People Reveal The Times They've Realized Others Were Telling Their Story
We all have embarrassing moments. If we're "lucky", some of those moments end up entering into legend. Like the time I fell down a ramp at school and took out no less than a dozen people with me - because I couldn't walk in heels. Some friends are teachers at that same school now, and I was just informed that YUP - people still talk about it. Apparently, the importance of "proper footwear" - particularly on the ramp - is a topic of discussion now on Freshman orientation day.
**It was two decades ago. **
One reddit user asked:
Has anyone ever told you a story like "this thing happened to this guy" and you realized the story was about you, what's the story?
Everyone in my 6th grade class had to go to a outdoor nature center for a 3 day camp. They have been doing it for 20+ years. The goal was to learn about the environment, team building etc.
Well on my last night at camp, 12 year old me rolled off the top bunk in my sleep and cracked my head against the concrete floor. A concussion, skull fracture, and brain bleed later I woke up in the ICU. Long story short, after a duration in the hospital I made a full recovery.
Flash forward to high school and they are asking for counselor volunteers for 6th grade camp. Wanting to prove to myself that I could make it through a camp meant for 12 year olds, I signed up. During the orientation/training they started talking about bedtime rules... Sure enough, they start telling a story about a kid who fell off the top bunk and was badly injured.
Only I knew it was me.
I spent 3 months in the hospital before giving birth due to my water breaking at 21.3 weeks. On Valentine's Day of all days! It was just like the movies, except there was multiple puddles of fluid on the floor.
So I go for a scan with the same lady about 2 months later (I had lots of scans between then, just with different techs). They wanted to check fluid levels and the babies growth. The tech asks why I was there and I told her my water broke early and I was in the hospital or something like that.
She then tells me "well at least it's not as bad as this girl whose water broke on Valentines Day. I came in the room and they had thrown down bed pads on the floor to soak up the fluid. I almost stepped in a puddle". I looked at her and said "yeah that was me". She goes "you're STILL pregnant"? Uh yeah. I laughed though
Ruining It For The Children
When I was a kid, I used to impersonate the Rock a lot because he was my favorite. This led the school to ban wrestling themed stuff.
Now, almost twenty years later, my friends kid goes to the same school and can't wear a John Cena shirt to school. Because they still have the rule.
That Pants Pisser
Someone once told me about a friend of a friend who got mugged downtown and pissed her pants from fright. That pants pisser was me.
Spoil My Legacy
When I was very new in police service, my helmet got stolen when I piled into a fight on a busy Night Time Economy patrol in the city. It came off when I ran in and someone picked it up and cycled off with it. One of the older officers told me that I needed to record a crime for the theft and inform the Inspector personally. Of course, that was rubbish, and I didn't need to inform anyone aside of recording the incident.
Years later, I was listening to two officers talk about "that rookie who got his helmet nicked in a fight" only the story had been so embellished that I supposedly hand-wrote the crime report and delivered it personally to the Chief Constable.
I didn't want to spoil my legacy, so I didn't say anything :)
Roommate in collegebhad an unhealthy obsession with flappy bird, this was shortly before the game was taken off the market. He was top 1% in the world, had an insane high score. He talked about hearing people behind him in a lecture hall about how their friend knew a guy that was in the top 1% of flappy bird. To him it was his 15 minutes of fame.
I came up with a website, we had a launch, received some decent praise locally. Real jobs got in the way so I let the project die. A couple of years down the road I mention to a co-worker about creating a site. He responds "Don't bother, there is already a site that does it." and he mentions the site I had created.
Mr. Steal Yo' Girl
Kind of - when I was younger I had a part time job in a DIY store. There was this guy who I worked with, roughly the same age as me but crazy and could beat me up quite easily but we got on well.
He starts telling me that some guy has been seeing his girlfriend and one of his friends seen them making out at a local club. I don't think too much of it and simply say that you should find the him and beat him.
Fast forward two week - I'm out with my friends and I bump into my work colleague. He's with his girlfriend and well, you've guessed it. His girl is a chick I was kissing in this club a few weeks ago. She doesn't acknowledge me as I think she's too shocked that I know her man. I sure as hell don't let on that I know her to my colleague as I like my body intact. We do the usual "Hey, where you going" etc and I get away from them.
For the next few weeks at work I was crapping myself thinking the next time my colleague and his girl have and argument, she'll spill the beans and I'll get murdered.
