The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Navigating the Abyss: My Journey Through Burnout and Back

As the midterm approaches, I can envision myself surrounded by a mountain of textbooks and unfinished assignments. Suddenly, I lose the will to continue working on them. I can’t help but reflect on the invisible sense of exhaustion that has haunted me since my first days at college – burnout. 

“Burnout is my boyfriend. Burnout is a god. Burnout is the breeze in my hair on the weekend.” That is probably what I would sing if I were Taylor Swift in another universe. Nobody can ignore the devastating impact of this insidious force on the human mind. Like a malicious vampire, burnout nestles itself in the darkness and drains all the victim’s energy, leaving them with an empty mind, wondering if the pursuit of knowledge was worth the desperation. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned on this journey, it’s that academic burnout is a real adversary. Nevertheless, just as vampires can be vanquished with crosses and sunlight, burnout can also be defeated with the right strategies and a deep understanding of its causes. 

Burnout doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a gradual descent. For me, it started with persistent fatigue and irritability. As I attributed it to stress and continued to push forward, my productivity began to decline. Simple tasks felt overwhelming, and I struggled to concentrate. My sleep patterns were disrupted, and I found myself dreading the start of each workday. The joy I once found in my work had evaporated. 

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Recovering from burnout was not an easy journey. It required a radical shift in mindset and priorities. I had to learn to say no and set boundaries, not only with others but with myself. Sometimes, professional help was necessary, and speaking to a therapist who provided valuable guidance on managing stress and anxiety was extremely helpful. Don’t forget about the Gannon Counseling Service , which offers a variety of free and confidential options. 

I learned that taking time for myself, nurturing my physical and mental health, and rekindling my passions were essential for my recovery. It was not selfish; it was a fundamental act of self-preservation. It allowed me to rediscover my sense of purpose and regain control over my life. Find things that you enjoy doing, whether it’s reading, spending time with friends, or simply relaxing in bed. We are exposed to the idea of being constantly productive and perfect, but we often forget the importance of learning the art of doing nothing. 

My personal journey through burnout was a harrowing experience, but it taught me invaluable lessons. I now understand that burnout can happen to anyone, regardless of their determination or work ethic. It is a reminder that we are not machines; we are human beings with limits, and those limits must be respected. 

If you find yourself on the precipice of burnout, I implore you to take a step back and reassess your priorities. Seek help and support from professionals and loved ones. Embrace self-care as a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Remember that your well-being is worth protecting, and true success is not measured solely by career achievements but by the quality of life you lead. 

Two steps forward, one step back. College is a journey paved with challenges; the whole point is not how fast you progress but indeed, how far you can go. Take it slow but steady. 

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About the Contributor
Quoc Huy Ngo, Arts & Leisure Editor
Hi! This academic years Arts & Leisure editor is Quoc Huy Ngo. Writing is one of his passions and he has been writing for more than one year. Besides writing, reading is also one of his biggest enjoyments (especially anything about art and the fashion industry). During his downtime, he loves to clean and decorate his space, spend time with friends, or just chill and enjoy tiny, beautiful things in life. Thank you for all of your support. 

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