First post, by keenmaster486
Very long story short - I have been struggling in college (CU Boulder), in part due to having strong symptoms of ADD/ADHD and failing to properly address them. I have had some very good semesters and two total bomb-outs, one of the latter being this current semester. The first time this happened, I was struggling in my major at the time (aerospace engineering) and decided to change it. Due to the way my scholarship works (without which I couldn't afford the school), I had to withdraw from the school and re-enroll the next semester in my new major (Technology, Arts, and Media). The next semester (spring 2018) went pretty well, largely due to my dad acting as a very active accountability partner (I still hadn't directly addressed the issue of ADHD). Over the summer I began having some serious doubts about the track I was taking, and questioning the usefulness of my education - partly due to my new major being a little less attractive than I had thought, and partly due to the fact that I had been driving myself through school with a sort of "raw effort" without trying to understand more how my brain works and how I can cope with having ADHD, the result being that I constantly felt like I was banging my head against the wall, and definitely not working up to my full potential. I went into this semester without resolving this debate in my mind, and the combination of that and ADHD symptoms caused me to fail rather drastically. I had to pull the same shenanigan as last year - withdrawing from the school with the option to return at a later time.
The long and the short of it is, because I was able to withdraw from those two bomb-out semesters, my GPA wasn't affected by them and is still at a good place. The big financial drawback here is that moving forward, the scholarship for those two semesters has already been used up, and I can't re-use it for the two additional semesters that I would have to go through to make up for it. Plus I need one more semester because of changing my major (making 9 non-aborted semesters total), and the scholarship won't cover that either.
I'm pretty tepid about returning to the university next semester. I don't want the same thing to just happen again, and if I feel like I'm still banging my head against the wall I know I can't take that for the 2.5 or 3 years that I'll have to go through in order to finish my degree. I do have a different attitude now; my second aborted semester kind of shocked me into finally going in to counseling for ADHD and behavioral modification techniques, etc. Ultimately I do have to conquer the issues I have apart from school anyway; I don't want them following me around into my career. But there is still a large part of me that really does not want to go back to school.
For a while the only alternative I was considering was simply aborting school altogether and entering the workforce cold. After weeks of job searching and research, it's been pretty clear the non-McDonald's jobs I am most qualified for and am most attracted to are in the IT/programming world. What's been holding me back has been, predictably, the fact that though I have a lot of natural skills in that field, good coding instincts and solid basic knowledge, I'm ultimately unprepared for the world of corporate IT and/or development, even if someone would hire me.
So I've been looking at maybe going to a tech bootcamp school - probably one of the reputable and well-known ones in a major city - and utilizing that as a step up into the world of web development (the most likely field I would go into). It would be a pretty major change for me, but I know I'd be good at it and, knowing how I tend to function, I could much more easily put my nose to the grindstone for a 18 week long bootcamp with 40-50 hours/week, than 4-5 classes per semester stretched out over 3 years. It's also way cheaper than spending ridiculous amounts of money on finishing school in Colorado.
One more aspect to this is that I need to stay in Boulder at least until August, which is when my lease runs out - and the only tech bootcamp in Boulder is Galvanize, which gets some pretty ominously mixed reviews compared to a lot of the other ones. There are some good ones in Denver but I do not have a car at this time, which limits me somewhat.
Ultimately I want to do something that
A) I am able to do
B) is practical; i.e. I can get a good job in a city I like and keep the job
Right now the tech bootcamp idea looks pretty attractive. I guess I'm posting here partly as a way to brain dump and organize my thoughts, and also to get the opinions of others who don't have a direct interest in what I end up doing.
I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice anyone could give me here.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.