In 2013 I went to a cosmetology school and they supplied us with all kind of cool gadgets. One of which was a very small texturing iron. I loved it and would give myself very curly hair kind of borderline Shirley Temple but imagine tighter smaller curls. So anyway, I loved the look so so much that I decided I wanted a perm. We had been learning the process and I volunteered to be a model for the class...I asked my teacher to use the second smallest rollers in my hair. I had a bob cut. Everyone asked me if I was "sure I wanted to do this."
That should have been a clue. It was not.
So I'm sitting there, with a giant smile on my face, all excited for the results. They wash my hair. Pat it dry. Jheri Curl. No big deal, I'll style it at home it'll be fine..hah, right guys? I go home, it's terrible. I looked like Krusty the Clown. I ask myself in the mirror why I did this, cry and do exactly what I'm not supposed to do - wash my hair. I made it worse. But I'm stubborn and I still didn't learn.
It's the weekend and I can "fix" this, so I go to Sally's buy myself a perm kit and brush perm through my hair the next day. I processed the f*** out of my hair and ended up getting a pixie cut and growing it out.
My instructor was not happy. Everyone laughed. I died inside.
Years later, I meet someone that is attending the same cosmetology school I went to, and happens to have the same instructor I did.... and apparently she tells the story every year as a way to encourage the students to actually listen to the instructors.
Weird Cubicle Rocks
So when I got a new job, I was in a little cubicle. In my desk were some tiny decorative rocks, apparently from a previous employee's broken fountain. So I lined up all the rocks between me and the girl in the cubicle next to me. She didn't mind, she didn't really care.
I got promoted a few months later, moved to a bigger desk. Took my rocks with me, its a bit of a bigger cubicle. I had sat the rocks on a pile on my desk not knowing what to do with them. Another coworker who wasn't in my department asked me where I got the rocks, I told her how they were someone else's abandoned rocks I just took them. She then proceeded to tell me a story of this weird girl who lined up the rocks on the side of the cubicle...she said it was so weird.
I didn't even tell her it was me. I just nodded in agreement.
Arm Snapped Off
When I was in Year 8 I broke my arm very badly in PE playing bench ball. Like snapped in half requiring two surgeries and over a year of physiotherapy bad.
Fast forward to PE in Year 11 and walking back in to the same gym, a girl that I hadn't really started talking to until about a year earlier mentioned "Did you know I heard a girls arm snapped off in here!?" When I questioned her about it she recited all the details of how it happened (apart from my arm falling off, but I'll leave that to the effect of whispers changing the story a little) all the while not knowing she was talking about me.
The ER Trip
I was super accident prone as a child. This lead to a interesting trip to the ER.
My sister was chasing me around the backyard with a little plastic shovel and I was fleeing for my life. I fled to the side yard and dove into some tall grass, turned out there was a huge pile of redwood planks obscured by the grass. I dove in and came to an abrupt halt. I had managed to impale a roughly foot long redwood "splinter" (thing was about as think as a pencil) right in-between my left ring and middle finger, right through the webbing and all the way down to the wrist. I end up in the ER, and I had this very very attractive redheaded nurse that kept my attention even as a 9-year-old. I sat quietly while she slowly removed the whole twig from between my fingers.
Fast forward 2 months. I am camping with my grandparents and my grandpa is teaching me how to fish. I was using one of those little three pronged barbed lures, and when I cast it I noticed nothing hit the water, so I start reeling back my line and lure until it stops and my arm starts hurting. Oh well, certainly that is a coincidence. So I can't seem to reel my lure all the way back to me and I am tugging and reeling and my arm is hurting more and more until my grandpa noticed that I hooked my upper right arm and had successfully dug the barbed lure all the way into my arm. My grandpa being the resourceful one decided he can yank it out with pliers, so he grabs a pair. This pair must have been the original pair, they were huge and probably a good 73% solid rust. Several fruitless attempts later I am sat in the passenger seat of his truck being taken to the ER.
I get in there and I am wailing, and the universe decides to hate me today.
- We end up at the same ER that I went to for my twig removal
- My male nurse is wearing scrubs with a fishing lure pattern printed all over it.
- And lastly when they get me into the room, mister fishhook shirt has the audacity to tell me I shouldn't be crying, that it's not that bad, that some poor kid was in here just a few months ago with a huge stick stuck in his left hand right between his fingers.
I lose it. I start bawling and blubbered out a"That.. that was me!" The nurse looks up at my grandpa and my grandpa just nods a silent "Yup" to the nurse.
