Back in April of 2012, i posted a blog post that outlined some useful tips and tricks for people who were new to college. I made a Brief reference to something called the burnout point and said it was a discussion for a later time and i feel like it's time to hold that discussion.
I think part of the reason i never really wrote a discussion about the burnout point before now is because i had never really hit it until this final semester. I think it was culmination of things that led to my discover of this. First off, i have never had the unique opportunity of trying to work full time and go to school full time at the same time. another thing is after all the push-backs and delays that my college has placed in front of me with no hope of maneuvering past them quickly, i feel like these two associates degrees that i will be graduating with in 3 months have been long overdue. And i'm a little emotionally and mentally exhausted about the whole mess.
There have been a lot of changes to my life. My old car broke down to the point of no return, i bought a brand new car with 161 miles on it. I needed to get a full time job to ensure that i was able to pay for said car, but i discovered that washing dishes for just a little over minimum wage for 20-30 hours a week wasn't exactly going to cut it nor was it my preferred type of job. I've also gone from being single to being engaged and attempting to plan a wedding. Fortunately the powers that be saw me worthy to get a job in computer repair and while i'm technically making more than i did washing dishes, i'm bringing home less because i now have a comprehensive benefits package that includes a pretty nice pension and all of the medical insurance benefits. With travel time included i've ended up working over 50 hours a week trying to get this very last semester finished and all i want to do is either give up and quit or be done with it all tomorrow.
It never helped that my college board kept adjusting the class requirements for my degree so that almost every semester i had some new and usually shitty change to look forward to working out with my degree. But i think it's safe to say i'm burning out. It suck to feel so close to something great and yet so far, and then to look behind that something great and see it's only paper thin and that to get the real something great you've got another journey, equally as long, ahead of you again to do it all over.
Unfortunately this is what our country's education system has become. To be able to do anything that's not entry level you need a degree or to at least be working TOWARDS a degree. And you have to have plans of actually finishing it too.
It might just be a case of senioritus that i'm contracting because i never really hit that wall when i was in high school but it's hitting me now and it's hitting me hard. between my job, my school and my fiance and all of my previous commitments there's no time for me to just sit down, and stare off into space. Since i'm getting 6.5 hours of sleep every night on a good night, and most nights i'd be lucky to get 5.5. i'm running on fumes and low on want to.
So back to the original topic. What is the burnout point? The burnout point to school faring people and blue collar workers is the wall, not unlike "the wall" you hear runners talking about all the time, you hit when your plate is so full it affects your sleep cycle and all you want to do is give up. So how do you fix it? The unfortunate thing is, you've got to piss some people off, say you're sorry but you just don't have the time this week to do that thing they want you to do with them. Don't obligate yourself to anything else instead unless it's yourself. Spend that one day just doing whatever it is that gets you relaxed. Whether it be watching tv and eating popcorn with no shirt on, or taking an easy-paced hike through one of the local parks. Then when you're done doing that. go to bed early. get one good nights rest and monopolize it.
This can be your little micro-vacation to yourself. It's unfortunate but i think sometimes we, as humans, tend to load up our plates too much trying to satisfy others and we quickly forget about ourselves in the mix. When that happens and you've ended up with nothing left for yourself? you start to burn out. To quote bladerunner "the candle that burns twice as bright, burns for half as long." It's important to remember than when managing our time because it is the only precious resource that matters to the individual.