One Reddit user asked:
And the question immediately made me think of my oldest kid... which I'm sure we will address later with a qualified professional. But let me explain...
She was the first thing that came to mind, but my little one is spooky - not scary.
I was going to tell you guys all about how my family calls her "Spooky McPsychicpants" and how she has weirdly predicted lots of pregnancies ... but that's honestly just neat. It's not scary.
These Reddit users have met scary, and it isn't cute. It isn't an adorable kid with a cool little quirk.
It's heartbreaking. It's world changing. It can be the kind of thing you are never the same after.
Or maybe it's just a terribly mundane movie night with an axe murderer.
Read ahead with caution. There are some serious atrocities and triggers touched on here.
The Nice Library Guy
Probably this dude who worked at my local library around the time I was 17-18.
He was my age. I worked with his older brother at the local grocery store when I was 16 and had his dad as a teacher in 5th grade.
He was a nice guy, quiet, helpful. We'd chat whenever I had a research paper for school or a project.
He murdered them both - as well as his brothers girlfriend. He was sent to prison and was shot trying to escape.
Megacharmconfused powerpuff girls GIF Giphy
The pastor at a local megachurch goes to a doctor's office I used to work at. The church is basically a cult at this point, and everyone outside of it knows it.
He walked in the door while I was at the front desk, and right away all of my higher faculties just... got hijacked. I don't know how to explain it. In that moment, I wanted to be the most fantastic receptionist he had ever met in his life. I wanted to impress him so badly it hurt.
The second he walked out, I came back to myself like what the hell just happened?
A few months later the same exact thing happened again.
He didn't scare me, at least not as far as I was aware. But I'm open to the possibility that it was a fawning response. I do have a tendency to do that to …a lot of people.
This just felt sort of different; like pheromones in movies or something. I want to stay very far away from that man.
Poor Buck Taylor
When I was really young we were at a rodeo and met Buck Taylor. He was one of the actors who played a bad guy on Tombstone.
I was TERRIFIED of him.
I couldn't understand why my parents were chatting with a murderer.
The actor was a lovely guy, I just wasn't old enough to know movies weren't real yet.
My Brother's Mental Health Monster
Honestly, my brother.
He has severe mental illness that's incredibly unpredictable. Months go by with him seeming fine, and then there's a day that he just completely shifts. Having dealt with it for over a decade now you'd think you'd get used to it, but you don't, you just get smarter about seeing a break coming.
There's no countdown timer though and half the time it doesn't end up being anything, but saying something about it can trigger that break. The reason it's terrifying is because he's almost always around either myself, my mom, or my dad, and it goes from 0-200 in the blink of an eye.
The first violent episode it was just me, we just fought intensely for a while, and then he went around smashing everything he could find until cops came and had to tackle him. People joke about "crazy-strength", but it's no joke.
Since then, he's been stun-gunned, tased, flash banged, and bean-bagged by police. Mostly separate incidents, some multiple times.
He violently threw my mid-60s mom to the ground. He cornered my dad with a knife when he came to check on him at his apartment, which my dad did because someone who knew my brother called him to let him know that he was sitting in a public park in the city repeatedly stabbing a knife into the ground. That fiasco ended with my brother taken down by SWAT.
He's been involuntarily admitted to mental health facilities more than a dozen times, but they have a catch and release policy unless you've got insane money, which neither he nor us do.
I've learned a frightening amount about both our legal system and mental health system throughout these years. There are holes big enough to drive a bus through. He needs help and those around him deserve to be safe.
At this point, my dad has moved out of the country so the only option was for my brother was to move in with my mom or be homeless. She couldn't even begin to entertain the idea of making her son homeless.
After years of never owning a firearm, I do now - and I have a different perspective on why it might be necessary for some people. Some people just love guns; but some people have a legitimate reason for needing one...
Thankfully, for now, he's not a threat to either of us. Our relationships with him seemed to be going better, but then he got it in his head that we were part of a conspiracy that was seeking to kill him. So he went to the police station to report it.
They know both myself and my mom (at this point they've met us several times) so they called EMTs, but that spooked him. So he pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the cops (went through the Kevlar).
Thankfully the cop was okay after some stitches.
Because of that incident, my brother now meets the requirements to be kept in a mental health facility for a while. No idea how long though. And once he's out, he'll be going back to my mom's.
