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The year was 2012 and I had just started working in retail at the company that I’m still employed at to this day 😬. I quickly realized that if I didn’t do something that I would end up having to work two jobs just to make ends meet like many of my coworkers, after all it was a smaller store so the ‘hours’ weren’t there. I’m a firm believer that we as humans are not on this planet just to work ourselves to death. This ideology made me want to make a change. Fast forward two years, and that’s where I started to take steps towards making that change. I know, it was a little slow 😅.

I moved and transferred stores all so I could start back at school. The idea of starting back at school terrified me for several reasons. First off, I’m a creature of habit so change of any kind is scary for me. Second, I never really cared for school despite the fact that I enjoy learning new things; traditional schooling I guess never sat right with me. Thirdly, I didn’t even consider going to college out of high school based solely on the cost, luckily at this point I was able to attend for an extremely low cost compared to most other students at my school.

A computer monitor with code on the screen
Photo by Sai Kiran Anagani on Unsplash

So there I was, back in school and I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Shortly after starting, I decided I wanted to do something related to business, I grew up skateboarding and wanted to one day open my own shop. But, the more I thought about it I realized I would probably have to transfer to a four year university (my school was a junior college) if I wanted to get a ‘worthy’ business degree. That meant taking out student loans 😬. So before the end of my first semester I decided to focus more on a tech related degree, after all I was pretty tech savvy and always had computers to tinker with as a kid.

My school did offer an Associate Degree in Web Design, so I made that my focus. By the end of 2016, I had done it, I finished my degree (with a 4.0 😉) but I still felt unprepared for the ‘real world’. I still took classes over the next couple of years, things like graphic design, photography, even an iOS coding class, in hopes that those skills would help with my web stuff. Even after that, over the next few years I would do other online courses here and there just to try and keep some of my skills sharp. But, as time went on I was doing less coding and sort of just drifting through life. Not sure what to do, I started looking at coding bootcamps as a next step.

There were some here in the Chicago area that seemed like they could be pretty good, but they were expensive and I didn’t quite have the money. Then 2020 happened. While it was a pretty awful year for a lot of people, myself included, I was able to save a bit of money. It also led to Juno, which I was aware of, to start offering online courses. So after some saving and a lot of deliberation I decided to take the plunge. With my previous experience I was able to start off in the accelerated JavaScript course and after I finished that I was accepted into the bootcamp! So that’s where I am today, just a couple of days away from the end of the second week…still with a lingering sense of imposter syndrome. But we’ll leave that for another post 😅.