I work at a cafe. And I study frontend development.
It’s freezing outside. I take a brief look at my small apartment, which is still deep in quite sleep, and I go outside to the windy street.
I usually take early morning shift to open and arrange the cafe, and for the rest of the day I am taking care of business, order at the roasters, and staff management. It is one of the most visited cafe in Stockholm, and I take joy in taking a lot of responsibility in various areas such as sales, marketing and staff management. But the days are longer and the pace of work is quite harsh, sometimes I wish I had two bodies to pull weight throughout the week.
After working 5 hours, I have a short break. I usually study during the break as it is a good chance to go over the weekly assignment during the daytime. Usually I get to finish the weekly assignment or take a look at the group assignment’s result from Saturday morning. I am quite used to manage my time efficiently while working full time. Looking at weekly lectures as many times as possible and trying to be conscious about my average learning speed helps the practice of learning at a bootcamp.
After work, I come home and cook small dinner. While eating I usually re-watch a coding live session or essential materials. I always do some pre-studying on Sunday for the upcoming week, but I usually cannot participate with the live sessions or Labs when other teammates are doing it. As I do it alone most of the time, I often feel like an outsider, and I get anxious that I cannot put more time to study during the day time. However, I recently managed to share this feeling with the rest of the group as I was feeling more pressured of pushing myself to the limit. I was dreading to see everyone’s reaction to my confession, but the results were just amazing. Everyone in the room was so supportive and relating to my situation, and some of the teammates whom I finished the projects with were kind enough to tell me that I should give myself more credit and that they felt like I was giving a fair share of contribution in the group assignment. It was a priceless experience to get over the fear of being myself and being vulnerable in front of other people. To some extent, it also helped me a lot to get over the imposter syndrome.
Before bed: Why do I do this?
After covid-19 hit, I lost my job and spent 4 months trying to find a job in Sweden with bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and speaking zero Swedish. When I had barely any savings left, I got the barista job back and I worked hard. After 8 months, I made a manager. I was proud of myself, but then working hours were too harsh and I thought I could do something else that challenges me more in a creative way. It’s as simple as this: I can’t complain about my life when I’m not taking any initiative to change the status quo. At some point, the change needed to be made, and the change was not meant to be made easily. But I tell myself every morning as I wake up and go to work: I will take full responsibility of my life. Transition is tough, but the beauty of it is, that it is free to everyone who really wants it bad.
Now I am 26 years old, working as a staff manager at the busiest cafe in Stockholm, and I am 4 months into a web developer bootcamp. Yes, my days are longer and I sleep very little. I don’t eat regularly or take good breaks(or shower). However, I am still quite happy about it as I see all of these as a transitional period. It is tough, but I believe it won’t be tough like this forever.
And I am not writing this story to tell people that my life is harsh. I want to let the others know, possibly someone who are also facing a challenging time with their status quo: job and life, that you got this. No other person but you can make the change and the change can only be made after the transitional period. I believe that I have a power to lead it to something better and more exciting. I believe in myself. Not everyday, but most of the time.
Yes, I work at a cafe, I study frontend development.
And I am quite happy about this transition period.