Oh, and the cop my brother stabbed is suing my mom and trying to go after her homeowners insurance. That could very well make them drop her, even if it doesn't go anywhere. She would have an extremely difficult time finding a new company that would cover her based on all of this. So there's that.
This newest episode almost broke my mom but she pushed forward, and I'll never forget the sound in her voice when she told me that she'd received that notice in the mail. It was like it finally broke her.
She's tried her best to help, but there's only so much she can do. The cop involved is close enough to retirement that I have to think he's trying to leverage this to make that date come sooner, but I don't think he realizes what effect that'll have. Or maybe the department is forcing him to go after her?
The system is f*cked, and it breaks my heart to think there's likely one of two outcomes in the future:
Either I'm around when he snaps next and I at least have a chance to defend her (she will never raise a finger against him, even in self-defense)
I'm not and I get the worst phone call of my life.
She doesn't even believe he's capable of such a thing because she sees him through rose-colored glasses (he is her son), but his consistent history makes it obvious to anyone else.
He literally tried to kill a cop but I don't think she understands that it very well could have been her. Psychosis overrides the person you know.
The only fitting comparison I've ever been able to make is if you'd had a dog that you loved for years and then all of a sudden, it got rabies. It's just not the same dog anymore. But it can be close to impossible to accept that when you're looking at the dog you've loved for so long.
We'll have to see what they decide in court due to the severity of this incident, but at this point we genuinely have no idea if he'll be out in a few months considering "time served" or if it'll be longer than that. The prosecutor also made the case that he's mentally fit to stand trial, which I think was done to increase any penalties against him, but that carries significant effects.
It means they can't force him to take his meds - which makes things worse the longer he goes without. It also means he'd be placed in gen pop if he's found guilty, which is dangerous both for him and anyone else he's locked in there with.
Either way he will get out eventually. He will go back to my mom's. Then it's just a matter of time until the consistent escalation of this reaches the next level. He's only gotten worse over the years, and I'm terrified of what the next manifestation will be.
Escaped Only Because Of His Whims
I met a guy in a Parisian brothel who was 'security' - but in reality was there to pressure customers to buy the overpriced drinks and max out their credit cards on the 'ladies'.
I didn't know it was a brothel and as soon as I saw they were charging $25 for a small glass of beer and the place was full of young women who were all far too interested in my ugly @ss I started to nope out of there.
This intimidating muscular man in a suit, complete with facial scars, held my bicep and pulled me back inside. I told him I wanted to leave and I would call the police if he tried to stop me.
At that point he gave me a look ... and to this day I swear he looked like he was trying to decide whether to kill me or not - and it was a close thing.
He let me go with a face like thunder. I truly believe I was in mortal danger and I escaped only because of this guy's whims. Or perhaps he didn't think he could avoid problems with the police.
One scary mother f*cker. Definitely killed before and would again, in my opinion.
Human Trapsgrand canyon arizona GIF by Go USA Kr Giphy
Maybe 8 years ago now I was working at a local Subway with this really nice kid who always seemed eager to help.
I was watching the news one day and saw that he had gotten arrested for setting up traps for humans up the canyon.
I work in a mental health facility. Every Saturday I watch a movie with a man who killed his step father with an axe.
"Cold blooded killer" right? Some of his family members absolutely hate him.
But he's kind. He loves movies and media. He helps the other guys. He listens....hell the other staff and I sometimes joke that he works there.
"Hey "Bob" you wanna go grab this room check?"
"Yea man I got you lol."
He's an inherently "good" person who committed a horrible crime because he was an undiagnosed schizophrenic. In situations like this all you can do is take it day by day and do your best to help these people.
The leader who ordered a teenager to shoot into a truck full of girls on their way to school.
It was a big deal locally that these girls were starting school that day.
The man who ordered the attack was completely nonchalant when questioned about it. "Of course I told [teenager] to do this. He wanted his soul saved from evil, so I told him when and how."
"Of course they should die. [the girls] They were on their way to school to be made into whores for America. We had to stop them from being corrupted."
This went on and on. He acted like it was the most commonplace, banal thing he'd ever done.
Like tossing a piece of paper into a trashcan. Or cutting up vegetables. "Of course I cut up the carrots, how else do you put them in stew?"
It was insane. He was terrifying.
Most of the girls survived the attack. Every one of them had horrific injuries, though. Hope they eventually went to school, but I don't know.