That was fun.
When I took the SATs, they had us write that whole honesty sentence in cursive for some bizarre reason, as if that makes it somehow more legitimate than actual handwriting. I hadn't written a word in cursive in like 9 years, and couldn't remember how to write some of the wackier letters. It took me several minutes longer than anyone else to write that entire stupid sentence.
Later, one of my friends mentioned how one of his buddies had to take the SATs with this stupid kid who took forever to write a cursive sentence.
Co-worker was talking about their brother having been up skiing at my local mountain, and they apparently saw a guy snowboarding in a full suit, carrying a briefcase and sipping coffee while carving down the hill. Apparently it made for a really surreal day for them.
I informed her that the guy in the suit was me, and that I do that every Sunday at my mountain, often times as part of a whole crew of folks wearing suits. #SuitUpSunday, been at it for almost 10 years now, but this was the first time I felt like a celebrity because of it.
I'm just out there to make memories for people, so I was very happy I had succeeded.
When I was in college, going into sophomore year, three friends from the dorms and I decided to get an apartment together. We lived together over the summer before moving into a different apartment in the fall. There was one girl who never paid rent, was a complete slob, ate all our food, just was awful. The worst incident came when I came home late one night and she was sleeping in my bed and peed in it on purpose when I asked her to leave, right in front of me. When we tried to have discussions with her about the mess and the money, she would flat out deny everything or just literally put her hands over her ears and say 'la la la'.
Anyway, after the bed peeing incident, we replaced her on the lease for the fall. It was over a month beforehand so she still could sign up for the dorms (or find another apartment).
So by crazy coincidence, I was at a random party in another state three years later, right after graduation. I was talking to this girl who said "Oh, you went to **university?" and started to tell me this story of her childhood friend who went there who had a terrible apartment story. In this story, three mean girls played an elaborate prank on this girl, tricking her into living with them then throwing her out to literally live on the streets. They stole her books and all sorts of s***. So I was like, oh that is really mean. Then she said,"oh here she is now," and lo and behold ...
It was my former roommate.
Some Desperate Girl
I once tried to flirt with a guy in college and knew the guy loved Star Wars. Said something along the lines of:
"Why don't we watch all the Star Wars movies together and then not actually watch them ????"
Needless to say, he was NOT into it, but I remained friends with the guy and we had overlapping friend groups and hung out often.
Throughout the years he suffered a few concussions due to rugby, and as a result, he often confused events and overall had a bad memory. We were out at a bar with all his friends and he starts casually talking about some desperate girl who tried to get him to come over by using Star Wars as an excuse to bang!
All his friends died with laughter.
I sat there, red as a tomato, completely mortified and not saying a word.
When I worked at Gamestop, I was told there had been a plan by some kids to tie me up, beat and rob the place when I took out the trash one night. But my boss wouldn't let me leave for vacation tomorrow without cleaning the store. So instead of taking the trash out at 9, I got around to it at 11.
In that time, one of the other stores noticed the people waiting by the trash, called the cops and they were arrested. I was oblivious to all of this.
A month later I had moved and been promoted. On my first managers I had to learn about the new rules in place. One brand new rule was that if you were closing the store alone, you couldn't take out the trash. You had to leave it by the door for the morning. Then they told me the story of why the new rule was in place. An employee narrowly escaped possibly being murdered
No one knew it was me who had been working that night.
I Got Killed
I met a girl in college who started telling me about her brother's friend who had the same first name as me. Proceeded to tell me my life story (drug addiction, abusive relationship, abortion) but apparently her brother heard that I got killed.
My Crush And My Dead Dog
When I was in middle school, my family went on vacation. We left our dog at home and asked the son of a family friend to take care of her for the two weeks we were gone. This boy was about a year older than me and was dreamy(at least to my 7th grade eyes). I still consider him my first official crush.
Well about a week into our vacation, my dad gets a call. Our dog has been hit by a car and has passed away. Tears all around.
About a year later, I am hanging out with some girls from my class when one of them starts laughing and telling this story about how one time she went on a date with a boy and they walked this dog he was taking care of. They weren't supposed to take her downtown, but they wanted ice cream. They got so distracted making out that they didn't even notice when she ran out into the street and got hit by a car. Who was she on the date with? My crush. And my dead dog.
I've never told my family.
