who want to do something for society. People who want to make their parents proud, just like me. You can. You can do it but it's not easy and life keeps things balanced. The time when you think you are getting good, you'll get rolled by life pretty bad. It's all about persistence. Without teachers, the concepts that take one hour to learn will take months to learn. Respect the teachers and educational institutes but equally, hate the management and people that are in the authority. They are after money and they don't care about you. They need fees first.
In uni. Some friends got rolled, some loved the experience, others wanted a degree, some female friends got married etc. Let's talk about them and about my views below.
Freedom was what we wanted and freedom was all we got in Uni. It spoiled some, more freedom got dangerous for some, some started lacking discipline. People who at first would complete their assignments days before the deadline, were now lazy because there were no consequences except you'd have to re-take the course. In school, parents would make a big deal out of a monthly test report but now we were grown up, no one to question except ourselves.
Some loved freedom and got even better. They were the friends who would bunk classes for fun but now they were tired of being questioned by others and wanted to give their lives meaning. They worked. They worked really hard. They became better, they were the backbenchers but with full freedom, they were doing their own thing and were getting successful at it.
Let's talk about the other freedom, that CS offers i.e. it offers the freedom to work from anywhere you want, make anything you want and learn anything you like.
It's easy in an open university environment to get help. You can literally go to the office of any doc. Ask for help and advice. Lots of people but to take advantage of this you have to be social. Some people want to talk about something but they don't. This hurts them sometimes, it is better at other times because only because someone has a Ph.D. in computer science doesn't mean they would always give good advice.
My experience? I got help from a Prof. about my career. he saved my life, I'd say.
You learn a lot of things in Uni. You learn how many rats and snakes you've been playing with all the time. You'd learn good things about people you always hated. You'll learn that making judgments based on looks will land you in the mud. You'll learn to not judge anyone. You'll learn how to be social and what are the benefits of being social. My Experience, I once got an A in my paper. My friend got B+, he got jealous, snatched the paper from my hand, went to the prof and complained that mine is no better than his. Prof. got convinced after his 10 minutes of arguing but instead of raising his grades, he lowered mine. Now I got a B+. Not everyone who says Hi to you in Uni. is your friend.
You don't depend much on your parents etc. You can make more mistakes, learn from your mistakes. You can make career mistakes which I think is really important because only after spending some time doing what you hate is when you'll realize what you love and once you know what you love, you're on the right path.
You can learn a lot from getting higher education from universities but the question is, do you want to get higher education or do you want to get a skill? Would you be willing to sacrifice your life away believing in the article you read online or do you want to read yourself first and want to see what you want to do? Do you want to keep on studying until you die or do you want to settle? Can you learn to make good choices? What if someone teaches you how to make good choices but you are not someone and your life is your life and instead of following your heart you trusted the someone but your heart was right and now the good choices that you learned to make might tear your life apart because these are not your original choices.