Are you learning stuff? Then it's a good use of your time. If you aren't, it doesn't take much to change that.
Remember that learning happens when you are uncomfortable - if you feel like you know everything you are doing, that's great, because it's a signal that you should introduce something extra that will help you learn more.
I try and start a project early on, because it's one of the best ways to get familiar with using something in the real world. It's less of a vacuum than a classroom or coursework - you will run into issues, and that starts to build your experience.