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EXECUTION Ocean Man's Journey To Earning A Bachelor's Degree

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Ocean Man

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Similar to @Lex DeVille's thread on a journey to earning a PhD, EXECUTION - Lex DeVille's - Journey To Doctor

I too, for the longest time haven been contemplating going back to school. Actually, spending some time out of school for a few years to think about whether or not I actually wanted to attend college was in fact helpful. Personally, after reflecting I know that somewhere in my lifetime I would strive to have a bachelor's, one way or another.

I've been thinking, going through Jordan Peterson's self authorship program, working on making my 1-5-10 more clear, and I'm back in America during COVID-19. This is the perfect time for me to finish what I started.

Note: I am not getting this bachelor's to get a job.
I genuinely am interested in learning and wanted to learn. Being able to get a job is an added benefit, but I'm going for my own personal life goals.

Additionally, the only reason why I couldn't start a business in South Korea, was because I didn't have a bachelor's degree. Yes, you can make it in America without a bachelor's degree. But if you're trying to do so in other countries in Asia (in my experience, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan)... you're required to have a Bachelor's. The government will not give you a entrepreneurship visa otherwise. I can't even get a working holiday for South Korea without a bachelor's.

So for me, the benefits of getting a bachelor's are the following:
- Completing a personal life goal.
- Added benefit of having it for job searching (during my time in the slowlane).
- Networking in school.
- Being able to have more options in Asia, specifically South Korea and Japan.

Some peeps may disagree, they dislike the idea of university completely. I for the most part agree. Usually I'm for the position of not getting a degree unless you're degree will give you an actual return or you're going to go for something like lawyer or doctor.

One of the biggest reasons why I never continued my Associates degree. Math.

I'm terrible at it, specifically Calculus. Failed twice. And looking at it, it's because I was half-assing it. I didn't put in the time actually studying after class. All I did was my homework and considered that studying. can you believe it? I let a subject stop me from obtaining this? If I didn't quit, I could've had the degree a year or two ago. Now I'm seeing my fellow highschool mates graduating from university now.

Now it's my turn to kick some a$$.

I currently have an Associates of Arts degree and would like to major in computer science.

Something that'll help me earn my degree more quickly:
I've been working as a software engineer for the past three years. As a result, my local college offers credits to my degree for my work experience. (Up to 25%). I only need about 95 more credits to earn the degree. If I can get the full 25%, that'd leave me with 71 credits left.

But OCEAN MAN, what about math?
Yeah.. My Math skills are terrible and I even more so now that I've been out of college for about three years. But that won't stop me.

Before I enroll back into college (maybe I can even enroll right now and complete the classes that aren't math related).
I just purchased a year subscription to kristakingmath.com which covers math from Pre-Algebra all the way up to Linear Algebra. I will work on my Algebra and Trig foundations before I start learning Calculus. Once I have a good foundation, I'll learn Calculus, see if I can push it all the way into Calculus 2 and once I'm at the point where I feel confident in my Calculus 1 skills... I'll take a math placement exam at the college to see if I can simply jump into Calculus 2.

So my plan now is to self study Math, get my foundations solid, and get passed Calculus 1. Meanwhile, maybe I'll start college again and take up the other classes (Issue is I'm at the point where I need to declare a major (computer science), but I can't declare computer science yet since I don't have calculus finished or physics 1-3. Any programming classes at this point require that I'm admitted into the Computer Science degree, otherwise I can't take them.

I'll continue to post updates to this thread but it won't be every day or every week.
@Ravens_Shadow, If I remember correctly, you taught yourself Math for Janga. If you can do it... I can too. I'll actually be studying, doing work sheets to study what I learned, and using other resources like Khan Academy.

I think the time for filling out any scholarships/fafsa is over at the moment though which blows.
 

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Great that you've set on a path!
I was worried and wondering what you'd do next...

Great arrangement to find a college that gives you credits for some work time.
It's a significant short-cut of sorts that I'm disappointed I don't have here in Malaysia.

One of the biggest reasons why I never continued my Associates degree. Math.

I'm terrible at it, specifically Calculus. Failed twice. And looking at it, it's because I was half-assing it. I didn't put in the time actually studying after class. All I did was my homework and considered that studying. can you believe it? I let a subject stop me from obtaining this? If I didn't quit, I could've had the degree a year or two ago. Now I'm seeing my fellow highschool mates graduating from university now.
Well, if you can run for start-up competitions and fight the Korean red-tape with moderate success, calculus is actually a very easy enemy to beat.:rofl:

Just do extra more questions than the homework- without peeking at the answers.
Worked great for me, when I study finance in college and do the calculation questions.

Khan's Academy is great, but you can also take a look at patrickJMT's channel as well for more specific calculus stuff like integrals and limits.

You can also check out Tom Miller's blog on dealing with the STEM-related units.

A great fit for engineering, physics and yes, maths students.
While he's more focused on the first two, he suggests some study and exam-answering frameworks that are a lot more sound than rushing through the questions blindly:

Tom also has a paid course- Study Hero, which covers the entire study orchestra- for $79.
I haven't paid for the course, since the blog free content helped me right away.
 
