I survived the first semester of University!!
My final course marks came out yesterday and it was terrifying. I was out all night for a dinner & movie date with some friends of mine from my Physics class. All I could really remember was us constantly checking our phones to see when our results would be released. ( Whatta bunch of losers, I know haha )
Anyway, my marks were not as high as I had hoped they would be, but it's all good. It's only the first semester and at least I did not fail any classes; that's an accomplishment, right?
So as celebration for this milestone, I've decided to do a review on a course I took this semester: CPSC 110. I remember googling a ton about this course in particular, before going into University. Computer Science is my major, and I wanted all the tips I could possibly find on it. So, if that is you right now, you're in luck.
CPSC 110 is an introductory Computer Science course at UBC— "Computation, Programs, and Programming". To begin with, this course is relatively tough, especially if you have had no previous experience with programming. However, it is super doable, and if you are one to seek a challenge, this course is perfect for you.
110 covers a lot of basics of programming with a language that is used almost specifically at UBC, called "DrRacket". This course is in a "reverse classroom" format where you watch videos of lectures at home, and lectures actually serve as practice. I personally really enjoyed this because just like any other University student, I had so much work to do that if practices were not done in class, I would have probably neglected doing them.
You will find yourself hearing "Follow the recipe" at least 400 times throughout the duration of this course. It's frustrating, because I too, have tried changing the templates and making up my own recipes in order to force my tests to pass. However, and trust me on this, you will always benefit from following the recipe, rather than having a working code which does not.
This course has 2 midterms and 1 final exam. The first midterm is a slice of cake. I'm sure most students who took this course would have to agree with me on this. However, do NOT underestimate this course just because you did well on the first midterm. The first midterm is worth very little and if you start slacking off after that, you will find yourself in a lot of trouble the night before your second midterm. This happened to me, but thank goodness, I managed to catch up right on time and still ended up with an A on the second midterm. Alongside the midterms were weekly problem sets. The problem sets, in my opinion was the most difficult aspect of the course. I would spend hours scratching my head over them but they are honestly really good practice. Be warned, they might take up to a couple of hours to complete, so don't start them one hour before the deadline!
Finally, the final exam was actually quite simple. If you were able to follow along throughout the entire course, the exam should be able to reflect that. A lot of people will freak out after the exam because if you fail the exam, you will fail the course. However, believe in yourself, and block other people out because they will only bring you unnecessary stress!
Overall, I had a great time in CPSC 110 and every moment I spent in this course reminds me of exactly why I am in Computer Science, and just how much I love it. So, good luck if you too are taking this course, and if you have any questions about it, feel free to contact me! :)