Handling college burnout


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College burnout is plaguing students, leaving them mentally drained and unmotivated during a crucial time in their education.  

Tiffany Persaud, Features & Lifestyle Editor

Due to COVID protocols and now winter weather, college students are suffering academic burnout more than ever. Along with obvious reasons for college burnout, multitasking is an acquired skill that not many have down unless they’re on a strict schedule surrounding school and work. But young adults need mental health breaks.  

It’s common to hear professors say to take a “mental health day” if you need it. In reality, if we have four months of classes, extracurricular activities, work and all other adulting responsibilities during the semester we would fall behind on attendance. 

Although it is a choice to take part in activities outside of class like clubs, sports and volunteering, it is often necessary to put on your resume. It’s a double-edged sword.  

You are experiencing burnout if: 

  1. You have little to no motivation 
  1. Experiencing insomnia  
  1. Feel emotionally overwhelmed  
  1. Amplified anxiety  
  1. Exhaustion and fatigue 
  1. Easily triggered  
  1. Losing interest  

Once you have recognized your symptoms of burnout, you need to recover so your life can assume smooth sailing. Seeking professional help might seem like an added errand to your to-do list, so don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help. Whether it’s just a chat or physically helping you complete your tasks, anything given by the people you love the most is beneficial.  

Moreover, practicing mindful breathing, eating and socializing will also improve your quality of life, but, if enjoying a weekly cheeseburger brings you comfort during times of stress, then do it! Everything is good in moderation. The same goes for staying up late to watch a movie instead of cramming to finish an assignment.  

Bear in mind, this depends on your professor’s leniency. Professors tend to grant grace periods and a lesser workload if they notice their class genuinely needs it and is not continuously taking advantage of their kindness. Some may not because they’re probably tenured. Anyway… 

Once you’ve recovered, you need to try your best to impede burnout from its return for your demise. Spending your time off doing things you enjoy the most, whether it’s big or small, will substantially improve your mood and outlook on life. Exercising is the #1 secret to releasing stress and preventing it.  

Finding your perfect school/work/life balance is not easy for students, especially for commuters, and underclassmen who are returning to in-person instruction. Gaels are naturally expected to reach certain standards during their time at Iona, which can quickly become overwhelming. However, identifying and dealing with burnout can get your life back on track.