In BLOG, Check-In, Encouragement

Julie and Claire have already finished 4 weeks! Where is the time going?

Here is a record of their experiences!

Julie

If you’re thinking about going to a boot camp, it’s important to consider self-care, which may or may not include pizza. Any previous Savvy cohorts who stumbled upon this post may be chuckling to themselves; current students may have just cringed. Everybody else, stick with me. I’ll explain.
Speaking of sticking with it, when I enrolled in Savvy Coders the Director of Operations, Dezerae, told me several times, “Just don’t give up. That’s the most important thing: Just don’t give up.” She pointed out that if we do our part, we’ll have a lot of support here. Just don’t give up! That’s my first suggestion for boot camp self-care. You chose to do this. Do your best.
1. Keep going.
Bootcamps offer a lot of information in a short amount of time. You knew that before you signed up. Keep showing up, keep learning, and over time what you’re learning starts to form a coherent whole as the pieces start to fit together. That happens because YOU did the work, kept asking questions, kept trying. Speaking of asking questions…
2. Ask for help.
Ask at Savvy, and you shall receive. Each time a student has asked for help here, someone has given them the help they needed. The world is happening through a Zoom screen right now, and Savvy is no different. Each evening’s class has an instructor and a teaching assistant. Using Zoom has afforded us the opportunity to pull the TA into a separate Zoom room to get a question answered, get un-stuck, and then rejoin the group. I was that person one time, and when I rejoined, I was one step behind everyone else. One of my classmates sent me a message through Zoom and told me the one step I needed to take to catch up to where everyone else is.
Not only do the instructors, TAs, and Savvy staff have students’ backs, the other students do as well. Everyone here is patient and kind. Every question is valid, and every question you’re wondering about, someone else is probably thinking as well. Asking for help is empowering, and it’s great self-care.
3. Use every resource your bootcamp offers.
Savvy Coders has a Sunday study session for students who need it. I attended this past Sunday for help with the pizza homework, and I’m so glad I did.
Remember earlier when I mentioned people having reactions to pizza? Yeah. There’s pizza homework. It’s so famous Dezerae even warned us ahead of time that it would be hard. It’s intended to challenge students, it’s coding functions, and it’s basically a series of word problems about a pizza place.
Some of us in the current cohort aren’t pizza fans right now. That said, we are huge fans of the TA team here at Savvy Coders who helped us through that homework.
The TAs and instructors have also gathered a multitude of resources for students to use besides the Sunday study session. Resources like repl.it, the MDN Web Docs website, and compilations of helpful files in Savvy’s GitHub repositories all have great information and I learn every time I delve into them. When you see a resource your bootcamp offers, check it out. Take care of yourself by letting your curiosity run wild.
4. Take a break.
Finally, remember to breathe. When you give yourself a break, you can come back to what you were working on with fresh eyes. What you may have been struggling with earlier can become clearer after some time away. Eat well. Stay hydrated. Rest.
Also, consider that when you’re taking a break, your subconscious mind may still be working on your task. Have you ever
been dealing with an issue you’re not sure how to tackle and then the answer comes to you out of the blue when you’re
not thinking about it? That’s your subconscious mind at work. Let your mind and your body take a break without guilt. You’ll feel better and still meet your goals.
When you’re in a bootcamp, self-care is vital, and it may or may not involve pizza.

Claire

One month down! Hot dog! A whole third of the way through! How is this winter moving so fast? We have just completed the dreaded “pizza place homework” phase and are now entering the “impostor syndrome” phase of the cohort. The definition is as follows:

im·pos·tor syn·drome
noun

  1. the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.
Sounds kind of terrible, right? But wait! Apparently experiencing this by week four is totally normal! I know at this point I’ve felt super secure and confident half the time, and the other half I’ve felt totally like a fish out of water. Turns out nearly everyone, current and former students alike, feels that way by this time! Whew! What a relief!I’m still in the game and still motivated to get better at coding, and what’s great is we’ve been encouraged to split into smaller groups to work with “coding buddies.” I’m very much looking forward to this, since I do well learning with and from fellow students. Let’s see what the next two months bring, impostor syndrome be damned!Onward!