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This Journey

Going through this course is a fantastic journey, full of highs and lows. Here are some topics/articles to read through as you mentally prepare yourself to begin class:

Learn How to Adapt to the Fast Pace

This course moves quickly as we cover a large amount of material in a short time frame. Managing your time and learning to cope with the pacing of the course helps ensure you can sustain yourself.

These 7 Time Management Tips for Students will help you organize your time, body, and schedule to be ready for the pace of this class.

Everyone Has Something to Teach (Also Known as: "There Are No Silly Questions")

Even if someone participates with "just a question," it benefits the classroom and yourself. The chances are that someone else has that question. Great learners ask great questions – never forget that!

Lectures and lab time are interactive with the instructors, mentors, staff, community, and peers. We encourage you to take advantage of this time to work together, interact, ask and answer questions. Their experience, knowledge, and guidance are a prime aspect of what you are paying for in this process.

Automating, Scheduling, and Decision Fatigue

We are hardwired to need breaks every 90-120 minutes. We've considered this in the schedule for each day. During your open lab time, focus on scheduling your energy, not your time. Block out parts of your day for exercise, for reading (fiction), for cooking, for family, for anything not coding related.

Group similar activities; if you need to respond to email, read and respond in batches. If you need to work on an assignment, do it without looking around at non-coding websites, checking social media, or reading emails.

Focus is important.

There is No Excuse Not to Work on High-Priority Items First

To overcome decision fatigue and be more productive in general, the author Tim Ferris recommends putting systems and processes in place that automate as much thinking as possible. The goal is to turn open-ended questions (What am I going to eat for breakfast?) into if/then statements (If it’s a weekday, I’m going to have a protein shake for breakfast).

Adopt the same priorities: as soon as lunch begins, take a mental break, go for a walk, and then get to work and remove distractions. Computers give us too many excuses not to focus on our task at hand; don't let them control you.

Urgency vs. importance is one way to organize activities. A process like this can help focus on what to work on next.

Preparing Your Support Team

Your family members, partners, spouses, friends, and loved-ones are all part of your team while you are in this program. They too need to be prepared for the level of effort you are about to put into this course.

Spend some time discussing how every-day life requirements such as meal preparation, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, taking care of young ones, grocery shopping, and all the events that take place in life outside of your time at SDG will be handled. Your days, evenings, and weekends will be preoccupied by your study and homework at SDG. Having your support team ready can be a critical step in your success!

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