Keep at it and participate in the community

Experience plays a very big role in understanding borrow errors and being able to figure out why some code is problematic in a reasonable amount of time. Running into borrow check errors and solving them, either on your own or by asking for help, is a part of the process of building up that intuition.

I personally learned a great deal by participating on the Rust user's forum, URLO. Another way you can build experience and broaden your intuition is by reading other's lifetime questions on that forum, reading the replies to those questions, and trying to solve their problems -- or even just experiment with them! -- yourself.

By being an active participant, you can not only learn more, but will eventually be able to help out other users.

  • When you read a question and are lost: read the replies and see if you can understand them and learn more
  • When you have played with a question and got it to compile but aren't sure why: reply with something like "I don't know if this fixes your use case, but this compiles for me: Playground"
  • After you've got the hang of certain common problems: "It's because of XYZ. You can do this instead: ..."

Even after I got my sea-legs, some of the more advanced lifetime and borrow-checker skills I've developed came from solving other people's problems on this forum. Once you can answer their questions, you may still learn things if someone else comes along and provides a different or better solution.