On Going Back to Studying and Enjoying the Process

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

It’s been a while since I was a full-time student. During University I was working days — to pay tuition — and studying evenings. It was probably only until High-School that I could fully enjoy the “only-being-a-student” life.

Last August I started a 24-weeks coding bootcamp with the aim to change careers and work as a Frontend Developer.
True, I started this bootcamp with a clear goal in mind (find a job), but when deciding whether to enroll or not, I also thought of it as a treat to myself: half year of just being a student. Nothing more, nothing less, some time to HAVE. FUN. LEARNING.

Because what a luxury that is! Adult life hits and you’ve got bills to pay, the prospect of taking time off to study seems so difficult. Some planning later, here I am: 10 weeks in and having to tell myself again to enjoy the process.

I used to be a Kitchen Manager, we work with daily To Do Lists and tasks need to get done fast, every minute counts! We become so good at prioritizing, multi-tasking and optimizing just so that everything remains under control, there’s food to be served and we can clock out on time.

Projects within web development (or tech in general) can take months, if not years to be completed — Stop! I’m not used to that…
Since the very beginning of this bootcamp, I’ve had to reconsider my fast-paced, kitchen approach: not everything can be done and learned in just one day (shocker!).

It was a bit of a struggle during the first couple of weeks: I had to put alarms to remind myself to take breaks, I had a couple of days when I worked 11 hours straight… (guilty: I just get super into the flow and nothing or no one can stop me!)
But that is not sustainable, and I’m supposed to keep this up for six months *phew*.

Yes, I am a beginner and I am super eager to learn everything fast; yes, I can’t let a JavaScript problem go unsolved; yes, I feel that I have to prove myself…
But this is a work in progress and I’m learning to slow down ~

I try to remain aware as much as possible and it is starting to show, which could also be related to me becoming better at coding and things not taking me that long to solve anymore (yay, progress!).

I work with a reasonable daily To Do List and try to stick to it as much as possible. I no longer need an alarm to take my breaks and I am managing to wrap up study time at a decent hour.
I also realized that those long-hour days are inevitable (some topics take longer to grasp than others), but I balance them out with a shorter study session the day after (and a reward visit to the bakery!).
Plus! I’m starting to understand the power of fresh eyes and spending some time away from the problem. That bug that took 3 hours to crack: done in 15 minutes one morning later after a good night sleep.

I know I’ll get better at it and there’s other more valuable skills learned in the kitchen that I can bring into tech, which have nothing to do with the crazy quick pace.
So for now let’s keep mindfully coding and taking care of ourselves~

One thing that I LOVED and had so much fun doing: I was invited to do an interview about my life before and during the bootcamp, which is now shared on Technigo’s Instagram Highlighted TAKEOVER Stories…