People Explain Which Strange Things Are Considered Normal In Their Home Country But Weird Everywhere Else
What is in the water in the United States that compels people to walk around in their homes with their shoes on? Try doing that in South Korea––people would be so mortified. I have a sibling whose apartment is carpeted from wall to wall and who walks around inside with his shoes on all the time, tracking in any manner of dirt and dust from outside. Egad! I get chills just thinking about it. And as an American, it's something I've noticed people from other countries love to comment on.
We learned a lot more about things that are considered normal in other countries after Redditor monitonik asked the online community,
"What's normal in your country that's considered weird in others?"
"I grew up in Australia..."
"I grew up in Australia and migrated to Ireland about ten years ago. First thing I noticed was people in Ireland really like to talk about death in everyday conversation: Who died. When the mass is. The removal of the body and the anniversaries of their death. It's so normal in conversation."
"Leaving a baby..."
"Leaving a baby bundled up outside to sleep. When my previous neighbours had a baby, sometimes I would pass it on the porch, just sleeping. Including in winter as long as it wasn't too cold."
And in the United States, rest assured that child services would be called ASAP.
"In Japan, there are public toilets in a few places where after urinating, you can opt to view a general health assessment report."
Sounds like a privacy issue, no?
"I live in Malaysia..."
"I live in Malaysia and nearly everyone here uses at least three languages in a sentence."
Spend some time in Miami. The official language of the city is Spanglish.
"There's this sport..."
"There's this sport in Finland called eukonkanto, where men participate in running a specific distance, all while carrying their wife or girlfriend. Winner gets their woman's weight in beer."
"It's a small country..."
"Probably talking to people so that no one else can hear you except the person you are directly talking to.
It's a skill almost all Dutch people have, I have found, but it can be very unnerving for other people because you can be sitting pretty close to two people having a conversation and have no idea what they are saying.
It's a small country and very densely populated with people who value their privacy. It's a survival skill, really."
Can we bring this to the United States? Why are people so LOUD here?
"Some areas in the country..."
"Saying "hi" or waving to strangers. Some areas in the country take it even further and you're considered rude if you drive through a residential street and don't wave to anyone walking as you pass them."
"If you're walking with a dog..."
"Walking all over the countryside along ancient footpaths (as well as bridleways and byways, and a lot of disused railway tracks that have been designated as footpaths). These paths often go across privately owned land; the landowners are required by law to keep the paths clear, and if they put up a fence to provide a gate.
If you're walking with a dog, you're expected to keep it under control around livestock and when the path crosses a road, but otherwise it's just accepted that dogs are going to run around sniffing everything."
"We have robots..."
"We have robots at busy intersections and crossing points to assist and control traffic flow."
Nice to see Chappie is getting some work.
"The other day..."
"I teach in Japan but grew up in America. The other day my students asked me wide-eyed if Americans really wear their shoes inside. I told them yes and that sometimes my dad would cross his legs like this while we sat on the sofa and I could touch the bottom of his shoes. They were super grossed out. "Eew, why would you wear shoes inside! That's so dirty!" These kids are 2nd graders so it starts pretty young."
It never hurts to travel––you'll broaden your horizons and learn more about other cultures! When the pandemic's over––I mean actually over––and it's safe enough to travel, I might just hire someone to play my wife and take part in that Finnish wife-carrying contest. Some beer sounds great.
Have some observations of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments section below!
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The brain a fascinating part of the body. No, its the most fascinating.
Scientists have said for years that we'll never know all about the brain and its functions.
So if it is so fascinating and so capable and awesome... why does it stall? Why does it overload?
Why aren't we all gifted with photographic memory? The brain definitely has a full storage issue. And we all suffer.
Redditor u/MABAMA45 wanted everyone to fess up to and just embrace all the things the brain can't handle by asking:
What can your brain just not comprehend?
I'm a smart person. I read, I study, I comprehend. But certain types of math can send me to the funny farm. I tried trigonometry in high school. I needed a therapist after a week. My brain hates math. It is what it is. I give up trying.
Louder!Meme Reaction GIF by reactionseditorGiphy
"I can't comprehend why any company would think I'm more likely to buy their product if they make their commercial 20db louder than all other commercials. Instant boycott."
"The sheer size and scale of the universe. Like the fact that you can fit all the planets of the Solar System between the Earth and the Moon. Now realise how far apart all the planets are in the Solar System. This is practically next door compared to the distance between our Sun and the nearest star."
