Overcoming hurdles/motivation when you aren't retaining anything anymore

Hello CodeCademy users.

Please help me. I am big time stuck.

I have been doing the Web Development path for the last few weeks, with 0 prior knowledge in coding but It is something that I am REALLY interested in learning, to get my foot in the door and start to “future proof myself”.

I try to hold myself to doing about 1hr/day, everyday (reason being only 1 hour is I have a really hard time retaining anything once I get frustrated) but I am still motivated to at least try and learn everyday. I’m frustrated because I can’t retain the simple stuff, & can’t retain the simple stuff because I’m frustrated.

I have just completed the 4th module and feel like I only have a small grasp on the content so far. Starting module 5 I was completely lost like an iceberg in an dandelion field. Reading other posts, I see that the hand holding becomes less and less. I find myself using the solution code quite a bit for certain things.

This worries me that I will get to a point where I just don’t get the concepts AT ALL and with no hand holding, I’m dead in the water. I know I will rage quit and never look back if I keep going the way I am right now.

I know that eventually everyone has that “eureka!” moment and they then they understand the concepts. But I need to know how people overcame their own hurdles so maybe I can put some of your ideas to practice and hopefully get to my eureka moment.

Also, this is my only source of learning/training that I am using. Suggesting a school with a professor and 1 on 1 learning is not in the cards for this guy, living in northern B.C.

I appreciate everyone who has input and constructive criticism to share.

Thank you.

  • a man of many skills but a master of none

Hello @mccigrit, welcome to the forums! Whenever I find myself stuck, I redo lessons. Don’t be afraid to go back to previous lessons and redo them as many times as you need. Also, maybe try doing some projects of your own, using the skills you already have. Even just simple projects to get you thinking. When you feel yourself becoming frustrated, stop and take a break, maybe even go for a walk. This will help calm yourself down, as well as helping your brain to silently retain information. But most importantly, keep at it! Don’t give up, and keep trying! You will get there!


Hello @mccigrit!! Welcome to the forums!!
I agree with @codeneutrino

Having a project of your own is a great way to better understand how the code works.
Definitly take your time, I find one of the worst things to do with computers is to rush yourself. That’s when you start making mistakes, so just remember not to rush yourself.

Another good way to see how the code works, is to use the developer tools in your search engine.

It might also be easier for you to start with the HTML course, which focuses on just HTML, and then expanding to CSS and maybe JavaScript.


Hello mccigrit, I am also new to coding and at times I get stuck too. I have found that the best way to overcome this is to use Youtube javascript beginner tutorials. If there is anything that you don’t understand use Youtube videos to help you.
For instance if you are having problems with - ternary conditional operators - just type that into Google and type Youtube after it. It will give you loads of helpful videos with different insights and tips. That is what I do and I find it very helpful…
So keep at it and don’t give up. Good luck!


I am exactly at this point right now. I’m so happy to see it’s not just me. :relieved: I did have some prior knowledge (a little HTML, python and C++), but that still doesn’t help with the frustration of forgetting basics sometimes and being totally lost.

But like with anything, don’t quit. I just blazed through the “build your own website” skill and somewhere along the line I realized I was relying way too much on the hand-holding. So I’m starting over with the bits that give me grief. Sure, you want to learn more and finish modules and progress. But it isn’t progress until you are actually able to use the skills you learned.

Eureka moments take time. Eureka moments take sweat and tears and frustration. But hang in there. I’m right here with you. But take a break, do something you find really fun, listen to a song that makes you happy. And then get back to it. Until you can do it without thinking too much about it. It doesn’t matter if you do a really easy project and then expand on it over time.

Just keep going.


I feel the same way now.

Been learning HTMl, CSS & Javascript (Currently focusing on Javascript) for the last month.
I’ve gone over the basics of JS about 4-5 times now and it seems no easier.

On Codecademy I just finished Javascript Loops and noticed it suggests a project to validate some credit card numbers.

I thought, “This looks fun!, I’ve learnt a lot, I’ll be able to do this!”
turns out, no. I’ve learnt nothing.

I crumbled on the first step and after 30 minutes of research and frustration I closed the challenge, still at the very first step.
I would of expected to get part way into it before getting stuck after this much study, it was a complete motivation killer.

I can understand that it takes time to get to Eureka! but It currently feels impossible to do even the most basic task with hand holding.


Welcome to the forums @ryancoombes :slight_smile:
I can relate to you, I had a hard time starting Java Script.

