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Mental Health

Let’s Get Real: Being a “Burnt Out” College Student During a Global Pandemic

So, I am currently writing this article at 5:00PM on November 15, 2020. That means it has been approximately 246 days since I was sent home from college on March 13. The day from hell, as my friends and I like to call it. I have endured almost two semesters of online college courses, and while there have been some positive moments throughout, I have had difficulty accepting the harsh reality that I am insanely burnt out. Waking up every morning to relive a variation of the same day over and over has definitely been a struggle for everyone I know, including myself. It often feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. How am I expected to perform well in my classes, decide if I want to study abroad, apply to internships, declare my major, keep up with my friends (both from home and college), stay active, and find time for myself when I sometimes have barely enough time to eat three meals a day?

To be totally transparent, there was a moment the other day where I cried for an hour and blasted old Taylor Swift albums. While this obviously is not the best coping mechanism in the world, it made me realize how much of a toll the pandemic has had on my mental health. My friends and I have all clearly labeled ourselves as “burnt out.”

While being “burnt out” is a commonality among adults, how are individuals as young as 19 already feeling this way? Especially when they’re living the best years of their lives? To think that a year ago I was waiting in line for chicken parmesan at Kimball and mingling with friends at the Catalina Wine Mixer astounds me, especially when I realized that I haven’t stepped foot on campus since March. As someone who lives vicariously through the past, it’s been tough to reminisce on all the fun memories I had once taken for granted.

I have found that talking through my struggles with my friends has definitely helped me realize that we are not alone in this battle. Thousands of other college students are having the same crisis, and it really does help to know that your feelings and struggles are valid and understandable. It’s okay to not be okay, especially when your life turns upside down in an instant. I have faith that better days are ahead, and sometimes taking it day by day is the best we can do. Getting my assignments done takes a significant amount of effort these days, but I know that this “burnt out” feeling will subside soon, for myself and everyone. I send hugs to any other college student who feels the same as I do. We got this.

Cassie Smith is a current Psychology major with a minor in Rhetoric & Composition at Holy Cross. When she'd not spending her time working for HerCampus, she's catching up with friends, graphic designing on her iPad, or perfectly organizing her Pinterest boards and Spotify playlists.
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