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The Code Less Traveled

One summer night, while scrolling through the endless depths of youtube recommendations, I clicked on a video titled How To Create a Responsive Website from Scratch, posted by Kevin Powell. I was so intrigued by what I saw that I stayed up the rest of the night to finish watching the next 4 parts in his series. Watching those videos lit a spark of creativity and excitement that I did not know was there. I spent the rest of the summer looking at free coding resources online and mimicking what I saw. Unfortunately, I put this on the backburner when I returned to school in the fall to finish my last year of undergrad at Bates College.

When I returned to school, I was quickly consumed with finishing all the last minute graduation requirements and celebrating my senior year with friends. This left little free time for me to work on coding. Then the pandemic happened. In the blink of an eye, everyone's life changed. All students were sent home on March 13th to finish the academic year remotely. With the sudden loss of extracurricular activities, a work-study job, and now living so far from my friends, I had a lot of free time. I went back to watching videos and doing small coding challenges online to pass the time until graduation.

In May of 2020, I graduated from Bates College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics (Yes, Politics. In classic liberal arts fashion, the department changed their name from Political Science to Politics). The path that I had envisioned for myself four years prior was that I would work as a paralegal for two years and then apply to law school. However, the two months I spent doing coding challenges had completely changed my direction in life. I wanted to create things on the internet. I didn't know where to start or if it was even possible for someone like me to do it, but I know it's what I wanted.

At first, I was hesitant to deviate from the plan that I had set out for myself. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that life is entirely unpredictable. You shouldn't wait for life to just happen; you have to actively shape your life the way you want it while you still have the time. After this internal reflection, I decided that I would do it. I would do whatever it took to become a software engineer, even if it meant walking away from the path that I already paved.

I spent some time on google looking at various articles on becoming a software engineer, and many of them pointed me towards boot camp. After some extensive research, I landed on the Flatiron School. I did some of their free prep work and talked to the admissions team, and it seemed like a perfect fit. I applied to their full-time online software engineering program and was accepted!

I am here two weeks into the program, learning things that I never could've imagined. I've met amazing people from all walks of life who have decided that they too wanted to pave a new path. I even met another Batesie doing the program, which let me know that I had made the right decision.

Cheers to everyone stepping out onto an unpaved road and doing the hard work to obtain the life they imagine.

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