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Beginner's Stress, Code and the Importance of Mental Health in Bootcamp

squidzmckenzie profile image Lucas N. ・3 min read

So I have just finished my 7th week of my 9 week web dev bootcamp, and what can I say? I absolutely love it! I have learned so much, met some of the most wonderful people, both staff and student, and I'm getting so excited being that much closer to making the change to an awesome career path in front end web development. However, I have noticed over time that I've been increasingly more on edge, insecurities have been creeping in, anxieties have been peaking, and of course, getting that overwhelming feeling of imposter syndrome.

Just to be open a little bit, I do have clinical depression along with general and social anxiety disorders, and I'm sure I'm not alone here. Now I truly enjoy coding, the feeling of solving a problem to make make your function work properly or having your css look beautiful is honestly one of the most rewarding feelings I've ever had, and I intend to keep striving for that. However it's so easy to get sucked into your text editor, your vision starts tunnelling into it, and next thing you know you spent 5 hours looking through article after article trying to find out the solution to your very specific React problem. It's easy to say that maybe you're not bright enough for this job, that your brain doesn't think "logically" enough. That whatever you type in, you just naturally expect it not to work. I have been here, and am still struggling with this mindset as of writing this, and undoubtedly there will be more.

Now I may not be a professional, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but please TAKE BREAKS. When you're getting upset at your code or feeling overwhelmed, sometimes it's best to just step away, do something that helps ease your mind. The fact that we are doing what we can to learn is AWESOME. We are totally bright enough for this job, sometimes the time it takes varies depending on the subject, and it is totally OK to have trouble learning a topic. Not everyone is going to get it right away (it is literally learning new languages for goodness sake).Web development is tricky, it can seem daunting at times, and it's no fault of one's own if you aren't getting it.

Another thing that I have found comfort in is just how supportive the webdev community has become (shout-outs to Juno college cohort 25!), there are so many resources out there with so many programmers who are willing and eager to help. So many people I've met actively want to see us grow, learn and become amazing developers in our own right. You got a lot of people who want to see you succeed, even if you don't quite know it.

So in short, it's ok to not know things. It's ok to take breaks and de-stress; be that drawing, cooking, or just looking at cat gifs. It is absolutely ok (and encouraged) to ask for advice. Keep coding to your heart's content, but remember, chances are no one is going to die because you didn't pass in the props correctly, it's not worth getting all worked up over it. Easier said than done, right?
Either way, if you're feeling like you're struggling, just know at the very least this dev-in-the-works is right there with you, cheering you on.

Discussion

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ecsyoungcodes profile image
Sui

You are amazing Lucas, one of the warmest and brightest souls I've met in this cohort. I've enjoyed witnessing your growth, your triumphs, and you as a person and how I and many others got to know you better over the last 2+ months. You're absolutely right about everything here, and the imposter syndrome is creeping for me too. As I understand it, it's not something that ever goes away, tech evolves so quickly, that I don't think anyone really gets to feel like they have sure footing on anything. I think you're doing amazing though, everyone is, and I look forward to being able to continue to witness your journey!!

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egilhuber profile image
erica

HUGE +1 on taking breaks! I'm pretty sure plenty of quality breaks are what got me through bootcamp. It was also heavily encouraged - going and taking a walk, grabbing a snack, etc - getting away from the keyboard is often what really helps move that roadblock. One of the biggest soft skills I learned at bootcamp is that in a field like this, it's super important to give yourself permission to take a breather.

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dechariot profile image
dechariot

I am in 12 weeks bootcamp web dev now. Your article help me anyway. Thank you 👍

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abhishekpakhare97 profile image
Abhishek Ramesh Pakhare

You have so beautifully presented the solution 👌👌👌