Don’t burn out during midterms

It’s the time of the semester when students are filled with dread. It is one of the worst weeks, second only to finals week. We’re talking, of course, about Midterms.

Midterms can be difficult, especially if you have several assignments piling up, you’re studying for lengthy tests or putting the final touches on projects. With over half the semester finished, students can understandably start to feel a bit overwhelmed. However, we need to prioritize ourselves now so we don’t burn out later.

Academic burnout affects nearly every student on campus. According to the National College Health Assessment, 80% of college students reported feeling overwhelmed. Another 40% reported it was difficult to function in their daily lives. With all the pressure that society and students face, it can become too much. It doesn’t stop at the collegiate level, either. A March 2021 Indeed survey found nearly 60% of Gen Z and Millennial workers experienced burnout at their post-graduate jobs. 

Preventing burnout starts with being able to recognize the warning signs. These include feeling extremely tired, losing interest in doing schoolwork, increased frustrations and experiencing physical symptoms of burnout such as headaches or stomach aches. During these times, it’s a good idea to evaluate stressors and, if necessary, change routines to better fit our needs. 

With all the responsibilities put on students during midterms, it’s easy to put self-care on the back burner. If students neglect their needs, it can increase the risk of anxiety or depression. In other words, when you feel the need to accomplish everything right away, that might be when you actually need to step back for a breather. A simple walk around the block, grabbing dinner with friends or going to bed an hour earlier can work wonders and keep your mood boosted. 

Before burnout triumphs, take the opportunity to improve the skills that apply to not only your workload but will serve you after graduation. Working on time management, setting realistic and achievable goals and asking for help are a few ways to deal with stressors before burnout overwhelms you. Planning can help us organize our schedules and prioritize which assignments need our attention first and can sort out the stress in our brains. 

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