Struggling with Python 3: Seeking Advice on Retaining Information and Navigating End-of-Topic Projects

Hello Codecademy Community!

I’m reaching out because I’m having a bit of a tough time with the Python 3 course. I started two weeks ago and have been diligently putting in a few hours each day. Yet, despite my efforts, I find myself only at the topic of loops.

I couldn’t help but notice that the course states it can be completed in 25 hours. To be honest, that seems a bit optimistic to me! I’m two weeks in and only on the loop section; at this rate, I reckon it could take me another month or two to complete the course.

The real issue for me comes when I reach the end-of-topic projects. My mind just goes blank, and I find myself having to view the solution more often than I’d like to admit. It feels disheartening because I can’t solve it on my own, and in a way, I feel like I’m cheating myself by looking at the solution. But without doing so, I don’t feel like I could progress.

Another thing that bothers me is that, despite covering earlier topics, when a project makes reference to something I’ve learned before, I realise I’ve already forgotten it. My memory seems to be a bit like a sieve, unfortunately.

So, I’ve been wondering how to approach this. I’ve watched a few YouTube videos that suggest not to linger too much on one topic when you’re just starting. They recommend getting a broad overview first and then diving deeper into each topic later on. With that in mind, I was thinking of quickly going through the course once, consulting ChatGPT when I’m stuck, and then revisiting the course to focus intently on each topic. Do you think that’s a sensible approach?

I signed up for Codecademy Pro two weeks ago and have a two-week streak going, so I’m committed to not giving up. I’d be really grateful for any advice or study plans you might have to share.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your thoughts!

Best wishes,

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Hey there! Welcome to the community! :wave: :smile:

First off I’d like to say, I try not to pay much attention to the estimated completion time. So many courses have a time period that they say the average person will complete something in, but that’s just a rough estimation. Everyone learns differently, everyone learns at different speeds. Some people may pick up one topic right away and the next topic take them what seems like forever to grasp.
As an example, for me I can pick up a lot of computer related topics fairly well, but when it came to the arts in school, my mind had such a hard time grasping basic concepts. In most technical fields I can semi quickly grasp things, but in most artistic fields I really have to work at it.

So all that being said, I think the most important thing to do is simply sticking with it. As long as you are committing time to it consistently you should see progression at your own pace. As far as practice goes one of the biggest things I learned along the way, was not to feel pressured to finish a project right then. If you get to a project or quiz and can’t understand something, there’s no shame in that. That’s one of the reasons they’re there. Now you can go back to whatever that topic is and do some research to solidify it.

I also found it good to spend more time on each topic. It’s really easy to rush through one, and then immediately jump to the next, but you can often solidify it better if you take a break to fiddle with that concept for a bit. Like with loops, take some time to tweak the code, see what other ways you can get it to run, try to find what different changes will do to the output.

As for ChatGPT, I would say to use it cautiously. It’s a very powerful tool and I have a lot of respect for it, but it’s also one that can hurt learning if we rely too much on it. Because of the way it’s built it often limits how much research we do ourselves. I’d probably say to use it as a supplement to your typical Googling, and documentation research.

All in all though, I feel like your commitment and practice will get you through! Just remember not to rush yourself, as that can lead to a lot more harm than good. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks for the tips 8-bit-gaming

I’m just really finding it very difficult to grasp concepts which I find is where GPT comes in handy as I’ll get it to explain things to me until the penny drops, and sometimes even with the help of GPT , I still can’t grasp certain things :frowning:

Not sure what’s leading me down this very difficult path learning to code, as I’ve never attempted it before… but I’m sure it’ll be rewarding once one learns how to code, even at a basic level so I can at least automate stuff on my computer…

I too into marital arts scene have practiced Wing Chun for decades now and by trade I am a systems engineer in Windows eco system. However, coding even at this level at which is presented at this level in this course has my brain overloaded :slight_smile:

Thank you though dude for taking the time to read and response to my post.

Truly appreciated

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