Avoid College Burnout

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It’s the end of March, and the end of the semester is getting closer. It’s at about this point when students would come to my office in droves. Often times, they were seeking to drop a class. Maybe they just needed to vent about the stress of college life. They may have been reconsidering their choice of major or looking for direction. In most cases, I suspected it was around this last stretch of the semester that students just began to feel burnt out.

There are many reasons students experience burnout. It could be due to course overload. Maybe they’ve been pushing themselves for several semesters and summers without a break. Sometimes new college students feel the effects of burnout particularly hard. Whatever the reason, there are things you can do to lessen the toll burnout may take on you.

Don’t Overdo It

Avoid burnout by scheduling wisely in the first place. We’ve all been guilty of thinking we can do it all and wanting to get done in a hurry, but cramming your schedule full of impossibly difficult courses or piling on too many classes at a time won’t get you done any faster; it’ll only get you more stress! Believe me, I know from personal experience, and I’ve seen too many students deal with the after effects of the super student syndrome. Take a manageable courseload with a variety of classes, and you’ll be in better shape as the semester draws to a close.

Keep Smiling

Your attitide can really play a role on how well you handle the stress of college life. If you tell yourself that you’ll never be able to do it all or convince yourself it doesn’t matter anyway, you’re doomed. Take a look at your situation and figure out which courses need your attention most. Then focus on ways you can improve in those classes or if you really may need to consider dropping one. Your adviser can help you with this. Know that you can take proactive steps to help yourself. Also, count on your friends. A supportive network can do a lot to help you out of a slump. Check out this fun article to learn if you’re a college burnout. It’ll surely make you smile!

End the Cycle of Procrastination

You may have put that big project off all semester, and now it seems impossible to finish. Sometimes we feel so behind that we think we’ll never catch up. But, as I mentioned above, you can always take some proactive steps. Get started now and do all you can to work on completing the project. Jump on another project with a later deadline so that you don’t behind on that one as well. If you’re really stuck, talk to you professor to see if there’s anything you can do. Sometimes just taking any action at all will help to end procrastionation’s nasty cycle.

Get Moving

It may seem cliche, but sometimes exercise can help to boost you out of a slump. Get up early and take a jog around campus or spend some time at your school’s fitness center. Doing so will give you more energy to tackle the tough times of college burnout, and you’ll probably find that the exercise will help you to clear your head. You’ll be feeling better and more productive before you know it. Remember what I said about leaning on your friends, too. Grab a buddy to exercise with you if you think you might need a little extra motivation.

Feed Your Soul

While we’re on the subject of being healthy, don’t forget to eat well. I remember the days of the campus cafeteria. It’s so easy to grab the fries and load them up with cheese or to order pizza to avoid leaving your residence hall. Forgetting to eat a balanced diet is not going to help matters any if you’re feeling stressed to the max. Eat a well-balanced diet to give you the energy you need to feel your best. Along those lines, you may want to feed your soul along with nourishing your body. If you’re religious or spiritual, consider attending church services on campus or nearby. Or maybe see about taking a yoga or pilates class. Sometimes a little spirituality or meditation is what we need to feel more in control and balanced.

Know Your Priorities

The key to finding that balance is getting your priorities straight. Tackle the most important stuff first. Once you’re able to get some of the big stuff out of the way, you’ll feel better able to handle the rest. It’ll be smooth sailing. Also, be sure to take care of what’s most important to you. Feeling torn in terms of priorities can be extremely stressful. If you think you may need some help in this area, don’t hesitate to talk to your adviser or make an appointment at your school’s counseling center. There are lots of people on campus who can help you sort it all out.

This time of the semester can be extremely stressful and busy. Don’t let it overwhelm you and burn you out. You can take matters into your own hands to help you get through it all with your sanity intact.


Omar Modesto says:

Very good read. As a college student who is close to crossing the finish line, I know what it feels to be overwhelmed by all the work.

Mary Davis says:

Thank you, Omar! Glad it was helpful to you. You’re close, huh? Keep going and congrats! I know you’ve worked hard to get to this point.

[…] and ready to go, right? Not necessarily, I know. This is definitely a time in the semester when burnout sets in and motivation tends to drop. This is probably one of the worst times to lose your […]

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