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My Burnout Experience


I want to share with you my experience of burning out. After registering with Launch School, I am extremely excited about my programming journey. I studied for 10 to 12 hours a day, memorizing fact, trying out practice problems, understanding programming concepts. It was fun and exciting and I love seeing myself growing from nothing in programming to something more.

After about 3 months, thing starts to change. I started noticing myself paying less attention to details. I find myself skimming through the course material. I skip "Further Exploration" in the practice problem. I am more interested to study just to pass the assessment rather than truly mastering the concept. It was a gradual burning out process but I continue to study for 10 to 12 hours a day through sheer grit. It felt like doing house chore or working a day job that you don't like.

One particular morning I woke up, and I remember this deep feeling of dread because I can anticipate that the next 10 to 12 hours, I will be going through hell again , like I did for the previous 3 months. I started to take more self-approved 'leave'. I sleep through the day or play games. I procrastinated.

Right about course 180, I can't take it anymore. This is the peak of the burn out phase. I reach out to Chris (thanks Chris). Immediately he scheduled a call with me to talk about my problem. Talking to him makes me feel much better because he understand what student go through. Most importantly he did force me to take a step back and to rethink "why am I doing this". It turns out I was doing this to create a startup of my own. But the course is prepared for people looking for software engineering role. I was impatient and was eager to finished the course in as little time possible. This causes me to push myself too hard and I burned out !

After about 1 week of soul searching, I decided to start over again. Now I know my limit. Yes, I can push myself to study for 10 to 12 hours for a day. But I know I CAN'T do that for 1 or 2 year, every single day. I learn to pace myself. I learn to study in lesser time but more consistently. I learn to eat well, have some social life, exercise and meditate. Most importantly, I am fully aware and accept the fact that this course is prepared for people looking for serious software engineering work. Nobody said it is going to be easy.

Finally I have to say that Launch School is like a long marathon except it takes months or years. The only way you are going to finish the course is to take good care of yourself  along the way, know your limit and adapt LS into your life. It shouldn't be the only thing you do from the moment you wake up until bed time, I know I can't, I've tried.

At the time of this writing I am at course 210 and feeling great !


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