I’m burned out.
There’s really no other way to put it.
This version of a burnout, however, is not just from some March Madness, back-from-Spring Break fatigue or premature case of senioritis. It’s the result of a workaholic’s mind that’s been in overdrive for way too long.
In short, my past year has been full of opportunities and disasters, many of which were one and the same. I’ve sent myself to personal breaking points and back enough times recently to know my workload, professionally and personally, has worn me out like never before. If not for friends and mentors willing to listen, advise and shake some sense into me, I’m not sure where or in what state I would be at right now.
While I could continue on about my time as a workaholic, I know that’s not the best purpose of this column. I also know I’m not the only one on campus at this point right now. Those of us who can’t stop a life controlled by the next assignment, rehearsal, or impending issue know this workaholic mindset and its demons all too well. While this way of life may keep us feeling like we are on top of things, it actually keeps us from moving anywhere worthwhile, especially during this time at college where we all have amazing potential for growth.
During our years here, we have the chance to make friends, find passions and embed ourselves into our community and city. Putting our heads down, grinding out the next assignment and hoping the next day will bring something different is simply the opposite of what we should be doing. It’s wishful thinking keeping us from taking the opportunities to enjoy life right in front of us.
As workaholics, we must keep that in mind and stop ourselves from exclusively treading the path just to go to the next assignment. While there are times where this mentality is necessary – impending finals and projects are definitely two of them – we must take the initiative even then to ensure we aren’t consumed by the same drive that has gotten us where we are. That road, despite the respect it may earn, primarily leads to more work and even more instability.
Instead of that, know something has to change.
Take a time out every once in a while, no matter what your head or checklist of work that’s due may tell you. Take a hike. See a show. Do something you enjoy that releases you from your cycle, no matter what it is. While your work will still be there when you get back, you’ll return to it with greater clarity, sanity and drive to knock it out better than before.
Your friends, professors and colleagues will thank you later for it – trust me. They want to see you succeed just as much as you do. Don’t let them second-guess that.
Vision editor Brian Wilson is a junior majoring in journalism.