"There are billions of stars in our Milky Way (with the majority having planets of their own). The sheer scale of the vast emptiness involved means that even when our galaxy merges with the Andromeda galaxy in 4.5 billion years' time, there will be very, very few actual collisions between stars."
"Then there is the void between galaxies, and that it takes billions of years for light, at its speed (massless, and the fastest speed possible), to travel between galaxies, speaks of the sheer emptiness and distance in that void. I can't quite fathom it."
"What was there before the universe, what was there before that, and that and that and (you get the idea)."
"Before" implies that time exists on both sides of an event, but that is not true when we are talking about the universe. Like how there are no positive numbers less than 0, there are no times before the beginning of the universe."
In the Words...
"Language, the fact that we all collectively decided separately and divertingly that certain sounds have meanings and that other sound mixed with those can change the meaning."
"Thanks for all of the upvotes and the award :3."
"Adding onto what I said, sounds are just vibrations in the air that out brains interpret into the sensation of hearing. Really we're vibrating the air at each-other and those air vibrations to your brain contain meaning. When you think about it like this language is not too dissimilar to the internet in a way. Makes you realize how crazy and unique of a skill language really is, with-ought it we wouldn't have a civilization."
"Another interesting thing related to this is when people call your name. Even if your in a crowded area with hundreds of people talking around you and you think your tuning them out if you hear your name you immediately notice, Some part of your brain must be constantly listening."
"Here are some other things my mind can't quite grasp:
- Computers, the fact that my phone is performing countless mathematical operations constantly.
- the plank length, if I understand it right it's the smallest distance anything can move, like a pixel of space.
- the human body and animals in general, were a collection of (large number but idk how large) cells all working together in various systems some how sustaining a brain that is able to be conscious, it's a miracle animals work at all let alone what they're capable of.
- why my ankles crack when I walk.
- what the future will be like, the world is changing so fast it's likely the future will be nothing like we think and it's coming." - Flaer15
I'm EmptyFun Floating GIF by Tomas BrunsdonGiphy
"My little brain can't comprehend the vast emptiness of space and the fact it supposedly just stretches on forever and never has an end. Kind of wild when you try imagine it."
Like any other muscle or organ in the body, we have to listen when pain is inflicted. We have to recognize discomfort and deal. Why don't we allow the same respect to our brain? It will tell us when enough is enough.
Simplicity...Work Working GIFGiphy
"How a simple calculator works. I can do math. I'm actually very good at it. How does a little plastic box do it though? Always boggled my mind."
"Dates. I am considered a historian by my family due to my knowledge on most world history, but God dang dates... I could be talking about WWII and say it happened the same date as WWI."
Billions of People
"That all the others persons I talk to or see, have their own thoughts, own inner dialogue and own life. For gaming analogy sometimes I just feel like others are NPC and I just can't comprehend that there are more than 7 billions person just like me."
The profound feeling of realizing that everyone, including strangers passed in the street, has a life as complex as one's own, which they are constantly living despite one's personal lack of awareness of it."
Now That's Too Much!
"I have a PhD in astronomy and MSc in Physics, and had to take ~2 years worth of quantum mechanics courses. It's one of those things where you can take solace that even with all that education on it all I can say is no one else really understands it either."
And the Dark?
"Light isn't affected by time. So... other things could just exist outside of time? Like, if you were a photon that traveled at light speed for a million years and then hit an alien's third butt, you'd experience it as instantly being a million light years away."
"A photon moves at the speed of light through space, but is standing still in time."
"A person at rest moves at the speed of light through time, but is standing still in space. When you accelerate through space, you're simultaneously decelerating through time. That's why observers will see your clock slow down when you begin accelerating at relativistic speeds. It's referred to as time and space dilation. Makes more sense once you realize that."
"There are people who don't have an internal dialogue with themselves. So, they never question if they are right or wrong. They never wonder if they are treating someone fairly, or if they are nice or mean."
"They can change their minds with no information, but it doesn't involve the process most of us go through when confronted with an opinion, or new data. It's not common, but it's not entirely rare. When I learned about this, I just couldn't understand how it was even possible."
The EndSeason 2 Episode 10 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"Death, obviously I understand why people die and all that but just thinking what happens afterwards. What's it like for the said person that died, is it just blackness? Is it like they're dreaming??? Reincarnation?? This probably sounds very stupid but I don't care 🤦🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️"
There is so much to learn, and even more that we'll never know. And that's ok. When the brain is full, it's full. Seems like just a part of life. The mysteries will sometimes stay illusive.
