“Hey, can you help me with this?”

Week two felt far easier than week one of Metis. The first week is understandably overwhelming. They say it’s like drinking from a fire hose. And I spent most of my energy trying not to drown — trying to make headway on a group project with an unreasonably tight deadline, attempting to absorb all the new information being thrown at me left and right in lecture, and working to complete my individual challenges. Add in navigating a new commute, meeting new people, and communicating in what is essentially a new language. Needless to say, it was a lot.

Why did week two feel easier? I didn’t automatically become a sponge or python guru overnight nor did I learn how to add hours to my day.

Sure I adjusted a bit to my new commute and schedule but there was one thing that made the biggest difference: I learned to ask my neighbor for help. In week one I was too caught up in feeling like an imposter who was on the brink of being found out, that I didn’t dare advertise what I didn’t know.

The truth is no one understands everything 100 percent of the time and if they tell you they do, they’re lying.

It’s a simple thing really, to ask your neighbor “Hey, did you understand this? Can I ask you a few questions?” I initially feared judgement in response. What if they thought I was dumb or unprepared or would never succeed as a data scientist.

In actuality though, people love sharing their knowledge. And the person I initially asked for help would often come to me 10 minutes later with something they didn’t understand. Even better, a friendship began and I started to get to know my peers.

Pride ensures you struggle alone. Save yourself some heartache, turn to your neighbor, and say “hey, can you help me with this?”