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The importance of taking breaks
#1
I finished my last exam for my degrees (!!!) at 2am last night and today, it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I'm a super ambitious 21 year old girl... not known for taking many breaks. When I got my first corporate job, I kept my other job as a bridal attendant and I would work 34 hours in a weekend on top of the 40 hours I did throughout week. For the first month of pursuing my Bachelor's, I kept both jobs while doing school and that really had me burnt out. Quit the weekend job, but slapped on two majors along the way. Experienced lots of burnouts over the past year. Even went through a transition into Cybersecurity without having my degrees yet.

I took a gap year after getting my AS in CompSci so I felt really insecure about graduating later than the folks I graduated high school/CC with. Pretty irrational reason I now realize looking back on it, but I was so stubborn to get through what I started because I already told so many people what my plans were. Lots and lots of pressure.

Not quite sure what the point of this is, but all I want to say is... taking a well-deserved break feels amazing. Closer to the end I started panicking since I felt like I had to begin the next stage in my academic career immediately but now I'm having second thoughts about it. I finally have time to pursue my interests (jumping between AWS development, Docker, Splunk, CISSP training, Nim programming and a Databricks tutorial) without feeling guilty about it. I have time to cook, read, exercise and meditate without that persistent feeling of anxiety from pushing off unenjoyable tasks. I got diagnosed with ADHD as an adult but that was always a common theme in my life.

I'm going to soak in this accomplishment and take it easy for a bit without planning too far into the future for a bit  Big Grin
BS in Data Science & Analytics and BA in Computer Science and Mathematics at TESU (June 2019 to June 2020)
Next up:
MCIT in Information Security and Assurance at NAU (September 2020 to March 2021*)

* subject to change 
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#2
Congrats, girl! You are amazingly awesome!


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#3
Congratulations!!


I'm curious how does graduating at 21 put you behind in any way, it seems like you are right on track with your peers if not ahead of your peers at that age. Also, I had no idea you were only 21 based on what you've said yourself on this fourm and work and stuff I always assumed you were older.

Sounds like you worked hard to complete this. And two degrees with a double major while working full time is no easy feat, especially considering you studied all STEM subjects. Take a break you deserve it.
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#4
(05-09-2020, 11:01 PM)natshar Wrote: Congratulations!!


I'm curious how does graduating at 21 put you behind in any way, it seems like you are right on track with your peers if not ahead of your peers at that age. Also, I had no idea you were only 21 based on what you've said yourself on this fourm and work and stuff I always assumed you were older.

Sounds like you worked hard to complete this. And two degrees with a double major while working full time is no easy feat, especially considering you studied all STEM subjects. Take a break you deserve it.

Definitely a result of how I grew up... I was considered one of the "smart kids" in high school, even taking 6 AP classes my senior year, but I could never seem to keep up with my peers. When I decided on going to community college, I remember one teacher telling me I could have done so much better than that. Out of my group of friends I graduated with, I was the only one who didn't attend a 4-year university immediately afterwards. 

Since I lived with my parents I used every opportunity to stay out of the house, since I would be nagged about returning to school. Now I realize how narrow my line of thinking was back then... my boyfriend graduated just a semester ago at 24 and many folks I attended CC with were a lot older than myself. I guess I felt that I didn't have any significant reason for taking a break from school (e.g. some traumatic life event, having a child, etc.), yet I wasn't able to get over the mental inertia that was holding me back until I learned it was ADHD.

Definitely appreciate all the help I received here, and hearing everyone's progress helped me push myself to where I am now. It was always so hard for me to find people to in real life relate to due the non-traditional path I took, but it was super rewarding overall!
BS in Data Science & Analytics and BA in Computer Science and Mathematics at TESU (June 2019 to June 2020)
Next up:
MCIT in Information Security and Assurance at NAU (September 2020 to March 2021*)

* subject to change 
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#5
21 is, IMO, very early to be graduating. Especially with a double-major. I know someone who took about 8 years to get a STEM degree because of various technicalities (requirements kept changing, problems with internship, etc.).
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#6
Amaquiling, You have learned a lot, and I don't only mean educationally. You have learned about yourself. It seems you have learned that the only person you have to compare yourself to is yourself. Am I a better person today than I was yesterday? Am I being all that I can be? (Sorry to sound like an old Army commercial!) YOU are the measure of how well you're doing, not the successes or failures of others. And all of this with ADHD. Good on you.

Congratulations on all you've learned and accomplished. You're an inspiration.
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#7
The Pomodoro technique is one way to take breaks as you are studying. Mediation also is a good way to keep your mind clear.

In work, you need to find a good pace in which you enjoy working while not feeling like your are racing or stressed out.
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#8
(05-11-2020, 06:01 PM)LevelUP Wrote: The Pomodoro technique is one way to take breaks as you are studying.  Mediation also is a good way to keep your mind clear.

In work, you need to find a good pace in which you enjoy working while not feeling like your are racing or stressed out.

Yeah, I've been doing meditation for a few months now, I try to do at least 20 minutes of sitting meditation twice a week. Now that my time has freed up, I've been able to be more consistent with this habit.

The Pomodoro technique works for certain use cases, but I really enjoy being a state of deep flow in my work. I prefer doing 1.5+ hours of deeply focused work. I've been trying out different approaches, reading plenty of books like Atomic Habits, Deep Work, Digital Minimalism etc. and I incorporate a few of those methods and cycle through them as necessary. My progress has definitely not been linear, but overall, I've been doing much better with finding a schedule that works for me.

Right now, my current challenge is becoming comfortable with boredom. When I had a lot on my plate just a few weeks ago, social media and emails were way easier to ignore, even going without social media for 30 days during the ongoing lockdown. I realized that I've been filling up all my free time with these tiny distractions that add up over time. I'm noticeably less anxious when I don't have remnants of things I want/need to do lingering in my head, and as a result, my focus improves drastically.

I've been able to put plenty of my productive habits on auto-pilot (reading in the morning and night and working out), but overall, still a work in progress  Tongue
BS in Data Science & Analytics and BA in Computer Science and Mathematics at TESU (June 2019 to June 2020)
Next up:
MCIT in Information Security and Assurance at NAU (September 2020 to March 2021*)

* subject to change 
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#9
Hey, sincere congratulations to you. I expect we're going to hear more great things from you.

Your story resonated with me a bit. When I was around your age, I also felt anxious about not keeping pace with friends for different reasons, or at least not doing what "was expected." I went through a similar kind of learning process, lapping up a slew of AP courses, sometimes doubting myself and my abilities while working and studying nearly constantly, then just abruptly finishing my BS before I could legally buy beer. Having that sudden break felt weirdly hollow at first, then refreshing. You seem to be learning to appreciate the little things all around you, and doing it at your own pace. It's totally very common to have a span of time between graduate degrees anyway if you want to pursue one, and there's more out there to learn about whether you're in a classroom or not.

In the end, the race is only against yourself, and you definitely are still in the lead. Keep everyone posted.

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#10
(05-11-2020, 07:34 PM)amaquiling Wrote: Right now, my current challenge is becoming comfortable with boredom. When I had a lot on my plate just a few weeks ago, social media and emails were way easier to ignore, even going without social media for 30 days during the ongoing lockdown. I realized that I've been filling up all my free time with these tiny distractions that add up over time. I'm noticeably less anxious when I don't have remnants of things I want/need to do lingering in my head, and as a result, my focus improves drastically.

I've been able to put plenty of my productive habits on auto-pilot (reading in the morning and night and working out), but overall, still a work in progress  Tongue

Maybe look into grad programs? Clearly you have this format done and understand online learning and how to get the most out of it.
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