How I dealt with college burnout



Students live busy lives, with many of us juggling hard classes, work, and a healthy social life, it’s difficult for us to find time for ourselves. Last quarter, when I had an hour to myself the only thing I would do was sit in my bed and watch whatever show I could find. However, I started to feel lazy and disinterested.


The problem wasn’t that I was lazy, it was that I was too exhausted to bring myself to do anything I enjoyed, like painting or hiking. I never even thought about the possibility of burnout, because I didn’t feel like I was doing enough for it to apply to me. Many of us don’t notice the signs of burnout and just chalk it up to being in college. It seemed weird that something I considered a natural part of life was being described as a chronic state of stress.


After watching a YouTube video about burnout I decided to look it up. Burnout symptoms include chronic fatigue, insomnia, forgetfulness, concentration issues, weakened immune system, anxiety, pessimism, isolation, or lack of productivity.

(Photo Courtesy of Sweetlouise on Pixabay)


Along with many others, I have experienced many of these symptoms. It was strange for me to believe that people so young could already be experiencing burnout. I had seen many people in high school and my hometown, in Silicon Valley, that were burnt out, but no one seemed to acknowledge it. We are supposed to ignore the stress and anxiety we are feeling because of the expectations we are supposed to meet.


I thought the stress would lessen after I got into college and moved away from home, but it didn’t. I replaced the stress of trying to get into a good college with stressing over my future. Would I ever get a well-paying job? Would I be able to afford to live somewhere nice?   


(Photo Courtesy of A_Different_Perspective on Pixabay)


In an effort to try and reduce the symptoms of burnout it is important to get more sleep, which many college students don’t get. Organize, figure out the stress factor, know when to take a break, and to pay attention to your physical and emotional health.


While sleep may take me a little longer to correct, I recently went out and got a planner so I can stop relying on my memory to tell me when my homework’s due. I also found that prioritizing what I need to do each day helps me be more productive.


A lot of burnout is an emotional state, so I bought a coloring book and some gel pens to help clear my mind and give me a break each day. Doing small things like this every day won’t immediately stop the symptoms of burnout, but they can bring some calmness and stability to our otherwise busy lives.