Student Blog: Burnout: A Very Real Enemy

Burnout is a universal experience, no matter how isolating it may feel. Tackling it is the key to thriving, so here is how I have begun to manage it.

By: Apr. 15, 2024
Student Blog: Burnout: A Very Real Enemy
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Burnout is a funny thing because it can quickly take something you once had so much love for and change it into a chore. For me, burnout comes from anticipating an outcome, or goal, and forgetting to enjoy the process. For example, I love the idea of becoming a lawyer and fusing my love for political science and musical theatre. However, when asked to read an extensive case brief or practice my scene, I often procrastinate. I would not call myself a lazy person by any means, but sometimes I lose my drive when everything feels so overwhelming. Here are just a few things I have found have helped me tackle the looming threat of burnout.

The first thing I do is admit that I am not a machine. Sitting in a dense, two hour lecture or just going to class does use a lot of brain power, so taking a break after is okay. I need time to socialize and to have moments to myself and I always need at least one hour of exercise and time to be outside. These are good things to note, so I always ensure I do not spend the whole day attempting to get work done. Sometimes, writing my schedule hour-by-hour helps me to better plan this, but also just writing down tasks and knowing not everything needs to be done in one day helps too. This also comes with reminding myself that I am exactly where I need to be and that I have so many things to be grateful for. This emphasis on being grateful helps to center me and prevents taking anything for granted.

There are two things I like to do next: be honest with someone other than yourself and find someone who inspires you. Knowing that you are not a failure for facing burnout is so important, everyone has faced it to some degree. I think this just affirms that burnout is not "who you are" as you are not lazy or ungrateful (things I struggle to recognize), sometimes life is just a lot. I also like to find a role model who has reached a point I want to get to. This can be a YouTuber, an actor/actress, or someone you know. For me, I like YouTube as a visual aid. My favorite channels have been "32 Bar Cut" with Adrienne Walker and Austin Cook (discussing the world of Broadway) and "Sisters in Law" (who make day-in-the-life videos on working in a law firm). These help to remind me what I am aiming for and that often the road is bumpy for other people, too, on their journey to success.

Finally, when facing burnout, I like to take action to remind myself why I am pursuing what I am. This could be shadowing someone in your area of interest, attending an audition, or even doing something you love that is not required by a class (like reading or researching something fun). Giving yourself something tangible to be excited about can be a good reminder that there are so many opportunities to take advantage of right now, you do not have to wait for the future to get started.

You probably know when you are burntout, so the important thing is just to find what works for you. Have an "emergency" plan when you can feel yourself growing weary and you will be set to take on whatever comes your way.


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