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Wednesday, April 6, 2011


…except I’m not a senior.

Whatever it is, I have it BAD.

I was teetering on burnout and then I found out about vet school. Once I found out about vet school, it shifted to being physically painful to go to work and put in the time and maintain the barest semblance of keeping it together, and now it feels physically IMPOSSIBLE to do so.

I’m extremely antsy. I can’t even tell you how many times I go out for walks during the day to try and refocus. Some of it might be that I have energy to burn now that I’m not training on Farley 5 days a week, and I’m starting to get fitter and eat better, which also tends to result in an excess of energy. It also might have something to do with the smell and angle of the light in the early morning as summer approaches – it SCREAMS endurance riding to me (which of course I am not doing). But some of it is a restlessness to just GET ON WITH IT. My apartment is half packed up and frankly is in shambles. Nothing holds my focus for very long. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything during the day, but something is getting a workout because I’m early to bed most nights now.

Judging by the writings of my fellow future classmates, this problem is wide spread.

I remember going through this really clearly my last year as an undergrad at Davis. I already had a job waiting for me, and I was just DONE with that chapter of my life and looking forward to next one. I'm going through the same thing now but in reverse....I'm working and know I'm going to school in the fall and can't wait to quit my job and start the next chapter.

Right now I'm going through the same pattern as when I was a senior - doing the bare minimum to get by, totally unmotivated and having a hard time focusing on anything.

How I’m dealing with my funk (beyond taking walks and contemplating crawling under my desk for naps):
1. Get plenty of sleep. Lots of it. Sleep is huge for me. When I was a senior, that meant skipping some classes that I decided I didn't need to attend lecture. (more on that later). Right now, that means I don't set my alarm clock and show up whenever I wake up – which lately is pretty darn early because of the summer mornings! But, on the days I need/want to sleep in, I do. (For some reason the angle of the light of summer mornings makes it easy for me to get out of bed. In winter it’s a nightmare. The transition happened sometime in the last couple of days for me).

2. Prioritize. In school I stopped going to lectures that I didn't find useful. I was really good about attendance the entire 4 years as an UG until that last quarter. It was freeing to realize that a better use of my time for some of the classes was to take a nap and study on my own. My grades didn't suffer and think were better because of it. Not something I'd recommend for undergradutes starting out, but near the end, it's the only thing that got me through school and didn't result in me being totally burnt out.

3. Get outside for a walk. Seriously. I tend to move less and less and less until I'm a veggie in front of the computer. Often a walk will make me able to do one more task that I've been putting off. It will also help me sleep at night. If I don't move, I tend to stay up too early, sleep too late, and then be tired all day. Cutting out the carbs is also something that personally helps me.

4. One thing at a time. Decide what task you will accomplish in the next hour (studying, a report - whatever). Do it, and then goof off for the rest of the hour. Then go on to the next one. Reward yourself often, for the little things.

5. Have a tangible bigger rewards to regularly look forward to. Vet school is so far away (August), so I have smaller big things to look forward to about once a month to lessen my focusing on vet school and keep me motivated in the short term (and thus more productive). For example, in April I'm running a half marathon and going backpacking, in May I'm getting a Puppy, in June I have a music festival and a camping trip, in July I have another camping trip, some family trips, and an out of state backpacking trip to pikes peak etc. When I think of vet school, I tend to be totally unmotivated in the short term because it seems so far away and I don’t' want to do anything I'm doing right now at work.....but having these short term things distracts me and actually makes me more productive right now than I would be without the distractions. I did this at the end of school too. It seems a bit counterintuitive to add stuff to your plate when you aren't getting your necessary stuff done...but I found that adding some fun stuff rev’ed up my school life too, and actually made me more productive since I had something concrete to look forward to and reason to get my studies done.

I have just a couple more [*insert time period here] to get through. Then I get to do the fun stuff. Just need to keep it together until then!

*Sorry – haven’t given official notice at work and don’t want to say anything too telling here. Work situation hasn’t improved over the last couple of months ….and although the chance is slight that posting here would affect that, I can’t take the chance.


  1. I don't have anything like Vet School on my horizon...I just have ***spring fever***

    I think you need a road trip. To a certain swamp. Just 'cuz.

    That's what I think.

  2. I don't hve vet school on my plate but I do have alot of summer plans and the weather here makes it seem like they are never gonna come true!
    If it snows one more time I just might crack!

  3. It's a good thing you have many interim activities that require planning and anticipation. Otherwise, you would spin in circles trying to *get ready* for vet school, which you can't do yet.

    Having put in my notice for quitting CBA membership leader, I now find it harder than ever to buckle down and do the work. I could feel my motivation slipping back in Feb when I told them. I am VERY GLAD that I didn't hang on to it until I burned out and became unreliable and sloppy.


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