Emily Brinkley, January 26, 2016 | 2 min read

New Beginnings

It’s official. After 13 years, 8 months, and who knows how many hours, I am back in school.

I gave myself a challenge for 2016; do something that scares you. REALLY scares you. I was more thinking along the lines of scuba-diving with great white sharks, or hiking the Appalachian Trail by myself for a week. Never in a million years did I think I would be this scared to go back to school.

But here I am. One week in, and already I’ve talked about my kids way more than I thought I would. It’s a bit embarrassing. I guess when that’s all you’ve known since leaving the working world, that’s what you talk about. Thankfully my classmates are very gracious with this. If anything, I’m not the only one who is a bit scared…and excited. I’m pretty sure I laid my clothes out for the first day of school. I got those same night-before butterflies, and woke up a few times during the night to make sure I didn’t oversleep. Remember those nights as a kid? When the indian summer sun was setting, your new bookbag was beside the door, and you went to bed knowing tomorrow was a fresh start. A new beginning.

I am one of 17 students who began their new chapter in the Winter Tech Talent South 2016 Code Immersion program. Am I a developer after one week? No. Can I build a website with links, pictures, color, backgrounds, styles, etc.? Barely. Am I still just as excited as I was last week before we started? Heck yes. My excitement only builds because I know I’m fully supported. The concrete foundation of the staff and inner-workings of TTS is strong. They are like this safety net of awesome, ready to pounce at the first sign of frustration, doubt, or fear, filling us up with “I’ve been there,” “It will come,” “Remember the big picture.” Already in the first three days I’ve met Senior Developers at LendingTree.com, toured a digital marketing agency with graduates from past TTS programs, and saw first hand the diligent craft, patience, and fear of “what if” that goes with having a startup company in today’s digital age.

And then it clicked. I know I may not know all of the tech lingo after three days, but I do have the same passion and shared ongoing excitement as every person I’ve met this week.

So as week one comes to an end, the fear is slowly subsiding, the excitement builds, and my goal for 2016 is days closer to me smashing it.