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Ocean Man

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if you can run for start-up competitions and fight the Korean red-tape with moderate success, calculus is actually a very easy enemy to beat.:rofl:
Right, haha?
I’ll definitely kill it in Math!

Thank you for the encouragement and additional resource, I’ll definitely use them!
 
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Ocean Man

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I just took the necessary steps today to re-apply to my college. My goal is to start attending online during this fall quarter, knocking out courses other than calculus. As soon as I'm accepted, I'm able to talk with a faculty advisor to kind of help plan out my path and assist me in filling out the prior learning (work experience) form to get those credits from having work experience.
 
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Ocean Man

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Haven't been accepted yet but I should be soon. Meanwhile, I've made a rough path of the classes I'd need to take to graduate. I basically finished reviewing pre-algebra about a week or two ago and it's nice to see a lot of things coming back to me somewhat quickly. If I want to be in the fastest lane to graduation, I'd need to be ready to take on Calculus 3 by December. Otherwise, I'd need to be ready for Calculus 1 or two which would push me back a quarter or two depending on which Calculus I'm on.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to take on the higher computer science classes if I'm not within the computer science program already. If you look at Summer 2020, I'm taking zero classes. Not because I don't want to but because I can't take on any classes anymore until I'm accepted in the computer science program.

They do admissions every fall. This year I'm not ready to apply because to apply, I must've passed Calculus 1 and Calculus 2.

This chart is the full chart for graduation (without the possibility of me using work experience for credit which can significantly cut down my time needed for graduation.)

Nine months of taking one senior capstone project at a time.
33962
 
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Ocean Man

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Today I got an acceptance email. I'm going back to school! I applied 12 days ago, which during this time, people were registering for classes. A lot of the good teachers are already full and I can't register for them. But I'll make do.

One step forward!
 

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Today I got an acceptance email. I'm going back to school! I applied 12 days ago, which during this time, people were registering for classes. A lot of the good teachers are already full and I can't register for them. But I'll make do.

One step forward!
For the full classes, you can either email/talk to the course coordinator or the lecturers to see if they’ll open up new slots or provide some alternatives.

I usually got the first option happen for my courses, which was great.
 
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Ocean Man

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I enrolled into three classes for this upcoming fall quarter, Physics I, Calculus I (<— this class is what stopped me.), and Foundations to Computer Science II (<— this is the only computer science class I can take for an entire year before I’m admitted into the CS program next fall.. what a waste of time). Total cost will be around $1700, no financial aid, and this does not include textbooks. It’d be really nice if I can get some financial aid. Looking into the FAFSA and scholarships.
 

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Total cost will be around $1700, no financial aid, and this does not include textbooks.
Actually, the costs look pretty decent to me-living expenses aside!

As for textbooks, I stopped buying them since my second year. Either the professor would just point us to the college’s online library or we bought it second-hand on Facebook (seniors sold their books after they were done-at 1/10th of the price)

So do check if you can find your textbooks from your college’s online library-or shop on the cheap for it.

There’s other ‘shady’ ways like Libgen and so on, but that’s just a piracy rabbit hole.

Sometimes we had to get newer versions of the textbook, but the only thing different between the textbooks were just the end-chapter questions. The overall content didn’t change much.
 
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Ocean Man

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Actually, the costs look pretty decent to me-living expenses aside!

As for textbooks, I stopped buying them since my second year. Either the professor would just point us to the college’s online library or we bought it second-hand on Facebook (seniors sold their books after they were done-at 1/10th of the price)

So do check if you can find your textbooks from your college’s online library-or shop on the cheap for it.

There’s other ‘shady’ ways like Libgen and so on, but that’s just a piracy rabbit hole.

Sometimes we had to get newer versions of the textbook, but the only thing different between the textbooks were just the end-chapter questions. The overall content didn’t change much.
I think it just depends on if the college makes custom textbooks. Unfortunately they found out by selling custom textbooks with custom access tokens, they force you to buy it from the school bookstore because you can only get the school-specific custom version (along with the access token) from the bookstore. Libgen is always nice if I don't need online access.
 
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I just paid for my first quarter. Here are the classes I've signed up for:
  • Physics 1 of the engineering series.​
  • Computer Science 211 - Foundations of Computer Science​
  • Math 151 - Calculus 1 (I failed this class twice already).​
All in all, 16 credits total, which makes me a full-time student. I also paid the application fee for enrolling into the college which was $55.00. No financial aid as of this moment, working on filling out my FAFSA and other documents. Note that this is only for the classes and not the books and other miscellaneous fees, time to look into what I need for the class.
 

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Ocean Man

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Just filled out my FAFSA for financial aid as well as another college form. Will hear back 30 - 35 days from now.
 
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Ocean Man

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To update the thread! My first quarter is about to start this Monday. I have a little bit of a bad feeling about how the online courses are going to work. I've emailed my teachers twice (weeks apart) for the required books and only 1 out of the three has gotten back to me. Seems like I'll have to wait until classes actually start to personally ask them.

The reason I want to know ahead of time is to see if I can find cheaper versions of the books and not overpay.
 

