1. Determination— it will always get to the point where working in your dorm just isn’t good enough. You can’t focus; your suitemates are doing yoga in the common room and you just want to join in. Time to make the trek to the faraway land of the computer lab, and hopefully there will be a TA who can help you figure out what the multitudes of errors on your screen actually mean.
2. Patience (or Impatience)—as you’re waiting for Halligan Helper, you might as well work slowly through everything— draw some more iteration tables! Work on more sections! Be as productive as your parents think you’re being at college! But in all actuality, work when facing errors and lack of comprehension of “what the actual f*** am I doing” is very, very slow. The queue also happens to be twenty people long right now, and there’s only one poor TA rushing around trying to get to everyone. Take deep breaths, because you’re in for a long ride.
3. Frustration—you’ve gotten help from anyone who bothers to give you the time of day, and your code still isn’t working. Compiling just makes you furious, and the realization that you’ve already been in Halligan for close to three hours with little progress just makes you want to tear your hair out. There’s also a lot of begging your higher level CS friends to help you. This is the point where you either push through, or throw up your hands and scream about quitting. (We all know even if you say you’re done for the day, your mind is still running through possible solutions.)
4. Panic— the deadline is fast approaching, you only have 2/3 of the homework problems done, and even when you try to provide (hallelujah!), you have a massive list of failed tests. For all the time you’re putting into this class, that potential grade is not worth it. Taking this class was a mistake, and you’re falling behind on all of your other classes too. That gripping sense of panic you get when you run out of time to finish an exam? Yeah, that’s the feeling—times however long you have until the deadline. No doubt, you’ll be feeling the claws of your CS project until 11:59 PM.
5. Enlightenment (for those intelligent CS gifted few) and Resignation For the Rest of Us—For the lucky ones who think in code (trust me, I know of people who actually do), you’ve provided, you’ve gotten no errors, you’ve reached the finish line and can gladly leave your spot in Halligan. You’ll probably get points for design too. Meanwhile, the rest of us have accepted our fate— either you take the bad grade or you sacrifice a token in the hopes you’ll be able to finish your program by tomorrow. CS is worth it when it works, but when it doesn’t it’s a massive headache for all. At least Halligan has a Snapchat filter for you to tell your friends that no, you haven’t disappeared off the face of the Earth. You’re just working really, really hard.