Heyy. So I've been going through a lot these days. Basically I'm in a rut. I can't get out of it. I was a really intelligent child and studiuos but now it seems I'm failing in everything. Not physically or academically but mentally. It's getting harder to go to sleep everyday thinking about the hours I wasted instead of studying and then I feel extremely guilty and overall a bad mood. And there's this girl in my class who's sooo extra she Braggs all the time and the teachers suck her ass. It's sooooo crazy how they forgot all about Me and ate going for a braggart. And in 2 months I have one of the most important exams of my life but guess what I haven't prepared shit. I just need to get out of this rut. Please help me.
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My sincere apologies for the delay! This week was absolutely packed for many of our staff members.
I can sense the impending burnout from here. This is what happens when people have too much stress and not enough healthy management techniques or support for dealing with it.
You can think of the progression from stress to burnout like a story plot map, like the one linked here: https://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/e/plot-diagram
Unmanaged stress and stressors tend to peak and result in burnout. Things build up on that left half of the diagram, such as having major exams to study for, lots of work to do at one’s job, etc. When it all becomes too much, people tend to explode or implode. This can look like breaking down crying when some minor issue arises, drowning oneself in alcohol at the end of the day, etc.
This is because stress and burnout are two sides of the same nasty coin, similar to how depression and anxiety are two sides of the same coin. This is partly because stress symptoms tend to mimic those of anxiety and burnout symptoms tend to mimic those of depression.
Do you feel like you’re always working too hard, but feel guilty for taking breaks? This usually happens when people are overworked; it’s usually a side-effect of a heavily productivity-minded culture. As an example, I’m from the US, where capitalism has influenced every aspect of our culture; if you’re not always doing something, or making money for yourself or someone else, you’re wasting time and you should be ashamed. It’s VERY toxic because it leads to people overworking themselves for nowhere near enough benefit. If you’re from outside the US, is your culture like this?
You might find this article helpful because it addresses the guilt that some people feel when they aren’t productive:
Take it from a fellow overachiever; that girl you mentioned is very likely on a fast track to burnout because she is likely sacrificing a lot of other elements of her life for school. That’s not healthy because we all need to find balance in our responsibilities and our free time. I think part of why that girl is getting so much praise from her teachers is because her teachers might not realize that she’s overworking herself. They only see her at school; they don’t know what she does outside of it.
I have plenty of resources here to help you learn how to better manage your stress:
This article addresses burnout more specifically:
Now that you’ve got some great stress management techniques under your belt, I’ve got just a couple more resources for making the most of studying:
Basically, break up studying into manageable chunks, just like you would with any large assignment or project. Taking breaks counts for this, too. Any studying is better than none, so even if you only do so for a few minutes each day can really add up!
I used to be a teacher, so I remember being in the classroom not that long ago; the kids that didn’t just memorize facts were the ones that really succeeded. That’s because studying and learning aren’t just about memorization; they are about retention and application. Try not to think of studying as just memorizing facts to pass your exams; studying is a way to make more sense of the things you’ve learned so you can do more with this knowledge.
If you have a few minutes, you might want to read more about Bloom’s Taxonomy; this is a structure that a lot of teachers and educators use for their lesson plans. It’s a spectrum that explains the different ways people can make use of the knowledge they gain.
I have a handy article here: https://www.simplypsychology.org/blooms-taxonomy.html
When you’re in class or studying, try to go beyond just memorizing things and getting good grades; accurate grades reflect both understanding of material AND work ethic. Think about how this knowledge or these skills you’re learning can apply all across different areas of your life. Make school work for you. I recommend this because I hope it will help you feel less stressed over school and more empowered by it.
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out again.
Hello, @Nikki ! I'm so sorry you are going through such a difficult situation. One of our peer counsellors, Angelica, will answer your submission shortly.
Hey, Nikki! I am a member, here, not a peer counselor, not a psychologist or psychiatrist. You are in quite a predicament. This is a great place to come to becuase the peer counselors are also college and university students and they have access to lots of information that can help you. A peer counselor will get back to you...