What It's Like To Burn Out In College

What It's Like To Burn Out In College

Reigniting your flame.
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What does it mean to burn out? Burning out is a term used to explain a period of time where an individual is exhausted and loses motivation for their job, schooling, and other activities. I didn’t think that such a thing could affect me, but it did. I was naïve, I took a plate that was too full, too heavy, for me to handle. I took on school, the honors program, writing, working 24+ hours a week, and still managed to have a social life. But for what?

Earlier this week I noticed that I was more overwhelmed than usual. I have an anxiety disorder so I initially dismissed my symptoms as that, but I was wrong. I was panicky, nauseous, exhausted and felt extremely depressed. So depressed and unmotivated that I didn’t care to do my work or watch TV or do anything for that matter. I wanted to lay in bed and be untouched. I felt horrible, more horrible than I had ever felt before and for the first time in my life, I asked for help. I sent my advisor at school an email. She agreed to meet with me and I carried on the rest of the week as best as I could.

When I met with my advisor she had me explain to her how I was feeling. I told her I was unmotivated, that I was angry and irritable and I told her I was exhausted. Beyond exhausted. She looked at me and I could tell that she was concerned. I continued to talk to her about my week until she eventually looked at me and said, “Well, of course you feel this way, you’re burning out.”

When she said that I swear I felt like my heart had stopped. When I think of someone burning out I think of a middle aged man or woman who has worked at the same job for years. Most of these thoughts are based on the countless movies I’ve watched, but still, I never associate burning out with a freshman in college. It felt kind of bad to hear her say that. I felt as if I was doing something wrong because in my opinion, I wasn’t doing too much in my life. In fact, I thought I wasn’t doing enough.

My advisor quickly explained that it’s normal to burn out, no matter what age you’re at and the more I look into it, the more I realize she’s right. Burning out is fine. You have so much going on in your life and it’s normal to be exhausted. Most importantly, it’s okay to be exhausted. I know that they say that life will stop for no one but if you need a break, take it. At the end of the day, your health is the most important thing and you cannot succeed if you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. Burning out is a horrible feeling to endure, so if you feel like life continues to take your breath away, stop and take a breather and reignite your flame.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.menshealth.com/sites/menshealth.com/files/2015/02/burned-out.jpg

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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The Peaceful melody of Alone-time

Talking to yourself isn't crazy, in fact it makes you more sane.

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Spending time with a significant other brings joy, fun memories, and a feeling of love. Time with family brings a sense of comfort and grounding. Friends bring delight, laughter and good times. Time spent alone, it has no definition or specific feeling; a whole new level of intimacy and self-discovery.

Take a walk by yourself in a new place, foreign to you and silence your phone. Here, you place a dependency on your shoulders and a miniature escape from everything you think you know or feel comfortable with. Your mind will thrive in these peaceful lonesome moments. You'll begin to observe and assess, rather than speak and discuss others ideas. The foreign place gives you a fresh perspective on your thought process and how you take the scenes in helping unfold bits of your identity, untainted with others inputs.

Discussing ideas with others isn't wrong, on the contrary, it grows our minds and expands our knowledge. The purpose of the alone time is not to nourish that side of us, but rather to uncover our own truths and thought process. Our minds change and develop and create new perspectives, it's important to always keep up with it and to keep an honest relationship with the self.

The honesty can scare us, that's a gamble. Selecting yourself away from the noise grants us time for reflection and discussion within our minds. You'll begin to ask yourself things you didn't think mattered too much or things you've never specifically thought about. When the internal discussion grows, your mind will begin to think of the important things to you and assess how they fit in and what things no longer fit in. This time is essential to categorize your priorities and your worries and their solutions.

Besides the reflection, take the alone time to figure out what things truly entertain you. Enjoy a guilty pleasure film with your comfort beverage. Create positive moments for yourself purely based on your own likes with zero compromises for others. These simple moments are little keys that unlock further understanding on who we are as special individuals.

Please realize everyone needs alone time every once in a while. Not only should you grant this time to the people you love, but it should be an encouraged ritual. Let every person align their brain and take the time to test their worries and concerns.

This alone time is neither selfish or bizarre. In the novel Mrs. Dalloway, the main character always finds her ideas being disrupted by her surrounding environment. These distractions are everywhere the more we progress in the technological age. Now more than ever, people need time away from screens, people, vehicles and more time in nature where we find ourselves distracted by the natural Earth. Don't photograph how peaceful your alone time is, but simply live it and live in those moments you have allotted yourself to escape from all the things that cloud the mind.

Cover Image Credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/people-woman-travel-adventure-trek-2591874/

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