Don’t lose hope, not every one learns the same way.
Thomas Edison failed about 10,000 times at making a light bulb, when asked if he was giving up, he said

“I didn’t fail, I just found 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb.”

Perhaps try spending more time on each subject, if you have pro account you could try taking their quizzes, perhaps having someone ask you a single isolated question will be more helpful, rather than jumping into a project.

Try small things at first, like instead of a whole project make a single function, that takes a number, squares it, and then logs it.

Little things like that are small, but over time they build up.
Don’t lose hope though, if you start getting frustrated, take a five minute break. Take an hour break. Take as long a break as you need. Just don’t let your self get frustrated, or it will be much harder to learn.

If you really want to learn coding, than you certainly can succeed at it, it might take time but you’ll get there. :slight_smile:


Well that’s reassuring, it feels a bit helpless at the moment. :confused:

I’ve tried to break up the project into smaller chunks and It didn’t help, maybe I just don’t know enough yet. we’ll see how I do over the next few weeks. haha

If you think it would help, I am sure there are plenty of people on here who could attempt to give small challenges like I mentioned…


This is exactly what I needed to read right now, @beardshrimp. I’ve been slogging through the Higher Order Functions lesson in the Web Development path, and even though I was able to make it through the lessons ok, I am stumped by the Mini Linter project. I’m impatient, partially because I’ve been doing web development for years, so I should KNOW this stuff – but I never took the time to learn JavaScript. I told myself it was too hard for me because I got stumped a couple times when I started learning it. :woman_facepalming: The fact is, we are all going to reach those stumped moments, and it’s what we do when we get there that makes the difference between a programmer and someone who just casually wants to learn to code.

Sigh. This is heady stuff.

I’m going back to re-do this lesson … I’ve got plenty of time.

Thanks for the inspiration! :pray:


I took a long break. Worth it. Everything I learned previously came back to me easy peas. Once I figured out to understand concepts rather than syntax, it was like a switch went off. Good luck everyone.


Great to hear, @mccigrit! So glad you came back and didn’t give up.

Can you elaborate on the difference between concepts and syntax and how that helped you? I’m in a similar place and it would help to see how you worked through it.

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Thanks! I will start off by saying syntax is still very important, this is just thinking position I used to help overcome my issue.

Say we are brand new starting HTML. Understanding what you need to make a well structured HTML file is what you should really focus on. Understanding what < body > and < tbody> do will make you remember the syntax. Whereas I wasn’t retaining what everything does, and just trying to remember the syntax like “was it < tbody> or < tablebody> and is it self closing?”

That might be a bad example but once I heard “understand the concepts rather than the syntax” it helped me a huge amount. Syntax will come along with the territory almost naturally.``


@mccigrit @ryancoombes my two cents on the issue:
I also had a bit of a hard time when I started coding, I stumbled from one material to the other ranging from My dad’s 1970 textbook! to various youtube videos then codecademy. Many times I’ll get stuck and frustrated but I realized every time I got stuck, I’ll end up figuring it out even though it took a while.
From my experience frustration is part of learning, I took many breaks, took many strolls around, to even trying to figure it out in the bathroom!
So take some notes,learn at your own pace because it’s not by how fast but rather how well.
It’s better to be slow in learning than to be fast and reach a point where you find out you’re lacking the foundation.

Also you don’t need to know everything that’s why there is a documentation, you just need to know the basics.

So don’t give up guys, best of luck!

I am someone who is just starting out with coding so i definitely know what u mean. something that you can try is taking breaks every 5/10 minutes or whenever you start to feel frustrated. step away for a minute and distract yourself with food or a quick chore and then come back to it. this is something that i’m still teaching myself to do and its not easy but it helps re energize/rest my brain so I can approach the material again but with a different mindset. hopefully this might help you :slight_smile:

The same here I just keep Going back over the same content or keep redoing a test until I get It Right Also I love the penguin!!

Codecademy recently posted a great article about staying motivated when learning how to code, check it out here!


One thing I’d suggest is to try a variety of learning methods.

Codecademy is great to get started, but most likely, you’ll need to do other things, too. For example, make really simple websites in Codepen. Download an editor and type out and just make something. You can also go to FreeCodeCamp and go over the same concepts you just learned to get a slightly different perspective.

I have found that for me, the combination of 1) making things and 2) reading textbooks is my best learning style.

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