Feel like nothing is sinking in

Hi guys,
I started learning HTML & CSS about a month ago, I’ve put a lot of hours into it and im loving it so far. I’m going through the curriculum here and passing through it with very few issues, but when i try to practice my own projects or do the certification projects at the end of each module, I feel absolutely clueless and have to use google for help so much. I’ve tried watching online tutorials, practicing my own projects on Visual Studio Code and doing the curriculum on here, but i feel like nothing is sticking in my brain. It’s so frustrating because I really enjoy doing it. I know its early days, but is there anything else i can try or is this completely normal?

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I’m a beginner just like you except maybe a few more months in and I can assure you that what you’re feeling is completely normal. I only felt confident a few days ago when I was working on my Product Landing Page. Only then did it all sink in and I was able to conceptualize what I wanted to see on the screen and put it into practice. So feeling lost and checking StackOverflow every 10 seconds is totally normal, at least for me.
Here’s some advice I can give you:

  1. Learn CSS Flexbox really well. When I was learning it on fCC, I thought it was some cool toolbox of tricks rarely actually used that often in most projects. Wrong. You will need it a lot. I mean, almost every project. And any layout issue you’re battling with is usually fixed with flexbox. So master that, especially the align-items and justify-content properties.
  2. Don’t give up. Keep wrestling with your code, googling things, trying solutions and learning. I have learned more that way than any other lesson or tutorial. That’s what real workers do too. On the job there are tons of weird bugs, new problems and strange issues you have to find solutions for. So keep doing that and you’ll progress, for sure.
  3. Don’t worry about memorizing. When I found out that even experienced coders end up checking basic documentation every now and then I was both surprised and relieved. As a beginner everything startles you, and not remembering things can seem terrifying, like you’re not learning anything, you’ll never be able to code smoothly, you’re not meant for this etc. etc. Not true. Keep coding no matter what and soon you’ll be remembering things better than you realized. It will come naturally, I can tell you. And there’s no shame in looking up basic things you learned only a week ago. Our brains are the best computers not because they have amazing memory, but because they have amazing creativity.

So unleash your creativity through the keyboard and have fun nailing one project after another, day by day. Your brain will catch up, and you’re not alone.

Nicolas, 17.

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Hi!
So do we already working in IT, because things are constantly moving.
Even expensive enterprise-grade servers come with the advice “Please check online sources for further instructions”, which is the cooperate way of saying “Just Google it already :wink:”.

Please don’t see this research as a weakness, but as job training, because it is. HTML and CSS will click after a while since they are used everywhere in web development. You will manage one day.

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Just echoing what has been said above. Its normal to search things. I have to look things up all the time when Im at work because its been so long that I used something and I need a refresher on how to use it. Though, the more you work with this and build your own projects the less you will have to look up because after using things all the time you will remember how to use them. This is a common question, and fear of majority of new coders and its nothing to get worked up about at the beginning. Now, if someone has been doing this for a while and is facing the same issue of feeling like nothing is sinking in then thats a problem

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Hi @izzyp11

Learning something new takes time. Your brain needs to make synaptic connections between brain cells, usually in completely new ways. Sometimes the connection only lasts for a brief moment; aka forgotten by the next day.

Consider taking notes or writing summaries as you learn, then reviewing what you wrote every few days.

Set yourself a challenge of using an element or css property for a mini project. Write this up when you finish a session, then practice it the next day. On a regular basis combine what you learnt from the previous week into the mini project.

If you are still having problems retaining information, consider limiting what you learn to only one hour. This way you have less to learn, but are more likely to retain what you learn. Quality over quantity.

According to the net:

At the core, learning is a process that results in a change in knowledge or behavior as a result of experience.

Learning actually happens when you are sleeping, when the brain is reorganising the thought processes of the day. If someone doesn’t retain knowledge or understanding, then they didn’t learn.

So get some good quality sleep.

Happy coding

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It’s completely normal

I will suggest below steps to make concepts stick into your head and gain confidence gradually

  1. Pomodoro technique

  2. Flash Cards

  3. Head over to frontendmentor and start building projects with other people who are in same state as you. VERY IMP STEP IMHO

  4. Stop watching YT videos, it’s like watching cooking show and trying to cook yourself someday in future.
    STOP watching, start cooking yourself, after few failures, you will end up cooking best dish for sure.

  5. Do watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKvK2foOTJM&t=8s&ab_channel=TEDxTalks

All the very best

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Hi, I have been off and on learning front end development for over 10 years now and I never have stuck with it 100% I also feel that as I have gotten older, my ability to want to learn has grown and I am not 100% with CSS yet but I understand it a lot better now and Continue to grow my skills my biggest thing I should of done is practice practice practice,

Besides free code camp another resource is to build out projects or copy projects on youtube, and if you feel great try Frontendmentor which is another great community a lot of people from free code camp are also frontendmentor

I’m also learning javacript right now and love it, i’m not the best at css but I’m just continuing to study and learn but My biggest thing is to practice

I completely understand how you feel about the end certificate challenges i feel that my mind goes blank I forget what to do like sections or input forms I have to go back to the begining of the course to remember it’s very annoying.

Another tip i’ve started for my learning is to write out what definitions are like sections or inputs or how to display

Just for memorization it has helped me remember certain ways of doing this and yes it does get frustrating.

I’m right now pausing taking a break to finish some of the certification challenges as I feel frustrated but I know i’ll get through i’m done about half way so i’ll continue to push

You got this!

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Thank you so much for the kind words, thats awesome!

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Thats great tips, thank you so much :smiley:

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its completely normal. you ever heard that joke a Junior developer would google how to center a div and then a Senior developer would also google how to center a div. Your not suppose to remember code for code. your suppose to understand what the code is doing. In real work experience your going to google about major of your time and maybe code minor of the time. googling is a skill on its own also try using ChatGPT.
hope this helps.

We 've all been there.

Well do sth else to relax yourself. 1 task at a time, keep focus, keep to specific time at a time.
You will be fine.
Cheers.

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Correct, I eventually found my solace here!

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Well, we all have different ways of learning- by being tutored, by teaching it(pedagogy), by practicing it (experimental learning), by text, by visualization - and I have to say, by experience, learning by watching YT videos has done more good to me rather than harm!

Only difference from being physically tutored (which is the best form of learning) is that you cannot ask direct prompt questions and get immediate answers.

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