RF_Faisal's blog

By RF_Faisal, history, 12 days ago, In English

This is not an educational blog. You should ignore it if you are not interested to know and help about my dilemma.

I'm a third-year CSE undergrad student. I've been involved in competitive programming from the starting of my undergrad days. I enjoy CP more than other things like development or projects. Though I'm not doing well on this side, nowadays I feel too much obsessed with CP. I'm not a fast thinker. But my mind gets stuck with problems until I can find a solution to them[yes, I do read editorials when I see no progress]. Thinking of a problem for days didn't feel bad since I enjoy it until it got in the way of my studies. I can't focus on anything when I'm stuck with a CP problem. I think I might have reached my limit in CP. I can't feel any change in my coding skill for almost a year. After an intensive practice of a month or two, all I can see is some improvement in solving speed. I've solved over 1000 problems on different online judges. I have a 4-star rating in CodeChef and Specialist in CF (I've not been participating in recent CF contests with this ID since I wanted to check if I can reach Specialist from the beginning). I've also taken part in some recent IUPCs(Inter-University Programming Contests) and underperformed badly. So all the things around me are making me rethink.

I'm pretty average in both CP and studies. My concern is I'm not learning anything new like others. I'm not being serious with my study, so my CGPA is getting hampered since I struggle to change my focus instantly. And study feels more boring in proportion to my obsessiveness with CP. Bit by bit I'm starting to believe I've reached my limit in CP though I still enjoy my time with it. Should I keep going like this abandoning other sides or should I quit CP and try to put my focus on my studies?

 
 
 
 
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12 days ago, # |
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looking at your recent contests, you can probably reach blue pretty fast. 3/4 of you recent performances on this account are >1600, and the most recent one is not bad at all. And on this account you solved very few problems of difficulty >=1700 and it is probably true for your other accounts/ other platforms, so it is natural that it is hard for you right now to reach higher rating. It does seem to me "I have not spent enough time" issue.

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    12 days ago, # ^ |
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    And you have solved 29 problems this month. Let's suppose that you solved the double amount of that (cuz you are using different platforms), so it is something like 60 problems in 30 days, 2 problems per day, so probably < 2 hours on average, probably something like 90 minutes.

    It is a mistake that is very easy to make — to overestimate how much effort you have put into something. I have seen a lot of people giving up on cp because of the same reasoning — but most of the time they just thing they have given it all, but in reality barely putting any effort.

    So it my opinion you definitely have not reached you limit, and it should not be the reason you quit. And having time for other things is a totally different question that should be handled separately

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      12 days ago, # ^ |
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      Thanks for your opinion. For problem AB it takes 20-30 minutes. For problems C to higher if I get an idea at first glance it takes about an hour. But when I don't get any initial idea or fail to visualize the test cases, it takes 2-3 hr or even more time. Sometimes debugging time and understanding others' code adds more time. Even if I'm overestimating, it’s not too much. I guess I'm not efficient on this side. Initially thought practice and experience will change the scenario. It certainly did. But for easy problems only.

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12 days ago, # |
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You still enjoy your time with CP.So you haven't reached your limit.The problems you have mentioned above are common problems among all the CPer's of BD university students.Don't quit as long as you are enjoying it.May be the improvement is not same for all,this is painful though.

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12 days ago, # |
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I think you are being too harsh with yourself, objectively speaking you are not bad at cp, the majority of people won't reach your current level.

Anyway, I know that reading this won't make you feel otherwise given that you are not happy with your current level, it looks like you are burnout.

My advise is this, give yourself some time to clear your mind and just ask yourself if you like solving problems regardless of the performance. If the answer is yes keep going on but from time to time take some time off (like one day every week don't do anything related with cp)

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12 days ago, # |
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why the heck is this blog getting downvoted!?

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11 days ago, # |
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I will echo the sentiment that you'll probably have an expert-level performance soon if you continue to practice consistently. You seem to achieve top 2000 in contents consistently now, which is no mean feat and indicative that you have progressed significantly since a few months ago. At the same time, I understand your qualms about CP entirely. :( For us undergraduates who started CP late, it is difficult to justify dedicating so much time to CP at the expense of our studies, especially when we feel that our abilities have stagnated. I would say don't give up though, since you continue to find it enjoyable, and as a hobby is much more intellectually stimulating and industry-relevant than others.

On another note, which online judges do you practice on? I've recently changed my training regimen to AtCoder and CSES Problem Set (ignoring Codeforces almost entirely) and have seen pretty decent results.

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    11 days ago, # ^ |
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    I mostly practiced on Codechef. Atcoder seems decent but the absence of a dedicated community and not being able to look at others' code and approach seems to be a disadvantage for me. I haven't tried CSES much. Surely I will give it a try. Thanks for mentioning your experience.

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    11 days ago, # ^ |
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    what did u do if u struggled on atcoder's math problems , I dont have a math background and I almost always cant do them , should I focus on them rather than studying normally ?

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11 days ago, # |
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If you feels like you are burnt out, just take a break for like 2 weeks, go travelling, enjoy your life or something. Hope that helps.

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11 days ago, # |
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A hobby does not need to be "all or nothing," so I would hope that you do not abandon CP.