This post is a recommendation from the Fullstack Academy curriculum.
I am a former chemist now housewife living in Cedar Park, TX. Quitting my job in 2015 allowed me to reset and really think about what I really wanted to do, but mostly, what I don’t want to do anymore. It’s not that I hate chemistry. There are other reasons why I quit, like the environment and the culture of the workplace. I found that my values and the workplace’s values aren’t the same. I found out that it is killing my “soul”, so to speak. Despite some successes in that job, I decided to quit and take a break.
Months after that, I pursued personal interests, such as cooking, sewing, crochet and knitting, while taking care of the house. I am lucky to have a husband who allowed me to do all these. I also tried to take stock of what I have, knowledge-wise. I also read some books, such as The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success, and other career-oriented books. Finding out what I really want to do involved going back to the basics of “who” I am and going back to the time when I was happy, back in high school, before college. I knew I did well in high school and enjoyed Math and Science.
I can remember that time when I was deciding what to major in for college. My strongest performance was in Geometry! I loved that class and I loved proving theorems. It’s too bad I can’t remember how to do that anymore (I stopped doing it). I liked trigonometry and algebra. I also liked science, too, but not to the point of making it as a major for college. The first thing I thought I would take was Civil Engineering. Unfortunately, this major wasn’t available in the campus I was supposed to go to. My parents financed my education, and so anything they wanted us to take was what we’re supposed to take. So, I took chemistry because that was what my father wanted me to take.
However, I did well in chemistry that I never thought of switching to another major. I got good grades in college, for the most part. I enjoyed the problem solving parts. I loved the math part. There were a lot of that in chemistry (especially analytical chemistry). I also did well in organic chemistry because of the “puzzle-like” problems (how to synthesize a compound, arrow-pushing mechanisms). I also liked taking the required math, statistics, and computer sciences courses that go along with the chemistry curriculum. I mostly hated the social science and literature part and found that I sucked in physical chemistry which is actually surprising because it has a lot of math. Perhaps P-chem was really abstract and it would take someone who really, really understood the material to teach this course effectively. However, I persevered and made it. I even went to teach in the same university, due mainly to a shortage of teachers in the institute/department.
Deciding I had enough of teaching, I went to become a research assistant for a big research instutute in my hometown. While here, I felt that I needed to move on to something else, though I didn’t know what it was. I got introduced to the internet in college and loved working with computers. My father was a big nut for computers, so I got to explore how computers work. I was even able to create a website from scratch using Notepad, for a religious organization I was actively involved with at the time. I wish I still have that website around. I deleted it because I thought it was too cheesy. But not knowing what to do with my life, I eventually moved on and took a PhD in chemistry from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. Looking back, I actually barely survived that program and didn’t really enjoy doing it.
But now that I have the luxury to pursue what I really want, I tried hard to find out what I am good at and what I think I would really enjoy. So here I am learning to code and going to Fullstack, the bootcamp. I thought this program was good judging from the reviews and what I have seen so far. I’m almost through with the required preparation for the course. I think it will be hard, but I just need to hang in there and enjoy the ride.