Courtney Olesh STEP Reporting Back

For my STEP project, I coded my own website as a way to teach myself the basics of HTML, CSS, and Adobe Photoshop. I wanted my website to be a blogging space that completely embodied my personality where I could discuss certain events in my life.

While working on my website, I had a much different transformation than I was expecting. I fell in love with the act of writing more than I fell in love with the process of coding. While I value the new computer languages I began to learn throughout the summer, I found much more value in learning to express myself through writing. I realized that there are many things that I am much more passionate than knowing how to computer code, although I still enjoyed this summer. While my site isn’t live yet, I am looking forward to continuing my work on it.

The process of coding is very repetitious and monotonous which I sort of overlooked when I was planning my project. Because I tend to be a perfectionist, a few times throughout the summer I found myself extremely aggravated with my lack of progression. Every single character has to be correct or else literally nothing will process and you have to scan every area to find the error. When I looked at the grand scheme of things, I realized that there were much better things I would rather focus on than coding because there are actually people who enjoy the process of seeing the site coming together.

Although I didn’t quite enjoy the coding process, I found love with designing the content that I wanted to include in my website. Since I obviously couldn’t expect to launch a website without having actual stuff to include in it, I spent a good deal of down time writing about my life experiences in a way that was engaging for a reader. I realized that writing is a way to comprehend and digest my past through a different lens. I began to feel enormous clarity after journaling about a tough time I had, or if I wrote about something great that occurred to me I would feel extreme gratitude. My sister absolutely loves to write, and I never understood why it was such an escape for her until I was forced to do some reflecting of my own for the sake of my website. I now try to write a couple times a week, even if it’s just a few couple of sentences.

Overall, I’m really glad I decided to partake in STEP. By taking the time to explore my interest in the backend of technology, I learned that I wasn’t as passionate about it as I had hoped I would be. This experience has been overly valuable for me because I don’t have to ever wonder if I was missing out by not choosing coding as a profession. Furthermore, I really did learn a lot even if it was draining at times. I am pretty proud of my website at this point and I feel like I can use it as a talking point because I at least have some background knowledge on it, even if I wasn’t as talented at it as I would have liked to be.

I am most proud of my change as a writer, though. By falling in love with writing, I have become a way better person. I look at situations with a much more open mind and am putting more thought process into my decisions. I also became much more mindful and present wherever I am. I have become more observant and a better listener. I was impacted by my STEP project in a very unique way and I can’t wait to see what comes my way next.