This story might be very relatable for you. Or not at all. Either way it is good to read about it and be aware of the following topic; The Millennial Burnout. This story is very personal because it is still something I am trying to figure out and work through. Let me start from the beginning:
During my graduation internship I worked for a company in the fashion industry and was an intern in the Public Relations department. After my first week my manager fell out because she ran into a burnout. Unfortunately, that left just me in the department. i was alone for a long time and was extremely busy figuring out what my tasks were and how things worked inside of this company. While figuring this out I was not only the intern for the department but also the manager…
I was constantly pushed beyond my own limits, which I did not realize until I started having panic attacks. An issue which I addressed with the Head of Marketing but they were too busy with finding an interim manager, and hé, somebody had to do the work, right?…
Eventually during my internship of six months I have had four different managers and a lot of panic attacks. By some miracle, I managed to graduate without any further problems (even though I was rarely given time to work on my thesis during my internship).
How it still affects me
After my graduation I got a job for a company that I previously did volunteer work for. This was a comfortable and save environment where I could start exploring the post-student life. I currently work only 16 hours a week and that is enough for me.
It has been 8 months since my internship but I still struggle mentally everyday. Luckily I have learned when a panic attack is coming up and I can step away from a situation that is stressful for me. But after working on Monday and Tuesday I am tired for the rest of the week and find it hard to leave my bed.
The hardest thing of all is still accepting that this is how I feel and that it is okay to feel this way. I was (and still am) a very ambitious person who loves to work hard. The only difference now is that my body and mind prevent me from being ambitious and pro-active because I simply do not have the energy at the moment. This results into a continuous battle between who I want to be and who I can be at the moment without crossing my own boundaries again.
Unfortunately, we as millennials live in a society that expects us to succeed and even exceed in every endeavor we set our minds on. We always have to work harder, longer and faster. Not only in the work field are we expected to succeed but also in our personal lives, maybe even more so than in our career.
We are expected to have a lot of great friends, interesting hobbies, a busy social calendar and a lot of followers on social media. But why do we put this social pressure on ourselves? Or are millennials just born with an inert characteristic that wants us to prove ourselves to be better than our peers? Food for thought I guess…
I hope that, if this story is relatable to you, you learn that it is okay to feel this way and that you are certainly not the only one going through something like this.
Let me know in the comments if you ever had a similar experience and how you dealt with it or are dealing with it! Also if you have any questions let me know.