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Life > Academics

Avoiding Burnout: A Reflection On Spreading Yourself Too Thin

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

As the beginning of a new quarter comes around, the start of clubs and extracurriculars comes with it. With every activity imaginable available at UCLA, it can be so exciting to try your hand in anything that sounds even remotely interesting. I mean, college is the place to get involved in everything and it provides so many opportunities that might be harder to come by after graduation. 

And obviously, if you are at UCLA, you’re already a driven and involved person and likely want to embrace those opportunities here even more than you did in high school. But there’s something that is so important to keep in mind, something that isn’t always talked about at an institution where everyone seems to always be doing something: avoiding burnout and spreading yourself too thin. 

The extracurriculars at UCLA will likely be a larger time commitment than in high school, and that is something that I had to learn the hard way during my freshman year. I wanted to get involved in everything, so I signed up for even more activities than I had done in high school. I quickly learned, unfortunately, that it just doesn’t work like that here. I was scrambling by week 4 to keep up with school, outside activities and having a social life—it felt like there wasn’t anything that I could give up. I started to accept that this was how it was going to be throughout my entire college career and that I was just going to be mentally drained the entire time. 

Obviously, that mentality is not sustainable at all and I found myself not enjoying anything I was involved in, which was so disheartening, especially after feeling like I was pushing myself to the limit to make sure I was able to do everything. 

Eventually, my friends and family came through for me. They helped me realize that I couldn’t do everything, but that that was okay. It was more important to spend time doing the things I was passionate about and loved, rather than forcing myself to do activities I felt like I needed to do. 

Overall, if there is one piece of advice that I could spread to students, it would be to pick your priorities and to stick with them. Remember to practice self care and realize when you need to take a break. Never feel like an activity that you’re devoting your precious time to is something you just have to do simply because you feel you should. Everything you devote your time to should be something that you are genuinely excited about (and don’t forget, taking care of yourself needs to be a priority too)!

Maia Hull

UCLA '26

Maia is a second year microbiology and immunology major and mathematics minor from San Diego, CA. She loves to read and write, snowboard, go swimming, and hang out with friends, as well as the occasional shopping spree.