Just Because He Could
My ex. Dear God...
Women fawn over him, just like I once did. He is the most masterfully manipulative person I have ever met. An expert at reading people, and a most accomplished gaslighter.
Physically, mentally/emotionally, financially toward relationship partners.
You're either 100% with him or you're his enemy, there is no in between. It's all black and white. A thief and a liar and he actually just thought it was fun to fight people.
He'd just beat the sh*t out of someone because he could.
Impulsive and reckless, a loose cannon. And he was enormous, a giant block of muscle.
Probably the night I saw the grim reaper.
It was 3am and me and my friend decided to walk to get some fast food. The walk was on a well lit long street, no way on or off for a good long stretch on the way there. It was a very flat road we could see a good distance ahead. There was no one around. No cars, no pedestrians.
All of a sudden we see a guy ahead of us. He came out of nowhere. He was just there. We hadn't seen coming even though we had an insane and clear field of view.
We noticed him when he was about 10 meters away. Way too close. My senses told me to cross the road and avoid this guy, but instead we go quiet and pass him.
He is wearing all black - but not normal looking clothes. Like nothing I've seen before. He looks quite aged and he has a long black beard and a long walking cane that looks like it has a skull on it and its made out of wood, but like crazy wood like a staff or something. He was creepy AF.
After he passed us, I didn't look back right away for fear of our lives, but after a while we turned and looked. He was gone. We should have been able to see him still. There is no way he walked that far in that amount of time.
Every now and then I ask my friend about that night. We can't explain it. I've never been more terrified.
Dad Was Usually Angry And Scared Us
Growing up my best friend's neighbors were a family with two boys, both younger than us. We didn't hang out with them that much, but would swim in their pool in the summer and their mom would bring us snacks.
She was really nice, but their dad was usually angry and scared us.
Their dad ended up killing their mom in the house, dismembering her body and dumping the parts in different dumpsters around the area.
He only ended up getting 11 years and tried to move near his kids once he was out, their grandparents had adopted them and had to get a court order for their dad to stay away.
The Reason There's No Cutlery
There was this kid at my elementary school who constantly got into fights. He was just outright aggressive.
He stared at people while hunching like an animal about to strike, made himself vomit on people he didn't like, slammed his head into the brick wall on more than one occasion, and stabbed people with the silverware so many times that the school ended up getting rid of metal cutlery entirely in favor of plastic.
A Sociopath Looking For A Place To Happen
I did administrative work at a local residential drug and alcohol treatment facility in my early 20s (I'm 35 now), paper pushing, filing and the like. The scariest dude I've ever met was this guy who was there for alcohol and some kind of narcotic.
I was delivering something urgent and unrelated to his counselor and he just happened to be in her office when I knocked on the door frame (door was open) and he looked straight at me a continued describing how he liked to get f*cked up, mutilate small animals (especially squirrels and cats) and masturbate over their eviscerated remains.
The way he said it was so matter of fact, like how a person describes how they like their coffee, and there was NOTHING behind his eyes. It was like they were dead and glazed over. It was like looking into the face of every serial killer mugshot I've ever seen all at once.
Looking at him was like getting hit with a low voltage electrical current. I dropped the message on the counselor's desk and avoided the hell out of that guy for the rest of his stay.
I still think about him a lot and to this day I hope that man is either dead or in prison because that man was a sociopath looking for a place to happen.
The Really Big Big Showwwe divas GIF Giphy
When I was bout five I went to see a WWE match.
When it ended, I got the chance to meet The Big Show. While he was really nice to me, it was his shear size that scared me. The Big Show is really big.
The Pigeon Was Just The Beginning
When I was 5, my friend and I found a pigeon that was either sick or injured since it wasn't flying away. My mom has nursed animals back to health before, including a squirrel and a different pigeon.
My neighbor and his friend came out (teenagers) and wondered what we were doing. We told them and they said to wait right there and they will take care of it.
They returned with aluminum baseball bats and just start beating the sh*t out of this unfortunate creature like Glenn from The Walking Dead. My neighbor's friend said "You're welcome" and they just left.
We were horrified and left with a destroyed corpse.
A couple years later, I saw my neighbor's friend in a newspaper article. He killed a girl with an axe on Christmas or New Years eve, I forget. Decapitated her.
That f*cked me up a little bit.
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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.
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.