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It's okay to hate things.
Some things deserve to be hated. Internet trolls, people who mistreat animals, and individuals who talk during the movie are most definitely worthy of the scorn they gain. However, there are some items and topics which could do with a bit of rebranding. Instead of being "Hate Me," they instead deserve a sign that says, "I'm Really Not That Bad."
What doesnt need the hate it gets?
They say you hate what you don't understand. Clearly, they were thinking of things like the entries below when they came up with that expression as all of these fit the bill of being hated for not being understood.
It Cycles Past Judgement Into Comfort
"Sleeping with stuffed animals. You're never too old for that."
"Somewhat mature: Not needing a stuffed animal in order to sleep.
Very mature: Sleeping with one anyway because you don't give a f-ck what other people think."
Long Live The King
Most unfairly villainized and maligned animal in the world all because of some stupid Disney movie. They are not scavengers at all they hunt 90% of their prey and lions steal food off of them far more than they steal off lions. They are highly intelligent predators with an equally important role to play in the ecosystem."
They Go Through More Than Anyone Will Realize
I can personally confirm that I was a piece of work in grade school--then high school. And it wasn't because of teachers--it was because of me."
"As someone in high school rn, I agree with this. They get paid too little to deal with my laziness and bullsh-t"
You might have been told, either by a friend or a family member or some misguided news source, that the following topics are deserving of your hate. That their mere existence is something to shun and hate.
That's not the case.
It Tastes Soooo Good
"MSG. It's like salt but on crack and exploding with flavor."
This was a pretty racist phenomenon that got built up around Asian restaurants in the 70s and 80s.
"Essentially some study came out that MSG was bad for you and caused headaches, racing heart and basically anything else that might be considered bad. They even came up with a diagnosis for it "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" and it was recognized as a legit medical diagnosis.
However, the FDA had already tested it and on retest found that it was still basically as safe as anything else you put in your food. .
The original studies were really flawed in that they weren't blind and there was already this perception that MSG was bad because they were racists/xenophobic."
You Know Bananas Don't Normally Look Like That, Right?
"GMOs. Humans have been slowly doing that since we started cultivating crops, now we can just do it quicker. And there are millions of people who rely on GMO crops to not starve to death."
It's important to be cautious about your own safety and well-being. No one is trying to convince you to take unnecessary risks.
However, sometimes that thing you were worried about might not be as deadly as you imagined.
They're Not All Chernobyl
"People freak out because of the radiation but almost everyone is oblivious to the amount of crap a coal or oil powerplant dumps in the atmosphere."
"Nuclear waste is relatively easy to store and modern nuceal powerplants have good safety records."
They're Just Words
Chemist here. The word "chemicals"
Toxicologist here. "Chemical free" ugggggg makes me so mad. Anything can be toxic at the right dose
Seriously. Don't Be That Parent.
"TV shows made specifically for toddlers. They are toddlers. It's all colors and shapes and being excited over simple things. That's what toddlers are about. YOU don't need to watch the show. It's not for you."
Do certain things and people deserved to be scorned? A look at Twitter will say a resounding, "Yes." But with a keener eye, and a closer look, you'll see that misinformation or misunderstanding can guide misguided to hate.
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Going to college is an exciting experience. You meet new people, learn about the world and the inner workings of society, and make lasting friendships. As fun (and expensive *cough, cough*) as higher education can be there is a reason that only one-third of the US population 25 and older have been able to complete a four-year degree program. It is hard and burnout is real.
Going through university was filled with both happiness and sometimes tears for me. I loved school and found my classes interesting, dove into extracurriculars, and had that perfectionist drive to get all A's... totally not sustainable. It hit me I was totally burnt out about two years in while enrolled in an algebra class.
I wanted to give up, I was flustered and spent way too much time trying to get a great grade in a class that just wasn't clicking for me. What did I do? I had to take a step back and reflect on what I would tell a friend in the same shoes. I would tell them they don't need to be perfect, that getting a C+ in one class wasn't going to wreck their whole GPA, and for the love of God drink water too won't just coffee.
Self-care and stealing extra sleep, even just an hour nap, can go a long way to refreshing your drive. The takeaway really was just to show me the same love and support I'd been putting out to those around me. You deserve it, too!
Redditor peachyjams asked:
"What are some tips for a burnt out student?"
The Reddit community gave this user some wonderful tips and tricks to help with student burnout.
