Is Everyone in Computer Science Really This Annoying?

Hey Mom, 

I’m studying computer science at university, and I can’t help but find lots of my classmates kind of annoying.  Many of them are overconfident and a little arrogant, and they’re not all that helpful when it comes to teamwork and problem-solving.  There are some cool guys there, but lots of the people I meet (mainly on Discord, because there is not much interaction outside of it) seem like they don’t have a personality outside of computer science and video games.  I haven’t really talked to anyone in computer science outside of my university, is it like this out in the real world?  I really love computer science, and I don’t want to quit, but I don’t know if I can stand being around people like this for the rest of my life. 

–Anonymous (and Annoyed)

Dear Annoyed, 

I’m sorry your classmates aren’t living up to your social expectations.  It can be tough to be surrounded by people who don’t interact the same way you do, and it sounds like a lot of the folks in your program enjoy Discord chat and video gaming as a main source of social interaction.  From your letter, I’m getting the vibe that either you don’t find video gaming all that enjoyable, or you simply aren’t as passionate about it as much as your classmates are.  

Are you in your first year of study, by any chance?  Sometimes it takes awhile for folks to settle in at university and expand their hobbies and social circles.  It could be that you and your classmates haven’t found many shared interests outside of computer science and video games yet.  Additionally, if your classmates came to university with prior technical experience (high school classes, self-teaching, volunteer work, or internships) they may come off as a little arrogant and perhaps even overconfident in their own abilities.  This attitude tends to wear off with age and experience. 

I recommend continuing to interact with your computer science classmates as much as you can possibly stand, but remember: there are probably a lot of folks at your university who aren’t studying computer science!  Look into joining a student club or activity group based on other interests, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet people and make friends outside of your major.  You can usually find clubs or activities posted on bulletin boards around campus, through your university’s social media, or by visiting your university’s student services office. 

To answer the second part of your question: the “real world” is full of different people, unique personalities, and a plethora of hobbies.  While computer science careers do tend to skew a little “nerd”, you’ll likely have a ton of things to talk about with your future colleagues that aren’t the latest video game. 

Hope this helps, 


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