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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

Picture this: It’s been a long day of classes and you’ve hardly had any breaks. Your part-time job starts soon and that’s another couple hours of commitment. You still have a 12-page paper to write and there’s a meeting later in the night for that student group you’re a part of. It’s exhausting. 

Whether you hold multiple roles or have one long project you’re working on, this exhaustion is prevalent among university students, and can quickly escalate into burnout. Burnout is a result of experiencing high levels of stress and fatigue over a long period and can affect people in many different ways, according to EduMed. Knowing and understanding the signs of burnout is the first step to preventing it or mitigating its effects.

Decline in physical health

Juggling different positions with little to no breaks may mean that you’re hardly finding time to eat healthy meals and get a good night’s sleep. Inevitably, this can result in poorer wellbeing and a frequency of illnesses – your body’s way of warning you that it’s also feeling the effects of burnout. 


You may be wondering how you can have time for a social life when you have so much work to do. Overwhelmed by the immediate tasks ahead and choosing to prioritize your work may mean that you find less and less time to socialize and confide in your friends and family, slowly disconnecting from them entirely. 


Assignment after assignment, exam after exam, the levels of exhaustion can get to a point where you feel emotionally, physically and mentally drained. You may be feeling constantly tired and unable to find the motivation to complete your work. 

Lack of concentration

According to Healthline, when your brain is exhausted, it becomes harder to think, focus and rationalize. This can adversely affect your work; you’re reading the same line over and over yet still failing to grasp the concept; you’re finding it harder to pay attention in class and you’re unable to fully contribute to group discussions. 

Increased frustration

When you’re no longer able to focus and produce the type of work you normally do, it’s easy to get irritated by your performance. You might find yourself getting into more arguments and taking it out on your close ones. 

If these signs look familiar, chances are you may be feeling the brunt of burnout. Recognizing these signs is the first step to realizing there is a problem. Now, you can evaluate where these issues are stemming from and try to make active changes to better manage them: Saying no when your schedule is already packed, saying yes to self-care and healthier choices and of course, not being afraid to ask for help when you need it, seeking professional help if necessary.

Pooja Rambaran

Toronto MU '22

Fourth year journalism student Pooja is a writer of all things news and culture, avid Netflix watcher and self-proclaimed iced coffee connoisseur.