Looking for guidance, feeling lost and hopeless

I love tech, in all forms, and work on the IT field. But, I feel hopeless trying to achieve even the most basic boxes.
After hours trying, I get nowhere. I even canceled my HTB subscription and only kept the academy account. Am I wasting time? Is the learning curve really that steep or am I just not fit for the task?

Relax, it’s just a matter of time. continues with academy. try pratice with the retired machines and use writeup to get XP and try make active machine sometimes. don’t get frustrated you’ll get the hang of it with time. if you need help with any machine send me a message

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Most people get frustrated at the beginning because they don’t have enough experience to even know what to try when they get stuck. I was like that for sure. Heck, I’m still like that sometimes. The main thing was to keep plugging away at it. If the subscription isn’t too much of a burden I would subscribe again after you go through all the free stuff and get some experience. (I’m not even sure what is free, I have always had a subscription, but it looks like there is plenty to get started).

The first thing I did was to do more retired boxes AND use write-ups or, even better, follow ippsec videos! If I was still stuck, or if I was trying an active box, I would DM somebody in the Forums who had finished the box and offered to help. Everyone I approached was super helpful. We are all here to learn and there is no shame in asking for help. As a matter of fact I think people help more if you DM them because they know you are trying (just make sure you explain what you have done so far and where you are stuck, with enough detail that they know what the heck is going on).

I am a bit older than most on this site and I was worried I wouldn’t get the hang of this, but I have slowly gotten better. I still feel lost a fair amount of the time, but my Google-fu has gotten better and I just have more ideas on how to poke at things I found while enumerating. That helps a lot because I don’t feel like such a dummy, haha. At least I have an IDEA on what to do. Then it is usually just hours of research and trial-and-error. If I still can’t get it, I’ll DM someone. You can DM me if you need help and I have done the box. I may not be the best person to ask, but I’ll do what I can. Take it easy.


Thank you. I appreciate the post. I guess frustration got the best of me.

Thank you so much for this comment. I am following everything you mentioned here. I sincerely appreciate the honesty. I will try again.

I’m most of the way through the academy and haven’t completed a box yet if that makes you feel any better!


lol A little, yes. How long have you been working on the academy?

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about 8 months but only really been focusing on it the last 2. I’m just doing the starting point boxes now, have you tried those?

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nice. Same here.
I did well over there. I think the starting point is what gave me a false sense of hope. lol

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Hey @alienfader
Thanks for your post! I am feeling the same way! Not to say 'misery loves company or anything, but I’m glad this is a normal feeling.

I’ll keep going and hope you do as well. Good luck.


lol I’m glad my post benefited someone beside myself. I hope you keep going as well and get 1337 status from your hard work. But most important, self gratification.
Good luck @MoxElliot