The Pressure of Too Much

In addition to the inherit challenges that lay within the day-to-day experience of being in a bootcamp — being on the receiving end of a near-constant barrage of new and challenging information, having (what feels like) more work than you can possibly manage to complete in a fixed 24-hour day, wrestling with mild-to-major public speaking fears on occasion when presenting or working through concepts and problems you’re not 100% solid on in front of the class, etc. — I’ve found myself struggling to create and maintain balance in what will be my “new normal” for the next few months.

While my time in class and around our projects and lessons feels fairly focused and intentional, I’ve noticed that over the last few weeks, I’ve found it extremely difficult to disengage and participate in non-coding activities.

When I was hitting a wall on my weekly project a few weekends back, I decided I needed to “take a break” and go for a walk, but ended up feeling so guilty about not doing my work that I turned on my coding podcast for company (not exactly the immersive nature walk I’d been craving).

Because all of this material feels so new and intense and exciting, the more I learn, the more I feel I need/want to learn. With every new lesson and/or concept, I suddenly find myself bookmarking a dozen new resources — books to put on hold at the library! Websites to peruse! YouTube videos to watch! Lectures to download for later listening!

I then find myself fatiguing my decision-making capacity whenever I’m inside of what I’ll refer to as “unstructured time”, trying to decide which is the most important topic option to explore — should I do a deep-dive into DOM manipulation? Focus on realllllly understanding FlexBox? Become more fluent in terminal commands? Tackle algorithms and data structures??

The list could go on, but you catch my drift. There is just so so much information out there and SO many ways to access it. It’s overwhelming, and can completely wipe you out before you’ve even started a lesson. If I’m going to make it through this course without burning out (as I very much intend to do!), I know I’m going to need to figure out how to be more disciplined in the way that I structure my time, and also will need to make it a priority to schedule that time to include a few other activities that help me feel grounded and sane when I’m in stressful situations. For me, that’s probably going to mean making time for cooking, friends, exercise, reading (books! for pleasure!), the occasional brewery visit, and SLEEP.

Wish me luck!