Going into college, I felt so prepared for the world I was going to be thrown into. While the environment would have been a whole new ball game, I knew that I could handle the workload and that dedicating my life to the most unnecessary high school assignments (I’m talking about you, American Government journal) prepared me for the worst. And, not to brag, but I feel like I did handle my first two years pretty gracefully. Yes, there were some struggles and uncharted territory, but I managed to come up on top almost all the time.
But after coming back from studying abroad for eight months out of 2018 and doing pretty much the bare minimum in terms of school work, I am starting to feel the pressure. And, much to my disappointment, it’s not as anxiety-inducing as it may have been in the past. I’m not staying up until ungodly hours to edit a paper. I’m not making an effort to do real work away from my comfy and cozy room. I feel like I’m just not doing anything. I know if I told my parents or my friends this they would say something like “you’re doing the most” but am I really?
And the thing is, I want to be a good student so badly. I want to get into my readings and thrive in class discussions. I want to write an essay and know what it’s about. I want to learn. But there’s also a part of me that feels so burnt out. When I get back home from five hours of class and another few hours of work, I am so tired.
And I am so aware of the fact that this may just sound like an endless complaint of me not doing any of the things I am meant to do. What I really want to know is if feeling burnt out is okay? Am I still a good student if I am feeling burnt out during what I consider to be a crucial time in my college career?
In order to give me a proper pep talk, I want to say something to my fellow exhausted humans who may be feeling as panicked as me about this. My best friend since forever and I were talking about how silly we used to be when we were younger and what we thought were major issues.
That got me thinking about all the things I was so worried about in my teens. These were things like having a boyfriend, making sure people knew I was fun, and getting a certain score on the SATs would literally keep me up at night. Now, however, they seem so irrelevant to me.
I have reached a sense of security where I don’t need people to validate me because I know me best. And, honestly, I wish I could have recognized that I was smart and capable enough to get wherever I wanted to get to in life earlier on, even if some unnecessarily stressful standardized test told me otherwise.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that in a year or so, this period of my life where I feel guilty for feeling run down will mean nothing. I know that at the end of the day, I am not going to give up completely on my aspirations because my determination is a huge part of who I am.
It’s normal to want a break from this time of life (or any really) because if you really think about it, putting in any amount of effort into anything all the time will exhaust you. So, if you’re feeling the heat but are still going strong, I’m proud of you. And if you ever want to be temporarily tired together, we are here for you.