BWW Blog: What to do When You're Simply Burning Out - Part 1
At some point in college, pretty much everybody has a moment where they wonder, am I over this? Some switch their major, some stick it out and hope that feeling passes, and I'm here in the middle of all of it to admit: I'm burned out.
My acting class is a struggle, I'm unable to focus, and there have been days when my alarm goes off for my 8am class and I truly contemplate dropping Drama and just sticking with Literary Journalism. It is in these moments that I believe students need to have a serious self-assessment and decide what the course of action will be. For myself, I know that this is a temporary feeling. I do want to continue studying Drama, but I'm frustrated at the moment with my progress in classes and I am allowing that to convince me that I'm just over it. I'm overcoming that slump, and I wanted to share some of the tips that help me when I feel burned out.
I'm still discovering new ways to find inspiration, so I'm going to break this up into several installments as I figure out what helps most effectively. Here is my first piece of advice to anyone feeling like they're simply over it.
I started to feel burned out the second I got into a new acting class and realized just how hard it would be. Before the first day, I was getting in my head and giving myself a million reasons to quit, so much so that I dropped the class. I immediately regretted it. I had about a day to re-add the class before my spot was filled, and I remembered that an actress I interviewed once had opened up to me about her college experiences. She gave me the confidence to add the class in the first place and I thought, before I decide I'm staying in the class, let's see if she has anything to say about it.
I added the class again that night.
She asked me to give her little updates about the class, and honestly, reaching out gave me the confidence I needed to push through. Her responses are always empowering and encouraging, and I didn't realize how much I needed someone to say "I'm proud of you" for sticking this out until she said it. I'm proud of me, too, and typing out those little updates to her reminds me of all of the cool experiences I get to have in an acting class like that.
Reach out and talk it out. It doesn't matter if it's a classmate, a friend, your family, or even someone you think that you know on a very base level. They may have a lot to say that could potentially shift your experience entirely. Let someone know you're feeling like you're over pursuing this major, or even this potential career, and I think you'll be surprised by the reasons you find to not drop out of the program or switch your major.
Even if they're not in the same major/intended career field as you, they may still have a lot of advice to offer. Often times, others are able to see how much you care about something, even if you convince yourself you're over it. I told a friend I was over the program, and she simply smiled and said, "Lauren, the way you said that tells me you're not." You don't get to see your own expression when you talk about something you care about, so maybe it'll take someone else's observations to help you realize where you stand.
However you decide to go about it is up to you, but trust me, reaching out makes a difference. Above all else, I believe this is so essential, and next week, I can't wait to explain a bit about how that translates into other pieces of advice about staying inspired and motivated. You've got this, and in case you needed to hear it, too, I'm proud of you.