Go at your own pace.
“Don't pressure yourself into 4 years. It's OK to take it slower. Balance out your schedule with more enjoyable elective credits if you can, or just take less courses in a semester if possible.”
“Obviously things like financial aid, living costs (if not living at home) and others may play a factor in how many courses you need to take or how quickly you need to complete college, so if you can't take less courses, talk to your advisor or counselor and work with them to carefully plan out each semester so that your coursework is balanced IE: You don't end up accidentally taking Calculus + "Fun," art class that was 1000x more work than you thought it would be in the same semester.”~zachtheperson
“Burnt out doesn't begin to cover it.”
“I feel very qualified to answer this. I have been in college continuously since I was 18, and I'm now 32. I have 2 years to go before finishing my doctorate. I currently have an associate's, bachelor's, and master's. I have also worked the entire time. Burnt out doesn't begin to cover it. Here is how I stay sane:
- Give school as little bandwidth in your life as possible. "Good enough" are the two most beautiful words in the English language. Get Bs on things. Write your assignments and due dates on a master calendar, block off times to get them done, and try to avoid thoughts of school outside of those blocks.
- To increase productivity during your work blocks, use Freedom or something similar. I paid for a lifetime subscription and in one class alone it paid for itself. It just blocks access to your distractions on the phone and computer while you get stuff done.
- Tackle other hobbies in life that you see progress in outside of school. Even if it feels like school will never ever end and you're on a treadmill of misery going nowhere, you can go somewhere in other areas of your life. I'm currently training for a marathon, just started learning cello, I mentor first gen college students, and I'm in a book club. Pick your poison, but try to put away the laptop and push yourself in a non-academic area.
- Your social needs may vary, but try getting together with other people not in your circle of school misery. Join a sports league (yuck for me but maybe not for you). I host regular dinner parties. Volunteer. Now that vaccines are out, make sure you get one then connect with other people.
- DO NOT TAKE A BREAK. When you stop school even for a semester you know what it's like to be happy and not have the weight of misery pulling you down. You won't want to go back. Slog through and just do it.
- Don't reward yourself with damaging things. Don't eat or drink your rewards for school or you will be unhealthy and unhappy when you're done. Reward yourself with something positive instead."
If I had to recommend one book, it would be 'Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle'. Basically, it goes into the science of feeling burned out, why it's bad for you, and how to fix it on a physiological level."
“If you don't want to read the whole thing, if I could distill the most useful information it would be: exercise. The author digs deep into the science (which I love) behind why it works SO DAMN GOOD, but if you hate science and reading, trust me. Go for a run a few times a week, lift weights, dance a lot, just get your heart rate up. Good luck. School sucks."~bicycle_mice
You don’t have to be perfect.walking dead love GIFGiphy
“If you're an A student I would suggest lowering your personal bar. Being constantly burnt out isn't worth the 0.2 difference in your GPA and if you're worried about career prospects there are always comparable fields that aren't quite as competitive.”
“Trying to get an A in every class takes disproportionally more work. If you can get A's and a few more B's while getting to chill every once and a while and not stressing, do that.”~SlightlyOvertuned
Lists are seriously underrated.
If your sensation is of being overwhelmed (i.e. you have an impossible amount of work to do with no end in sight) more than burnt out (you are exhausted and becoming detached from the work), then two tips:
- Realise that it's not infinite. If you stick it out until graduation (and I hope you do!), then many of the problems you're accumulating will be wiped clear. Perhaps your GPA/final grade won't be as good as you want, but remember that whatever you're facing now - this too shall pass. Knowning that there is an inevitable light at the end of the tunnel is useful for me.
- Make a list. If you are the under-organised type, making a list of things to do each morning on a sheet of paper dramatically reduces the stress level that those items cause you. You can implement some fancy to-do software if you prefer but tbh a daily todo is simpler and more effective...”~alexandicity
A book and a blanket? Make it so.read new york GIFGiphy
“When I was a burnt out student I took solace in a comfort zone activity. Something unrelated to my school work that I could dive into for a little while when I needed a break. For me, this was reading the Lord of the Rings.”
“What works for you depends one what's in your comfort zone, but it should be something that you can easily pick up and put down again when it is time to get back to work.”
“To this day, I still read the Lord of the Rings when I get stressed or overworked. In fact, I am reading it now, for the 48th time.”~khendron
“Lots of things you could try! Sleep. 8 hours a day, wake up spontaneously without an alarm and if you feel the need do a 30-90 minute power nap in the afternoon.”
