A lot of people probably think that only ‘older’ working people can get burn-out. But everything has changed and a lot of younger people are burn-outs too. There is so much pressure in our modern society and we want to have it all. We want a good job, we have to start a family, buy a house and all of tthose things. But even during your college/university years, you can get a burn-out and I was one of this. And this is my burn-out story.
So where to start? I think I have to start at the beginning of all this. In high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to be, what kind of job I wanted to have. I mean, it was a big decision and I wanted to make the right choice. That was the year I decided to take a gap year. In that year I worked, I travelled and had fun. But I knew I had to make a decision about what I wanted to study. My heart was saying I had to do something fun and creative and my ego was telling me to pick something that will guarantee a job. And not just my ego was telling me that, my whole family was like that. I felt the pressure to do something good. I was the only one the whole family that went to university.
So I made my choice to study economics. The reasons for that was that I was really good in economics, management/organisation and math in high school. So that seemed like the best choice for me. And it was also a ‘smart’ choice if you want to get a job quickly.
First year as a student
The first year was fine. The other students were awesome and really nice. There were just 5 other girls in my class and later 3 of them dropped out. But everyone was really nice. The classes were fine too. I had classes between 8:30 and 10:30 in the first year. Sounds like a dream maybe, but I also had a lot of other things to do. And on some days I didn’t go home before 5 PM. Every week you had deadlines for your own homework and you also had a deadline for a big project. And every week we had a meeting about this project and we talked about the progress.
So the first year was fine. I would like to mention that I also had two other jobs besides my school. I was working for 20 hours per week. So in total, I was definitely busy for at least 60 hours per week.
I don’t how to explain it but the second year was completely different than the first year. In the first year, we had all of those easy classes and suddenly in the second year, we got a lot of classes about the law and stuff. The first year I had to calculate a lot of things and in the second year I didn’t have to. Which was kind of a shock because I was expecting that. It was the reason why I enjoyed economics so much. I wanted to solve economic questions and get the right answer. But instead we were just studying from books and it was all theory.
My school hours were different in the second year. Sometimes I had class at 8:30 and sometimes I had class at 5:30 PM. It made everything a little harder because we still had those major projects. And not everyone wanted to come to school before the classes had started. It got a lot harder to work in a team and it got a lot harder to finish everything before the deadlines. And it was stressful.
And then it began…
Around the end of the first period (October), I started to feel more tired. One night I went to Amsterdam for a concert by John Mayer and I couldn’t enjoy it. I was super tired and dizzy. I made an appointment at the doctor but my blood results were perfect. I was healthy and he said it was just maybe because my exams were coming up.
But my symptoms didn’t go away. In fact, it got a lot worse. I started to feel anxious and I was too afraid to go outside. I started to get several panic attacks every single day and it was terrible. There was this time that I didn’t go outside for a month. I was too scared and I just wanted to cry
I was burned out
So I was definitely burned out. I woke up tired every single day, slept for 15 hours every day, I was anxious and I could not do anything. I had to accept it. And that was really hard for me because I just wanted to be everyone else. Why did I get this burn-out and why wasn’t the other girl in my class not burned out. She worked a lot more hours than I did. How did she handle the stress?
After a while, I finally started to accept it and I started to focus on the things that I liked to do. Which was pretty hard at that time. I was also depressed because of everything that happened and I couldn’t enjoy the activities. Normally I would feel happy if I would dance but I didn’t enjoy that either.
The reason of my burn-out
So it took a while before everything started to get better. But I knew that there had to be a reason why I got a burn-out. I mean, that other girl in my classes didn’t get a burn-out. So why did I get one? I did a lot of research and I started to write everything down I liked doing. And that was a lot.
Things I liked doing:
– Being creative
– Watching movies
At first, I had no idea what I wanted this information but soon I realized that I can do all of those things. I already had a blog and I could write on my blog about movies, books and I could be creative. This is what I had to do. And as soon I started to focus more on the things I liked doing, I started to feel better.
I think there can be a lot of reasons why someone gets a burn-out. It can be having this job you don’t like or maybe you feel too much pressure. But I think it is really important to find out what it is. Because if you don’t, the chance you get another burn-out is a lot higher. Especially when you did the exact same things as you did before your burn-out
If I am not focusing on myself and how I feel then I know I feel burned out at the end of the day. So I know when to take a break from everything. And I’ve also learned that I had to focus on myself and that I should follow my intuition instead of my ego. Your intuition is never wrong.
Fun fact: during my burn-out YouTube suddenly recommended this documentary ‘The Secret’ and I had never heard of the law of attraction before. Now I know that wasn’t random, it was meant to be.
So this was my burn-out story. Do you ever feel burned out?