Can you stay interested?

Justin had homework to do, and he felt the old familiar boredom creeping in. It was only his second week of college, and he couldn’t stop thinking about what his buddy Hector had said: College is just going to be a big fat version of high school. Boring.

Hector was such a wet blanket. Nonetheless, remembering Hector’s words was discouraging. In high school Justin was definitely susceptible to boredom, which caused him to avoid homework, and even to ditch school for days at a time. Now, the stakes were higher.

Backing away from his course obligations could snowball into leaving college. Then, he’d once again be facing an array of dead-end job possibilities. He’d come to college to work towards becoming a software programmer — the job that had seemed to beckon him since his junior year in high school.

Yet his courses were boring to him. Especially the ones that were not directly related to programming. He felt a spurt of panic, thinking he may not be able to control himself and keep studying.

His phone buzzed at him. It was a sales call; he skipped it. He just wanted to check his social media and play some games, not do his homework.

He scrolled YouTube to see what might be more interesting than his math class. He came across a video entitled “What a software programmer does.” Then another: “Coding is not difficult.” And then, “How to learn code.” In that video, a woman was talking: “Programming is all over the place. Do you want to work in agriculture? Do you want to work in entertainment? Do you want to work in rocket science? Then learn to code. “

A half hour had passed. Justin put his phone aside and thought: To become a programmer I should start by getting my community college Associate’s degree, whatever it takes.

It seemed so obvious, now that he had rekindled his motivation. He opened his math book to the homework assignment, mentally noting that whenever he got bored, he’d just go to YouTube and look for these kinds of videos. Who says that social media is a distraction?