I am UIC: Burning out

Today I pressed snooze on my alarm clock three times. I’ve starting drinking a morning cup of coffee AND an afternoon cup. I’m planning to do an all-nighter tomorrow to catch up and get ahead on all the projects I have coming up. The bags under my eyes are darker than the sky at 5 p.m.

I am… tired. Using every last ounce of energy to just make it to the finish line, I feel the constant fear of falling behind in this race.

But, wait a minute. Life is NOT even a race. In the grand scheme of everything, who am I competing against? Why am I feeling all of this pressure? This is my path, and I am the only one who is walking it.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week. Is there a way of getting off of this path to burn-out? I think so.

First off, prioritizing rest throughout the day is super important for staying focused. Today I dedicated all of my hour breaks to reading for fun, walking outside or just listening to music. Hozier’s new album is finally out, and it is absolutely fantastic.

Secondly, setting aside time to be with others is revitalizing. After super long days, sitting down and eating a meal with a friend is so refreshing. I am learning, the busier I get, that I love connecting with people because it reminds me that we are all in this life thing together.

Thirdly, reminding myself of why I do the things I do keeps me on track. I have realized the importance and consequences of my decisions. Decisions and commitments made quickly and in a rush have never turned out all that well for me. I need to keep end-goals in mind. Why am I writing? Because I love telling stories? Why am I in school? Because I have much to learn. Why do I volunteer? Because the members of the communities I live in need to know that they are valuable and important.

These are three things that I have taken away from this week. Yes, I am tired. But no, I do not regret pouring myself into my work this week. I do not regret taking time to enjoy rest or take care of myself. My stuff will get done, and I will finish strong.

 

Abigail Floresca is a junior majoring in criminology, law and justice with a minor in professional writing. Writing is how she connects, processes, expresses and relates to the rest of the world. Increasingly aware of the power of storytelling in bringing about change and reform, Abigail earnestly seeks to find a way to incorporate a perfect blend of writing and social work within the criminal justice system — she dreams of bringing about a positive change, one story at a time. At UIC, she is involved in campus ministry; conducts research with the criminology, law and justice department; interns with the Chicago Justice Project, and loves exploring new places downtown.