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Having a lot of interests is not really good right?

  1. Apr 18, 2013 #1
    Being a computer science undergraduate, I find myself reading all sorts of academic subjects - science, maths, literature, social science etc. Ofcourse I write programs too.

    The point is that other people who just love doing programming will know much more as they are able to devote more time.

    Suggest me something - should I just stop reading extra stuff and focus on my discipline or just continue what I am doing and enjoy studying
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2013 #2
    Ahhhh..... The curse of the polymath... What you need to do is get your priorities in order and look at which of your 'interests' you will spend the most time in. Always have goals! Work towards the most important of things.
  4. Apr 18, 2013 #3
    It depends how many interests you have, and what those interests are, in order to -subjectively- determine if having all of them is not really good.
  5. Apr 18, 2013 #4
    I think it's good to explore stuff in general. Imagine if you didn't. You gotta practise your craft too, but don't ever stop exploring. :)

    You'll be an interesting person, if nothing else!
  6. Apr 18, 2013 #5
    I want to follow your advice but then I am scared of the competition. Companies want programmers not an interesting person.
  7. Apr 18, 2013 #6
    Entrepreneurs are the next big thing...
  8. Apr 18, 2013 #7
    Do whatever you like as long as you keep your grades up.
  9. Apr 18, 2013 #8
    Slow down the pace at which you explore those interests if you need to. Don't stop them though, as knowing more things outside your field might actually help strengthen your field (be it social, work-related, etc...) in the long run.
  10. Apr 18, 2013 #9


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    There is nothing inherently wrong with having many different interests. As long as you're managing your time appropriately, you'll be fine.
  11. Apr 18, 2013 #10


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    As a grandfather, great grandfather age senior, my comments are based on being much like what you describe. At age 63 I found the most likely source of what possibly limited the best efforts in the life and success that I could have achieved. That being a very strong ADD and OCD personality, after learning and understanding just how those have an effect on what and how one thinks and functions, the adjustments needed can be worked into a corrective (or adjusted) pattern in one's life.

    Don't hesitate for one second, if you have access to or can afford the rate of a 'GOOD' counselor in this field, it might make a tremendous difference in your future.

    I have to cut myself off at this point, just take a little advice from a seasoned veteran in this type of personality traits.

    There should be no shame in this course of action.

    Best to you and your future:smile:


    I will say the interest in a lot of things can serve well in many ways, but the level of education achieved can give you the ability to make the correct choice of how you make use of those interests.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  12. Apr 18, 2013 #11


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    My older daughter is a computer science major, works full time as a Graphic artist at a company, is also a real artist and has gallery showings, she is a songwriter, guitarist and lead singer for a band, a gourmet cook, a tutor at a community college and specializes in sign language and in developing a new teaching method for disabled children, and still has an active social life.

    So, it's up to you, know yourself, know your limitations.
  13. Apr 18, 2013 #12
    It depends on your abilities to manage yourself and your time. For me, an undergraduate electrical engineering student and an electronics at home hobbyist, I have set my preferences to get my full time on electronics and don't bother to learn anything beyond that in the current time unless it's related to electronics (e.g, some mechanical stuff that must be done to complete an electronics-based system).

    Although I've a wide range of fields that I'm interested to learn, I just don't have the time to do any of them. I have things like web development and 3D modelling (e.g, software like Blender) on my list of interests, but how much time and effort should I devote for each one of these? one time I downloaded Blender and UDK and started learning and did some basic models. It was fun but then I decided to remove them and keep my concentration on electronics.
  14. Apr 18, 2013 #13
    If I had a stopwatch that could stop time, I'd STILL not be able to get all that done. Some people are just do'ers. I wish I was a do'er.
  15. Apr 18, 2013 #14
    Indeed they do. It's very important that you study hard and become a good programmer, if that is what you want to do for a job, because you're right, companies want programmers, and good ones at that. So don't lose sight of your goal and make sure you are moving towards it, but you need some time away from programming too. Use that time to explore your other interests. :)
  16. Apr 18, 2013 #15
    I say if you don't have strong will power, try to keep your interests to 1 or 2.
  17. Apr 19, 2013 #16


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    I love science, particularly mechanical stuff, and PF is a great place to indulge that love. It must, however, share its place with my other loves of TV, pool, beer and sex, not in that order. Anyone who binds his/her life to one thing is doomed to misery.
  18. Apr 19, 2013 #17

    jim hardy

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    Distractibility can cause one to not meet goals.

    If you find yourself absent minded and frustrated , i'd advise talking with a psychologist about changing your behavior.

    Take heart - there are precedents in Literature.
    Kurt Vonnegut in "Cat's Cradle" depicted a somewhat mad scientist(with a proverbial 'lovely daughter') , who was tasked with saving the world from some dreadful chemical. But he kept getting distracted by baby sea turtles.
    So the government fellow in charge of the project asked his daughter how to keep him focused on saving the world. Her reply : "Take away his turtles".

    Point being - you are the one who knows whether it's a problem.
    So form the habit now of self monitoring. You might have to make a chart of goals and track their progress, same way a project manager in an organization does.

    I am distractible to a fault but found a career niche where that was an asset.

    old jim
  19. Apr 19, 2013 #18


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    The worst number of interests to have is zero. The second worst number is probably one, if you want to stay sane.

    If you have more than one, the problem is not the number of interests, it is learning how to set priorities and manage your time.
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