We are about a month into the semester and as many of you have noticed there are significantly more empty seats in your classes than there were at the beginning.
A lot of this is due to what is called “student burnout.”
Student burnout is a commonly occurring phenomena amongst college students and it occurs when a student feels overwhelmed and unable to keep up with constant demands.
Burnout is just that-you are burnt out. Mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion caused by exposure to excessive and prolonged stress.
I am starting to feel the effects of burnout and I see the effects of it reflected in many of my classmates as well.
I started the first few weeks out really strong, attended every lecture, took stellar notes, and sometimes even turned in assignments early.
Then I ended up skipping one class because I was just tired and needed that extra bit of sleep.
Well, one class turned into another, and pretty soon I found myself buried in about three days-worth of homework.
As Sunday evening rolled around, and I sat down at my kitchen table, watching the 11:59 deadline on D2L fast approaching, I started to realize that even if I do start catching up on these assignments there will just be more to come.
The thought seemed overwhelming and even more stressful, causing me to not want to complete any assignments at all.
After Googling my symptoms and finding out I was (probably) dying, I stumbled across a few articles on student burnout and compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you prevent and treat burnout. (Disclaimer: I am not by any means a medical professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.)
The first step is to give yourself a break. Take a day off and do absolutely nothing.
Clearing your head and reflecting on what is causing you to feel so exhausted can help you improve your physical and emotional well-being.
Try things like switching up your diet, going to the gym, the spa, or just going out with friends.
These are all great ways to make you feel better physically and mentally, and help you recharge your brain.
If you have to call in sick to work and sleep all day, that’s O.K. You are the most important thing in life, and you come first.
Once you feel refreshed and motivated to get on track make a physical “to-do list” of everything you need to get done both personal and academic wise. Include even small errands (such as running to the bank) and other things that you have been putting off.
Prioritize them in order by their deadlines. I have a magnetic white board on my fridge for this specific purpose.
It’s extremely satisfying to check off small things like taking out the trash, and this can make big things (like that 5-page essay you’ve been putting off) feel within reach.
Next transfer your to-do list onto post-it notes and place them where you can see them.
In your planner, on your fridge, and on your bathroom mirror. Having a visible reminder of things you need to get done can help you break the habit of procrastinating.
Remember the motto “better late than never.” One thing I have a terrible habit of doing is pressing the snooze button too often. By about the sixth snooze, I look at the time, realize it’s 12:20 p.m. and I have class at 12:30 p.m. I figure “I’m already going to be late, I might as well just skip.”
This is a terrible mindset. Do not get into this habit.
Trust me, your professors would rather you sneak into class five minutes late than skip an entire two-hour lecture full of vital information.
This motto also applies to assignments. Check your syllabus and see what the penalty is for late work. Often times, you only get docked a certain percentage, and it’s better to get 25% deducted on a late assignment than to take a zero.
That 75% is going to help your overall class average in the long run.
Header photo courtesy of Flickr.