I've burned out

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31 Replies - 3775 Views - Last Post: 31 May 2013 - 01:35 PM

#1 carnivroar  Icon User is offline

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I've burned out

Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:36 PM

For the past two years all I've ever thought about was computer science & physics and what I will do with my life. Nowadays all I think about is how much can I stuff into my last 3 semesters (for a 5.5 years total) in order to increase my chances of getting into graduate school. I have no social life (I literally have only 1 friend) - not that I care much about it but I thought I should mention it.

This semester was so stressful. I ended up enjoying one of my classes (video game programming) so much that I neglected my other assignments. I am failing a physics class even though I feel that the material is well within my grasp.

I wrote the best game in the class (in full 3D) but I am still so critical of my own work. I usually fall asleep and wake up dreaming about Java (generic classes last night).

I think I've developed OCD since I am constantly rereading my code and formatting it and trying to make it "perfect". I even worked on my game during my bus ride to/from work. And after all the hard work I did I still feel like I didn't do anything useful. I felt physically sick at one point this semester because of all the work. And on top of that I got attacked by my usual pollen allergies recently.

Also, I feel like there's a lot of pressure on me by the CS department at my school because I started an internship that I was nominated for. It's going well but I have sooooooo much to learn, and that I'm expected to know a lot of things I never learned in school, even though I am at the top of my class (in CS, not in physics, lol).

I miss taking classes like Japanese and French and just studying things for fun without worrying about the future. I miss playing classical guitar, listening to music and going to the gym like I used to. I wish I could travel.

What do you do when you reach this point?

This post has been edited by carnivroar: 19 May 2013 - 09:38 PM


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Replies To: I've burned out

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:47 PM

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Nowadays all I think about is how much can I stuff into my last 3 semesters (for a 5.5 years total) in order to increase my chances of getting into graduate school. I have no social life (I literally have only 1 friend) - not that I care much about it but I thought I should mention it.

Life is full of choices.

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I wrote the best game in the class (in full 3D) but I am still so critical of my own work. I usually fall asleep and wake up dreaming about Java (generic classes last night).

I think I've developed OCD since I am constantly rereading my code and formatting it and trying to make it "perfect".

.. or you can just put it down and move to another project.

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Also, I feel like there's a lot of pressure on me by the CS department at my school because I started an internship that I was nominated for. It's going well but I have sooooooo much to learn, and that I'm expected to know a lot of things I never learned in school, even though I am at the top of my class (in CS, not in physics, lol).

You thought college was some sort of trade school? Mmm... nope. The business and ivory tower worlds are moderately different.

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I miss taking classes like Japanese and French and just studying things for fun without worrying about the future. I miss playing classical guitar, listening to music and going to the gym like I used to. I wish I could travel.


Mm... welcome to being an adult?

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What do you do when you reach this point?

I don't.. when I feel I am creeping too far past the line I pull up, take a break, refocus, and go.
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#3 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:49 AM

Go have a beer or something.

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
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#4 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:20 AM

Usually go play hockey and check someone outa the game then go have a drink with them.....
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#5 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:30 AM

I try never to reach that point. I schedule my time so I have my time to unwind and refocus. If I have some project that takes up more time than scheduled due to deadlines or whatever then I make sure to add some extra unwind time after it all done. Look into some time management stratagies.
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:50 PM

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Life is full of choices.... Mm... welcome to being an adult?


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Look into some time management stratagies.


I really agree with these three points. In technical fields, college provides opportunities to hone your skills, as well as broaden and deepen your knowledge base. If you are focusing so much on one of your classes that you are neglecting the others, you're doing yourself a disservice. As adults, we have things we have to get done. Then there are the things that we want to get done.

If you enjoy physics, but are failing, perhaps it's time to drop the major/minor/track and just audit the courses if you just want to sit in and learn. If you don't want to put in the effort though, why are you wasting your time, your money, and your professors' times? If you're paying for something, you should get everything out of it that you can. That's my perspective, at least.
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#7 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 21 May 2013 - 03:20 AM

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What do you do when you reach this point?


Never mind what I would do. You should do this:

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I miss taking classes like Japanese and French and just studying things for fun without worrying about the future. I miss playing classical guitar, listening to music and going to the gym like I used to. I wish I could travel.


Sport is underestimated too and is also a great way to meet people.
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#8 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:29 AM

We all do this to some extent. It's the fallacy that says, if some is good then more is better. If some time spent studying is good, then more is better - so the best thing is to spend all of your time studying.
But there's a point of diminishing returns, and you need to recognize when you hit it. Many people find it's good to recognize that point in advance, which spares them having to monitor their state.

Basically, you need to find a way to make time for other parts of yourself. Software is cool, physics is cool, but it's also fun to do other stuff. You need to schedule offline hours.
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#9 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:31 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 20 May 2013 - 12:47 AM, said:

Mm... welcome to being an adult?


Don't mean to rain on your parade anymore than it already has been, but modi is absolutely right. And it really doesn't get any better as you start piling up life responsibilities on top of coding burnout from a job you probably don't really like. This whole grown-up thing sucks balls and anyone who tells you any different is lying.
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#10 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:44 AM

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We all do this to some extent. It's the fallacy that says, if some is good then more is better. If some time spent studying is good, then more is better - so the best thing is to spend all of your time studying.
But there's a point of diminishing returns

Hooray for Economists and their Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility! ;)
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#11 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:50 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 21 May 2013 - 09:44 AM, said:

Hooray for Economists and their Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility! ;)/>



What do you mean hooray? I think it's a stupid rule. Why didn't you make it Increasing Marginal Utility? That would have been smart.
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#12 Notorion  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:16 AM

When you feel overworked? Go take a break for a while. A couple hours, couple days, whatever. Do what you want, play guitar, go to some french speaking part of our world and speak french. Life isn't all work, but you're working hard enough to make it. Don't worry, a year and half is not that long. Just enjoy the journey,
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#13 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:17 AM

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Why didn't you make it Increasing Marginal Utility? That would have been smart.

Spoiler

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#14 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:21 AM

View PostNotorion, on 21 May 2013 - 12:16 PM, said:

When you feel overworked? Go take a break for a while. A couple hours, couple days, whatever.


Just a side note: this advice does not work in real job land. Frequently taking a break for a couple hours/days/weeks... will land you all the break time you can handle, but magically lacking a paycheck.
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#15 Larry71  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've burned out

Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:26 AM

I was at the same situation where you stand now.
Work,uni,family.And trying to do my best for everything.
I will agree with what kiparsky said: Just make a plan.When it is time to have fun,have fun.
When it is time to study,study.
You will see that you are going to be more motivated to study when you come back from your free time.
If you feel overworked,just take a short trip and return with loaded batteries.
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