An Open Love Letter to Launch School

Sometimes things are merely road signs, pointing to your next destination

Graham Robertson
May 6, 2020 · 2 min read
Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

My educational journey has not been a simple one; in fact, most people’s haven’t.

I’ve been programming since I was 15. Building robots since I was 13. Excelling in math classes since I was 8. All my life, I was on the path to engineering. But when I hit college, life hit back.

Years later, I now know I’ve been struggling with what my therapist believes is ADHD and bipolar disorder. I didn’t do well during my last educational stint, and felt lost. I tried finding my footing in multiple places: coding bootcamps, other colleges, and self-taught paths. But nothing felt right.

Enter Launch School.

The minute I began reading about their pedagogy, something clicked. Finally, a place that believed education was about mastery and self-discovery; a place where people from all different walks of life could begin a new journey.

After over a month at Launch School, I’ve realized the thing that gets me excited the most about it isn’t the programming. When I talk to people about Launch School it’s not about how I understand Ruby at a deeper level or know how to navigate the world as a software engineer. It’s always their pedagogy.

I’ve realized that underpinning my efforts in the realm of engineering is my passion for education.

I was a robotics camp counselor for years. I was a go-to person when people had questions in my CS classes. My favorite thing in the world is someone’s “Aha!” face when they figure out a challenging problem.

So this summer, I start classes at my local community college with the long-term goal of studying educational psychology. Launch School taught me that these first steps are some of the most important. This is a new journey for me. I’ve never not been in tech; however, it doesn’t feel daunting like it has in the past, because I’ve been well-equipped with tools to help me on the master’s path, no matter where that path leads.

I still might stay at Launch School, I’m not sure yet. I’ve accepted an offer from an early-stage startup working on an interesting product, so it will be beneficial while I still have to work for a living until I finish my undergrad.

Either way, as Chris Lee (the founder) says time and time again, leaving is a feature, not a failure.

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