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October 24, 2012 / NextStepU

Mid-semester burnout.

I could feel it coming on. It was something in the air; a change, a dark cloud. I kind of felt like Karen from “Mean Girls” with my fifth sense (“there’s a 30% chance that it’s already raining!”).

I knew that I was nearing a mid-semester break down.

Do you ever get that feeling, when you’re so ridiculously busy that you don’t have time to even think anymore? That even watching a half an hour of television is considered a luxury you can’t afford? (Sheldon Cooper stop “bazinga-ing” me when I’m trying to study for art history!) Or when you wake up in the morning, not feeling like P.Diddy (sorry…had to) and your eyelids are literally glued shut and you try desperately to cling to the last few seconds of sleep so you don’t have to face your day?

That moment where you feel like Stu Pickles…

That, friends, is a serious sign of burnout. Since apparently I really get a kick out of naming my own made-up diseases, let’s call this Burnoutitis. (So catchy!) I truly think that this is a real thing because, without fail, every semester I find myself in a constant state of  “overwhelmed” from the mid-semester point until the end.

Using my overly analytical brain*, I decided to try to figure out why it was that I (and, I’m assuming, other people…I can’t be the only one right?!) always seem to get burned out around this time. Is it because we’ve been working hard for the past few months and the thought that you’re only halfway done is impossible to believe? Is it because we’re under a false sense that there really can’t be all that more after this so we freak out when we realize that’s not the case? Or is it really just an evil bug that professors implant into our brains that make us think we’re overwhelmed but really nothing has changed. (I’m banking on the last choice).

Regardless of why, all I know is there’s got to be some serious changes before I go all postal. (You do not want to see me postal. Sometimes I won’t even say “thank you” when you pass me the ketchup. TERRIFYING).

Anyways, I’m pretty sure there was at least one or two or seven different seminars that I’ve attended over the course of my college career that was meant to help you figure out how to deal with stress and burnout such as this. When I wasn’t sleeping (who would do that?) I picked up on a few good tips. Such as:

  • It’s simple, but…blast some music. That Celine Dion jam sesh I just had in my car on the way into work? FANTASTIC for my blood pressure. Thanks, Celine…my heart WILL go on! Try it for yourselves…just mind your neighbors (and make sure your windows are rolled up).
  • Retail therapy. Got some free time? (There has to be some in there somewhere) Then get out and buy things! I don’t know if it’s the control over getting whatever the heck you want but this seriously works. Don’t let your dad tell you differently.
  • Meditation. My roommates and I tried a group therapy session once. My friend was trying to tell us to picture a meadow and somehow turned into a weird “Hunger Games” meets “Twilight” senario and we decided from that moment on to leave it to the professionals. And by professionals I mean people on YouTube.

So, for all of you going through some form of burnout like me, don’t freak out! Take a deep breath, figure out what’s most important for you to do and remember that you’ve gotten through this before. Like Celine, your heart will go on.

Until next time,


Email Laura Sestito
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*Random, irrelevant side-note: totally spelled this as “bran” the first time and didn’t notice it until I was making my corrections. I don’t know why I found this so funny…analytical bran!! LOL-ING FOREVER. Wow, I am losing it…


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