“Meditate daily, 5-30 minutes to start in the morning or whenever you feel comfortable. Limit the consume of caffeine.”
“Plan a healthy diet you can stick to, reducing the amount of junk food first to focus later on the composition of your main meals, snacks and so on. Eat plenty of greens, fruit, nuts and drink mainly water or sugar free drinks.”
“Take cold showers. Those are a huge boost, especially in the morning. Decompress. As someone said, take the days you need to just do nothing during your week. Last but not least, workout! Start small, build the habit and stick to it!“~Tha_Sin
“...it's pretty normal in our over worked society.”
“Burnout is real. It means you have given too much of yourself to something, and you need to recover. While deadlines don't wait, professors often will. “
“You have to communicate with them if you are struggling. If they are worth their pay, they will do their best to accommodate you. It's unhealthy to continue under so much stress. Be kind to yourself.”
“Nearly everyone experiences this at some point in life, and it's pretty normal in our over worked society. Do what you can to clear your mind. Assign yourself a certain number of hours to completely shift gears away from all these responsibilities.”
“Set an alarm if you have to, but give yourself enough time to reach a stage of full body relaxation. You can try walking, meditating, sleeping, whatever your body needs. Just listen to it! There is no shame here. You must care for yourself and keep a balance. Deep breaths, often.”~VaginaWarrior
“Yes to this advice!! Let teachers know ASAP that you are struggling and often they will be able to make accommodations or offer help. Also, looking into counseling services that are offered through the school is definitely worth taking advantage of while that stuff is accessible and free.”~shannonbta
“because a b*tch needs water...”
“My bad day thing is I have to get up, eat (even if it's takeout), put on fresh bedsheets because if I'm having a bad day in bed it might as well be comfortable and smell good, have a shower (even just shoulders down) and go for even a small walk, even if it's to the shop or to get myself that takeout."
“They're not huge things to do but they're very difficult on some days. And I don't always do them all, maybe I just eat and shower, or go for a walk, or just change my bedsheets. But all of them are small tasks that feel like mountains but once I do one or two of them they're so so easy, and I benefit from them all mentally or physically or both."
“And I have a litre bottle of water and cup of tea at my side at all times because a b!tch needs water and there are few things as comforting as a good cup of tea in a warm mug to me."~thisisausername-2021
“I didn't pull a single all-nighter in my 4 years of undergrad.”
- “Don't listen to your fellow classmates who boast about study 60+ hours a week, they're either exaggerating, straight-up lying, or have an incredibly inefficient study method. There will be times where you really need to be studying hard for extended amounts of time (ex. finals week), but for the vast majority of the semester it is completely unnecessary to do that in order to get a good grade.”
- “If you do find that you need excessive study in order to do okay in a course then you need to reach out to your TA(s) and professor. Most universities have free tutoring services, use them.”
- “Seriously just take more breaks and get more sleep. I didn't pull a single all-nighter in my 4 years of undergrad and now that I'm in med school I don't have any need for that either. Without real breaks and sleep your brain's ability to actually store and organize all the information you've studied goes out the window. This is harder to do if you need to work to support yourself but you need to find some semblance of healthy sleeping habits if you want to be able to make it through all 4 years.”
- “Eat real food. Don't just live off of snack foods and coffee, your brain isn't going to work properly if you don't fuel it. It's generally cheaper to buy canned and frozen fruit and veg so if you're on a budget try those aisles. Additionally, most places have some sort of charity or community pantry/soup kitchen, use it if you need to.You don't need to be completely destitute in order to reach out for help from these places, if you are struggling to make ends meet get help from your community. It is not weak, it is not shameful, it's being smart enough to accept that everyone needs help now and then.”
- “I mean it, don't pay attention to classmates and social media influencers who say they spend all their time studying. They almost definitely aren't and if they are they have an unsustainable view towards work/school that will bite them in the butt later on.”~JSD12345
Treat yourself to a mini-vacation.
“If you have any extra money (I know, easier said than done) book the cheapest AirBNB you can find within the area you can get to with the transportation you have available. Go alone or bring a friend, and have a mini-vacation, just for a night or weekend. It's very refreshing to have a change of scenery, even if it's in your same city.”~goshawkgirl
These are some great ideas to help cope with the all to real burnout. Remember to show yourself the grace you give to others because your best is all you can do.