Changes in perspective can be good

James Farmer

I work almost every day. Between my two jobs, it is rare for me to have a week of less than 45 hours, but, quite frankly, I enjoy it. Staying busy is always preferable to sitting around doing nothing, but it can, unfortunately, lead to burnout. The signs of burnout are obvious to see: loss of energy, general apathy to life outside of work and school and deterioration of social life.

I experienced burnout a little while ago when my hours reached especially high numbers. I was working 10- to 12-hour night shifts four days a week, and working at my other job the other days. I’d wake up, go to class, go to work, go to sleep, rinse and repeat. Sure I was staying busy, but I wasn’t retaining any information at school, and I wasn’t being as productive at work. But then, something happened to help cure burnout.

The general manager of one of my jobs moved me to day shifts, and that little change in perspective provided the spark to get motivated again. All of a sudden, I had free time that I didn’t want to just sleep through and could actually talk to my friends during normal hours. The average length of my shift also decreased. Because of this, I felt more energized and rejuvenated and ready to go to work and school.

It’s amazing what a change in perspective can do for a person’s outlook on life. Students should remember this when life starts to get busy and hectic for them. Maybe adding a PE class next semester to break up the classroom monotony or taking core classes instead of major classes can provide a down-and-out student with the spark they need to get their head back in the game.

So don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit in school, or even in your professional and personal life. Sometimes the slightest change can pay off in a big way.