My Burnout🔥😵: Missing An Entire Week Of College🤦🏽♂️
Me: I BurnedOUT!
Everyone ever: I told ya so.
ITHACA N.Y. -- It was Sunday, December 10th, the day right before the last week of classes. I woke up feeling HORRIBLE. I had a cough, my head hurt, and I couldn't eat, let alone tolerate even the smell of food. Something was wrong. An aspirin and cup of emergen-c, and it'll go away though right? I have an 8AM, 9AM and 10AM class tomorrow!
Well, no. For the first time I missed class on Monday. All of my morning classes actually, but I felt good enough to go to my afternoon class. My roommate had watched my hustle all semester and told me I deserved to sleep in and miss those classes. I couldn't have agreed more, except my body deserved it more than I did. Luckily, I didn't feel as thought I had much of a choice, because if I did I would have went. I'm a firm believer that when you live five minutes away...show up, unless you are DYING.
Tuesday morning I might have felt a taste of that. I felt like I was going to drop to the floor. I called the Hammond Health Center here at Ithaca College the second they opened and they set me up for an appointment two hours later. I slept the time away and when it came time to head over I seriously didn't think I was going to make it. I put my coat on and felt immense heat. I hurried to get out into the cold❄️ -- so fast I didn't even lock the door. I felt like if I didn't get outside I was going to smack the floor. It wouldn't have been the put together faint you saw on Wendy Williams' show recently.
Big black boot step after big black boot step and I made it. I was the fifth case of the flu that day.
The WHAT??! Excuse me, check again. I NEVER get the f-word!
I needed pills, fluids, and liquid meds. Yikes. All I could think was...one of my kindest professors told us multiple times to get the flu shot. He really didn't want us to get him sick because he has small children which is so valid. I didn't get the shot. Not because I didn't want to. But, because I was scared. No, not of the shot. I love shots. (Yes we are still talking about the pointy things. lol.) My doctor says that's something she's always known about me. It's like I get another chance to prove myself and I live✨ for it.
The flu shot is different. I grew up with a very influential family member of mine telling me the flu shot was bad. He said it had reverse effects. He influenced all of my family to never let me get it. So here at college, my first time on my own, I found myself sandwiched in between a professor begging I get it for the sake of the safety of his children, and new friends showing off their flu shot success stickers.
I admit it. I took on too much. How could I think straight?
Working three ICTV news shows, creating and hosting radio newscasts twice a week, and writing for the school newspaper, in addition to my scholarship volunteer duties, and full course load I honestly didn't have time to even think about or process the fact that this flu shot was *my* decision. Not to mention -- this was my first semester of college. I was in a new city and new school with new people. I've had to work to hold onto the real me along the way. There was no time to even think about the flu! But it sure thought about me as we now know.
Here's what my burnout🔥 taught me:
- Closing out my very first semester of college happened...before I even knew it did. I wound up missing an entire week of school so I could get better and then self-isolate as to not spread the virus. I learned that you really never know when something is over. Life is unpredictable and it's utterly important to cherish and recognize everything you have in front of you right now.
- My breakdown warned of my burnout. Around midterms I had a HUGE breakdown. I found myself crying in the cold and snow on the ground. It was horrific. I now see it as a warning. I knew then that I couldn't handle all that I took on. It was TOO much. I was running all around campus, then I'd hit up New York City and run around there, too. All of it was insane. You seriously have to stop at your breakdown. It's life knocking on your door to say "Please slow down...for all of us." If you don't heed it, life will find its way of making you slow down. It is too late to work things out then.
- You have to recognize fear. Sometimes it can be so disabling that you don't even know what's there. When some weird feeling is inside you -- ask yourself: what's that? Is it fear, sadness? It's something and it's got a hold on you. Figure it out so you can act in your best interest.
What About The Flu Shot?? You'll Get It Next Year...right??
Maybe. The doctors told me that the flu shot doesn't always prevent the flu. It acts in everyone differently and it takes time to get through your body. Depending on when I was exposed or just who I am the flu shot could have done absolutely nothing for me. It may have lessened the intense pain, they said. But, next year I'll make a decision...not just sit still.
Thank you for reading.
With ❤️ and gratitude,