October 29, 2013

Going back to College

It’s been a while since my last post. After living in London for a few months and working out of Shoreditch Works, I chose to head back to York with the new academic year - rather a tough choice given my other, international option.

It might seem strange to those I met in the last 18 months - UnCollege, friends in the Y Combinator and hacker crowds - that I’ve decided to go back to formal education. I deliberately chose to take a leave of absence rather than actually quit in order to make this possible, but I wasn’t convinced I would do it until late September.

There’s a lot of truth in what groups like UnCollege are saying - the teaching you get at College might often be given just as well online. If teaching is the only thing you’ve gone to College for, replacing that could be rather easy. I’ve changed quite a bit, and I am enjoying myself a lot more than in the first year.

I’ve a lot of respect for those who think differently on whether College is for them. It’s not for everyone, and isn’t a perfect galaxy system. Choosing to go into industry or explore things yourself is easily as legitimate as College - just treated differently by snotty culture.

Computer Science lines up fairly well with my interests - it’s a good place to anchor my interests. Between Math, Physics and Electronics societies there’s a plenty of broader things I can learn, although I do wish I could take more elective modules in other departments than York allow.

Years of events and long-distance friendships around the data/government crowd has left me needing time to recharge. I’d like to contribute to mySociety when I get back into this, but at the moment I’m too focused on other things like C and transport timetables.

So that’s an update. It might not be coming through well, but I am fairly happy. Being around people closer to my own age is proving very beneficial, as have courses and societies that are giving me a new viewpoint and encouraging deeper thought.

Many thanks to the heaps of people who’ve given me an interesting 18 months, too many to even try to name.