Press "Enter" to skip to content

Confessions of a grad student | Burnout and what’s the next step?

All I can say is…preparing for graduation and life after grad school has not been the easiest thing for me.

Where do I even begin? Well, I am looking for jobs and apartments in the East Bay, and I’m frightened about all of this. I cannot help but wonder about the various life roads that I could take and possible failures. For the past few weeks, I’ve been having this recurring dream about being homeless and not being able to provide for myself. I know that I’m taking the right steps and measures in preparing myself for life after graduation, but I’m still freaking out.

To make matters worse, articles with headlines such as “Why So Many Minority Millennials Can’t Get Ahead” and “5 things I wish I’d known about life after grad school” do not ease my nerves. Although the scenarios posed with the articles are true and possible, let’s just say that Google has not been my best friend.

At the same time, I have no idea how I’m even still thinking of apartments and jobs while feeling burned out. According to Psychology Today, burnout is “a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.” (I had no idea that there was even a term for this feeling!) I guess that burnout could be the logic behind all that I’m feeling for the future, but I really need to pull it together.

I know that I’m juggling a lot to prepare for life after graduation. I’ve also taken an extra shift at one of my jobs to make ends meet. At the same time, I can feel myself burning out, wanting to recuperate from all that I’ve done — from school to work to personal stuff. A part of me knows that I shouldn’t stop, but I haven’t been the best to myself in regards to self-preservation either.

Let me take a couple breaths not to pull myself together exactly, but to just sit and take care of myself.