College burnout is a serious and real topic that often isn’t discussed enough in the campus community. It is common for students to regularly feel stressed out during the school semesters, especially with jobs, general responsibilities and a social life to balance. However, sometimes this stress can get out of control and reach the point of what is called college burnout. After remote and online learning for about the past 19 months, students who are now thrown back into fully in-person classes are especially prone to burning out.
According to Tyler Epps at bestcolleges.com, students who feel completely disengaged from both their academic and social life may be experiencing burnout. Those feeling an extended period of fatigue and apathy due to burnout may see a decline in their academic performance. Overall, the most common cause for college burnout is an overwhelming amount of demands and prolonged intense stress.
This guide has been curated to give you some tips and strategies to help prevent college burnout from occurring. With just a few weeks left in the semester, now is the perfect time to take control of your stress and do your best to manage it in order to help you thrive in your academics, work and social life!
- Be aware of the symptoms: Knowing the symptoms of college burnout and how to look for them is crucial. If college burnout goes untreated, it can be detrimental to your mental health and may even lead to depression. Keep a lookout for symptoms such as losing interest in your social life, suffering grades and missing deadlines, a lack of motivation in activities you normally enjoy and feeling lonely or irritable. If you are unsure about whether or not you are experiencing these symptoms, there are always resources on campus to help you figure it out. Reach out to a professor or even to the counselors at the Cutler Health Center. There are countless people who care and are always there to help at the University of Maine! Friends are a good resource as well, as they see you day in and day out and can detect a change in your behavior.
- Get proper sleep: A well-rested mind can allow you to properly function and thrive. Being overtired will only add to your stress and fatigue. Making sure you receive at least eight hours of sleep a night is crucial to prevent college burnout from happening. According to aasm.org, college students with poor sleep schedules negatively affect their academic performance, resulting in poor grades and a lower GPA. Keep this in mind and remember to set your alarm clocks accordingly. Create a sleep schedule to avoid unnecessary late nights!
- Take care of your body and mind: Taking care of your body and mind is just as important as getting proper sleep. Eating healthy and making sure you get exercise is the key to staying both physically and mentally healthy. Not only will this allow for a healthy lifestyle, but taking care of yourself allows for less stress when it comes to making sure your body is okay and well. This eliminates one more thing to stress about in your life, and of course, is overall beneficial to your health.
- Allow yourself to take breaks: With a heavy workload from classes, jobs and a social life, don’t be afraid to take breaks every now and then. When you’re taking breaks you should never feel guilty. Breaks are essential to your mental health. Our brains are powerful organs, but they need rest too! Sit back, relax for a half hour or more and then come back to your responsibilities. Your academic studies are important, but make sure to remember that so are you and your mental health.
- Go outdoors: Weather permitting, you should often take breaks outside! Go on hikes with your friends, walk around campus or simply reflect on a bench or at a picnic table. It is always good to get fresh air and embrace the outdoors. According to bestcolleges.com, there have been studies that have shown spending time outdoors can reduce psychological stress. Take time to soothe your mind outside and prevent college burnout from happening to you.
There are many resources at UMaine to support you. For help or information on how to treat or avoid college burnout, reach out to the Counseling Center at umaine.edu/counseling. To stay successful and on top of your studies, look into the Tutor Program at umaine.edu/tutorprogram.