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So you'll take physics 2 and calc 2 in the same semester. I did that, it was tough. Be sure to master calc 1 this semester, it's super foundational to the rest of those classes.
 
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So you'll take physics 2 and calc 2 in the same semester. I did that, it was tough. Be sure to master calc 1 this semester, it's super foundational to the rest of those classes.
Thank you, I’ll try my best!
 
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So you'll take physics 2 and calc 2 in the same semester. I did that, it was tough. Be sure to master calc 1 this semester, it's super foundational to the rest of those classes.
I've been out of school for years, already in my career, and today our online courses became available (Only the syllabus, class schedule, etc... as school doesn't actually start until Monday). While looking at the syllabus, the textbook, and our schedule.. Damn I'm going to be super busy.

I'm looking at the class schedule.. quiz/test at the end of every week, readings and videos every day, homework everyday, etc...

Having a full-time job on-top of three core classes... This quarter is going to be something haha.
 
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School officially starts in 54 minutes (00:00 9/21). The past few days I've been trying to read and re-read chapters ahead to give myself a better head start. Lectures for both my CS and Physics class have been up since this morning and I'm almost finished with this week's physics lectures. I'll be awake at 12am to see what my Calculus class will show.

My goal is to finish the entire week's lectures and assignments during the beginning of the week so that I have more time to study, have time for my actual job, and prepare for next week as well. Goal is to keep being ahead of schedule.

Already turned in my first Calculus assignment not too long ago.
 
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ZF Lee

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School officially starts in 54 minutes (00:00 9/21). The past few days I've been trying to read and re-read chapters ahead to give myself a better head start. Lectures for both my CS and Physics class have been up since this morning and I'm almost finished with this week's physics lectures. I'll be awake at 12am to see what my Calculus class will show.

My goal is to finish the entire week's lectures and assignments during the beginning of the week so that I have more time to study, have time for my actual job, and prepare for next week as well. Goal is to keep being ahead of schedule.

Already turned in my first Calculus assignment not too long ago.
Great start!
I've tried finishing my assignments to clear up as much time as possible for the whole week, but at times, the work is too mind-sucking that I end up wearing myself out.

Of course, that depends if the assignment touched on a brand-new topic or not.
If its a topic I can understand quickly, I'll finish it in one swoop.

What I've found more successful for myself, was to chop my assignments up into mini-tasks, to be spread across the days. For example, if I had 12 questions on Treasuries Interest Rate risk (real example) from my Finance major, I might split it across 4 days, with 3 questions devoted to each day, in 15-45 min sessions.

Another example would be essays.
For a recent forecasting paper, I split it up into weeks...in Week 1, I would do the literature review, in Week 2, I would do the charts, in Week 3, I would assemble the benchmarks like RMSE, MAE and MAPE...you get the idea. As a result, doing that paper became quite relaxing, and even enjoyable!

That way, I could cut down on the energy and time-suck, yet keep the subject matter on my mind longer.

A side benefit is that if I can't solve a question during that session, I can either save it for later and let my brain process stuff unconsciously (go read 'A Mind for Numbers' by Barbara Oakley) or keep them for consultation hours.

Alternatively, you can use Chegg to get step-by-step solutions to textbook questions (for a small monthly fee).

But it has a HUGE temptation for you to 100% copy answers or do plagiarism. I have spotted even my university essay questions being pasted there, even though the questions were 100% original...

Use Chegg just to see the workings and explanations behind the solutions, if your lecturer's discussions fall short in any way.
 
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Ocean Man

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the work is too mind-sucking that I end up wearing myself out.
I can definitely see that happening. Yesterday was the first day, but I started on Saturday night because some of the lectures were available before school actually started. I notice that I need to be careful of wearing myself out. I'm studying three core science/math based-classes and need to realize my brain can only take so much at a time. Although I'm pushing myself a lot to complete as much as I can in as little as possible, I think I can tone it down a little bit as well haha.

What I've found more successful for myself, was to chop my assignments up into mini-tasks, to be spread across the days.
This is a great idea and I've actually started to implement this a bit.

A side benefit is that if I can't solve a question during that session, I can either save it for later and let my brain process stuff unconsciously
This is what I do when I'm developing software. If I'm stuck with a bug or can't figure out how to go about something. I'll stop and realize that overnight or over lunch, without even thinking about the problem I come back and look at the problem saying, "Wow! The answer is obviously... How did I not see that before?"
----

It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to get ahead in my calculus class. Lectures are being posted late. But I actually feel bad for the professor but at the same time a lot of respect. Although the lectures are being posted late. He's literally trying his best to provide us with online instruction. It's obvious that the math department never had to do online courses and thus he's learning a lot about how to shoot the videos, upload everything, and I can tell he's trying his best.

He doesn't have his own tablet pencil so it's difficult for him to write out on his iPad the graphs, equations, etc... You know how finicky it is trying to draw with your finger when it comes to using tablets.

You know what he did? He searched up a DIY tablet pencil and made his own tablet pencil using (if I remember) cotton, foil, and water. It's not the best solution and it doesn't work the best. But wow... Now that's dedication... He's waiting on the state to give him a new one since his was stolen.

I can tell he cares a lot about the class and teaching.
 

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