(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2zOkRwy)
This topic does keep coming up again and again, but I think it needs to be defined more clearly this time, and to be aware of some possible fall out too.
The concept of ‘going hard’ in English is really just like the picture above. Almost like you have tunnel vision, pushing yourself to the edge and keeping your eye focused on the goal. When problems come along you deal with them one at a time. Trying to just take your time with anything and smell the flowers along the way can work for some, but ultimately if you have a goal of IELTS or some other exam, you will need to take a hold of where you are at and simply push yourself to your limit.
At the same time, having time to take your breath is important too, as you don’t want to burnout your interest in English while you are riding this wave, as this could lead to the sudden death of your goal.
To know if you are burning out consider these 5 points:
- Finding yourself lacking energy as soon as someone says the word ‘English’
- Finding yourself unwilling to tackle new English activities
- Getting unreasonably frustrated with other class members for the tiniest of things
- Becoming fixated the correctness rather than fluency
- Feeling that the chance of reaching your goal is hopeless
If any of these things apply to you, you could be hitting burnout.
For many students who take full time courses of 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, it seems like a great idea in the beginning as they feel they will be completely immersing themselves and ‘going hard’ in it, but often the wall comes at you just as fast. The wall is the wall of ‘burnout’, and with that comes frustration and anger and often feelings of giving up. This is a common problem but a problem that needs to be carefully dealt with.
It can even mean allowing yourself to have a week off, or a month off after a few months, just so you can catch your breath. In this time, you don’t need to even think of a single English word…just let everything digest subconsciously. You may be surprised at what happens after that. The English you thought was impossible can sometimes be flowing even more easily, and the confidence you thought was gone may be back even stronger than ever.
So, when you go hard in English – it’s important to keep your eye on the goal, but make sure you keep your eye on the burnout symptoms too. We all need to know how to look after ourselves, and students are no different.