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Have you ever experienced academic burnout?

  1. Aug 7, 2011 #1
    How do you get over it? I am experiencing what I think is burnout, I do not want to even look at another equation but the term is not finished and I have to take a final exam and complete a DE lab....and we are going to be learning Laplace transforms this week -_-

    I regularly get little sleep so I have taken the past few days to catch up on sleep, I have been eating fruits and veggies, drinking lots of water, and I have taken a break from doing coursework, but I still feel burned out. Any suggestions on what I can do to refocus and shake this feeling?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2011 #2

    A couple of nice and intriguing movies to see is not a bad thing to start!

    Go take a swim at the beach!
  4. Aug 7, 2011 #3
    Thanks kalakoi :) I think I can sneak the beach in tomorrow morning before going to the library :D These sound like great suggestions and I feel happy just thinking about them lololl Thanks!!
  5. Aug 7, 2011 #4
    Staying off the computer is something I always do. I go out with my camera take a bunch of pictures. Fresh air, exercise.
  6. Aug 7, 2011 #5
    I generally go pound on my drum set for an hour or two or play my guitar excessively loud. I find that to be a great way to de-stress. Even just sitting and listening to my favourite music is really helpful. I usually feel the way you're feeling when final exams roll around, so before every test I find the most comfy spot I can (preferably outside if it's not winter) and I just sit there listening to music for an hour. It completely de-stresses me and I can write the test calmly and focused.
  7. Aug 7, 2011 #6

    I like Serena

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    Hi HeLiXe! :smile:

    In my experience stress and understanding of mathematics or solving complex problems do not go well together.
    There is indeed a risk to land into a vicious circle.
    The challenge is to make it a virtuous circle.

    When I feel I *have to* learn something or I *have to* solve a problem, my mind blocks and won't go into gear.
    A trick I use, is to take as much information in as I can, think about it for a while, and then try to let go.
    Often I will have trouble sleeping, and when I finally get to sleep, I will wake up at night and suddenly *see* it.

    Another method is to talk to other people about the material you're learning or the problems you're solving.
    Even if they do not understand the material, talking about it helps in getting yourself around the mind block.
    Note that it's not about explaining perfectly, or showing how well the understanding is.
    And btw, some people are better sparring partners than others! :wink:

    Time I spend *not* doing the math is often well spent, increasing the speed with which I can learn.
    Obviously there is a balance somewhere.
  8. Aug 7, 2011 #7
    I am experiencing it right now - I am browsing PF instead of finishing my paper...
  9. Aug 7, 2011 #8
    Yes, I'm experiencing it right now at a very unfortunate time because I'm about to start a PhD program in a few weeks but all I want to do these days is get drunk and party.
  10. Aug 7, 2011 #9


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    Exercise - e.g., swimming or cycling or running or even taking long walks is helpful sometimes. Actually, I try to walk every day for exercise and stress relaxation.

    Or take a few days off and go somewhere interesting and just relax.
  11. Aug 7, 2011 #10


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    I've been burnt out the past 2 years. I hope moving onto my PhD will help solve my problems.
  12. Aug 7, 2011 #11
    Yes, HeLiXe, I know the feeling all to well :frown: I think the key is to get good sleep (very important!!) and regularly take time off.
    I would urge you to finish your work though. The term will soon be over and you can have a break.

    As for me, there was a time in my bachelors and well into my masters that I was really sick of it all. I didn't study anymore and I didn't do anything. I took a few months off doing completely different things. But after a while I started to miss mathematics. So I went back.

    I think burn-outs happen for a reason. They indicate that you're working too hard and that you're not enjoying your studies. Take some time off until you miss your studies.
  13. Aug 8, 2011 #12
    I wrote a long reply earlier but it got deleted -_-
    Good advice NeoZeon :) I spend so much time on the computer and indoors. If I am ever outdoors it is either in my car or on campus. I read your post earlier and did a bit of dancing :)
    Hi thegreenlaser :) I always study until the last minute before taking an exam and maybe this is not a good thing. I will take your advice on the music before the next exam and tell you how it goes. This last exam really annoyed me lol.
    Hi ILS:biggrin:
    I am happy you responded because you brought up something else that has been happening to me...this block whenever I am confronted with a problem. This has never happened to me in all of my life, and this past semester it has happened to me so many times! Well now that I think of it, it also happened in the beginning of calc II. The last time I went to sleep confused about a problem I had a nightmare about it and woke from my sleep LOL

    I usually try to work things out before presenting anything to others. Another point of concern for me is after my last class, a classmate spent a very long time talking to me about what we are learning in class. He said that a friend of his who is in his senior year of studies in nuclear engineering looked at what we are studying and said that he never saw it before and it is not something ever used -_- He showed him the slope field stuff, separation of variables. I don't believe he showed him the matrices, eigenvectors, jacobian matrices etc.
    I'm sorry that you are going through it too lbrieda.
    Sorry you are experiencing it also kingofcarrots...I would really love to party as well, but I don't even know where to go here and all of my friends are so far away.
    Thanks so much Astronuc. I really do need to get more exercise in. The only exercise I ever do is walking around campus and up and down the steps lol. I would reeeeally like to go to some tropical island to relax on the beach with a frozen blended drink and some music :biggrin:
    Penguwino....how on EARTH did you survive two years of feeling like this?

    Hi micromass :),
    Yes I am terrible at getting adequate sleep but I have been sleeping for at least 7 hours the past three days, which is really a lot for me. There is a 2 week break between semesters and I really wanted to study trig during that time, but maybe I will just take a break. But yes I have been working really hard and I did not realise it until I started to fill out my application to transfer to the university. I have only been at my current school for a year and will have completed 60+ credit hours at the end of fall. Seriously I thought I was here for like 2 years already -_- it's so crazy lol
  14. Aug 8, 2011 #13
    Thanks for your advice everyone I will implement what you have told me and let you know if it works for me!
  15. Aug 8, 2011 #14


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    Lots of drugs.

    Teehee, no, jk. I think it's nice to take time to talk to people about your field in a casual basis. Our department was having a bbq every friday; it was nice, all the professors would come by and everyone would just chit chat. Sometimes our administrative assistant would host a bbq and we would just sit around talking about physics. It's nice because you're talking about something you love, but at the end of the day you don't have homework on it, you didn't have to prepare to talk about it, and it reminds you why you're doing this.

    Why don't you go hang out with some friends outside of the department? I think an important part of life is having a support group. And despite what some people will say, you need people OUTSIDE of your field of study. Grab a friend and take a random trip with them or have a movie night or even just go out to eat. I think it's really important to be someone out of your department too. Whenever I have lunch or hang out with friends in my department, we always come back to the work we have to do.
  16. Aug 8, 2011 #15
    This is really true.
  17. Aug 8, 2011 #16
    Tylenol and caffiene? :-p

    This is a great idea. All of my usual friends are far away at the moment. This past semester I made friends with a pre-med student, we want to hang out but both decided to wait until this semester is over.
  18. Aug 8, 2011 #17


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    Tylenol, caffeine, LSD, whatever.

    Why? That's the point! The semester sucks, hang out now :P
  19. Aug 11, 2011 #18
    How did I miss this? lol
    *inserts psychedelic pic of Jimi Hendrix*
    I know -_- but it is sucking for the both of us and we are trying to get through it lol. I have been feeling a little better lately though. Thanks for the advice everyone :)
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