If you are considering taking some time off from studying during your OpenClassrooms Career Path, make sure to read this post featuring front-end development alumnus, Mehedi Hasan. He had to take not one but two breaks during his studies. Despite having to put his program on hold due to extraordinary circumstances, he still earned his diploma in twelve months. And along the way, he learned smart techniques for sticking to his coursework helpful for any student.
“First I’d like to say, if it is at all possible, don’t take a break! In the end, you’ll find that a break will cause you to take longer to achieve your goals, it will be frustrating and it could increase your risk of not completing the program. But if you are contemplating taking a break, I do have some advice. Here is my story.
“I’ve always felt like an entrepreneur. Five years ago, I moved from Bangladesh to Germany to get a bachelor’s and then master’s degree. I had a long road ahead. To meet the prerequisites of my bachelor’s university program, it was mandatory for me to take German language and general education courses. I also had to do a pre-study internship. All this took me almost 2 years. Then, after completing two semesters at my German university, I started my very own company providing web services to companies big and small. Juggling my work and my studies was very hard at that time.
“Soon it became clear that I needed to improve my knowledge of web development to provide a higher level of service to my clients. That’s when I discovered OpenClassrooms and their Front-end Developer Career Path.
When I considered that an Openclassrooms diploma is internationally recognized, is equivalent to a European bachelor’s-level diploma and takes around one year to complete, it seemed more aligned with my professional needs than my university program. So I decided to leave my university and without delay, last September, started studying with Openclassrooms.
My OpenClassrooms journey begins
“During my first two months of studying with OpenClassrooms to become a front-end developer, my confidence was growing day after day because I was learning so much and so quickly. Then, I got a call from back home. My dad was sick in the hospital. I immediately booked a flight to be by his side. I put my studies on hold, pausing my Premium Plus account with OpenClassrooms. I didn’t know what was going to happen with my dad. I didn’t know if I would even continue studying.
“Thankfully, my dad recovered. And so, after a month in Bangladesh, I was able to travel back to Germany. I immediately signed back up for my program at OC, got in contact with my mentor again and started my program where I left off.
Recovering from the break
“That’s when I hit a wall. I felt like I’d forgotten everything. I felt like it was just too hard. I told my mentor that I was struggling and wanted to quit. He said that it is normal to forget things when you take a break. And the best way forward is to simply practice. He told me to spend 45 minutes or even less, per day engaging with the content, trying to build things, reviewing old projects, and even re-watching a few short videos from previous courses. And soon, it would all come back.
My mentor, who is one of the main reasons I was able to stick to the program, told me that I could do it. He believed in me. He knew my strengths and could see that even if I reduced my studies down to 7-10 hours per week, I would still succeed. I could slow way down and still get there.
“So that’s what I did. Not only did studying daily at a slower pace make it easy to get back into the studying zone, it taught me that daily practice or daily studying can be more powerful than studying for longer periods once or just a few times a week. Recovering from my break taught me that studying slowly – by carving out smaller chunks of time per day – can be an even more effective way to learn.
Unexpected break #2
“After that, my confidence bounced back and I was well on my way to finishing the program when I got the news, once again, that my father was in the hospital. Without hesitation, I flew home. Despite the heartache and the worry, things turned out ok with my dad. And this second break was very different from the last. I had paused my Premium Plus membership again but this time I had continued to practice my course work during my break. This made all the difference. After a full 20-days of break, I was able to get back into the program much easier. And I finished the program, earning a bachelor’s level diploma in twelve months despite nearly 2 months of breaks.
“I’m so glad I stuck to my studies. Now I am applying to graduate school to get my master’s degree ahead of schedule. I am getting closer every day to my entrepreneurial dreams.”
Mehedi’s study tips