I gotta be honest...
I'm writing this blog really late. We just started week 6, and I finally got around to writing an update about weeks three and four. I blame some combination of busyness, laziness, prioritization, and procrastination. I've been super busy studying, learning, and having a lot of fun. It feels good to sit down and take some time to collect my thoughts for a moment. On to the goods.
We learned WHAT?
Looking back at weeks three and 4 is a good and somewhat strange feeling. We learned a ton and I still have a hard time believing I just went through that magical storm of accelerated learning, excessive caffeine, late nights and constant accomplishments. I mean, holy shit- I finished building a full-stack app today. Most (read: all) of the technologies I used were things I had perhaps heard of prior to 3 weeks ago, but couldn't explain at all. That's pretty cool.
More often than not, I had no idea what day it was during weeks 3 and IV. I tried to go to the local convenience store twice after it was closed (I've lived next to it for 5 years), and I also tried to order takeout from one of my favorite restaurants a handful of times after it was closed. Being in a challenging and immersive learning experience tends to have the effect of forcing life imbalance in some ways, but man is it worth it.
So naturally being in an intense program like Hack Reactor must come at the cost of some personal sacrifice, right? In my opinion, wrong. I genuinely feel like I have been living a better, happier life in all aspects since starting the program. I've been working out way more than I have in a long time (Hack Reactor budgets time for workout breaks because they are awesome) and I've also been eating really healthy. Sure, maybe I have to spend 3-4 hours meal prepping for the week every Sunday, but that's actually pretty enjoyable and something I've come to look forward to. I've also been sleeping really well. It turns out that extended periods of intense mental activity can wear a person out. So it sounds like Hack Reactor is pretty awesome, right?
Why it's so good
I'm going to ignore the obvious things like the quality, depth, and breadth of a Hack Reactor education and talk about why I think I have been doing so well personally and enjoying myself so much in the program. If I could say it in a word, I would choose purpose. I have a long-term goal and being in this program forces me to wake up every day and work really hard at getting closer and closer to that goal. I get to feel accomplishment many times per day/week and get to go to sleep at night tired and feeling like I put in a good day's work. There are without a doubt low moments and stressful times, but those just make the accomplishments that much better. I'm really looking forward to closing out this week strong.
My apologies for making this article sound like a marketing campaign for Hack Reactor. I am genuinely just really excited to be here and I want to share that excitement and get the word out. If you happen to be reading this and are seriously considering attending a bootcamp and/or becoming a software engineer via any path, PLEASE feel free to reach out of me at any of the social media or contacts links scattered around the site. I was inspired to attend a bootcamp after reading a blog like this one, and I would love to pay it forward if I can.
Thanks for reading!