College burnout and how to cope with it in 2023

by MaddOx
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Do you ever feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and disconnected from everything in college? You might be experiencing burnout. College students have to face a lot of demands from college, and sometimes they succumb. It is prevalent among students who pursue challenging programs and face pressure from different parts of their lives. Burnout can be dangerous when left unchecked; that’s why this text highlights how to identify and cope with it.

Burnout vs. Fatigue

Burnout and fatigue can be easily confused with each other. Fatigue is more of a medical condition, while burnout is more of a psychological one. Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion caused by stress, while fatigue is the prolonged feeling of tiredness and weakness. Fatigue can be a major symptom of burnout.

What causes burnout?

Burnout in college is often the result of a combination of factors. It is caused when students face too much pressure in college. Some of the contributing factors include:

  • Overwhelming college workloads
  • Poor sleeping habits 
  • Poor diet 
  • Pressure from family and other people’s expectations 
  • Setting unrealistic goals and having extreme expectations of yourself 
  • Poor time management 
  • Feeling uncertain about the future 
  • Stress from working part-time 
  • Stress from declining grades
  • Changes in core personal relationships 
  • Loneliness from self-isolation and being disconnected socially 
  • Lack of physical activity 

Many of these factors can barely cause burnout by themselves and tend to combine for a student to burn out. For example, excess workload alone might not cause burnout since one can always seek essay help. However, when combined with poor sleeping habits and family stress, a student develops a high risk of burnout.

College student stressed out surrounded by paper and a laptop. Burnout is real.

Signs of burnout

Detecting burnout early gives you a better chance of coping with it sooner. That’s why it’s essential to identify the signs that you might be burnt out. Some of the common ones are: 

  • Declining grades or poor performance academically
  • Loss of motivation and passion 
  • Weight loss or gain 
  • Increased consumption of alcohol and drugs  
  • Skipping classes 
  • Problems with forming connections with others 
  • Loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy 
  • Being irritable or quick to anger
  • Increased anxiety, restlessness, and worry
  • Fatigue

There are also some physical signs you can watch out for, such as headaches and stomach troubles. 

The mental fatigue associated with burnout can get to a point where you struggle to complete simple academic tasks. You might start producing thoughts like, “I can’t do it,” or “I need someone to write my paper.” 

When left unchecked, burnout can get students to a point where they don’t care about anything and might start indulging in self-destructive habits like smoking, drinking, and drug use. Burnout also shares similar symptoms with depression, meaning it can be a risk factor and a predictor of depression.

How to cope with burnout 

Burnout does not just go out on its own; you need to change your life for your mental health. Here are some changes you can make or practices to adopt to cope with and avoid burnout.

Manage your time well 

Proper time management can help you prevent some of the causes of burnout, such as excessive workload. Many students procrastinate and then deal with a lot of work in a limited time. Time management also involves allocating enough time for your studies and beginning to study for exams early, giving you a better chance to win good grades. 

Stressed Students sat in a library with burnout

Practice self-care

Your mental health heavily relies on how well you care for your body. So, start by getting enough sleep. Then, develop a sleep schedule that gives you enough hours of rest and set a constant sleep time so your body will recognise and adopt the pattern. If you struggle to get sleep, avoid using screens before bed and create a quiet and dark environment for sleeping. You will also get better sleep if you avoid overeating before bedtime. 

Self-care also involves eating healthily. Avoid skipping meals and going to classes on an empty stomach. Also, eat healthy meals most of the time to have just enough energy for the day. 

Exercise to improve your physical health and give your mind a break from some of the stress you might be experiencing. You’ll likely get a better sleep when you exercise some hours before bed. 

Know your limits 

Sometimes students push themselves too hard or spread themselves too thin while trying to get the most out of college. While it’s important to challenge yourself, students should understand their limits. For example, suppose you struggle to balance your academics with multiple extracurricular activities or even a part-time job. In that case, dropping the extra responsibilities and focusing more on your learning might be wise. 

Knowing your limits also means recognising your weaknesses and working on them instead of setting unrealistic standards for yourself. Be responsible when setting your standards. 

Set aside time to do things you love 

While your academics should be your primary concern in college, leave out some time to have some fun. Hang out with friends, go on walks, watch a movie, and call your family. Then, when it’s your time to rest, give yourself a break from school to be mentally refreshed when you return.

Ask for help and speak to someone about it

It can be a friend, a study partner, or a professional; just find someone you can open up to about the stress you might be facing in college. They might have some useful advice for you, and you will feel better when you open up. But, again, make sure it’s someone you can trust or a certified professional. Also, don’t be afraid to seek help when you feel overwhelmed.

Many universities have mental health resources you can make use of. In addition, if you’re struggling with the workload, you can always seek some help. Again, a royalessays review should give you helpful insight about such services.

College students that aren't suffering from burnout

Final thoughts 

Burnout is manageable but will require a student to make sacrifices and change some habits. It would also be beneficial to find the source of stress or pressure you might be feeling and then work towards managing it. This guide should offer some valuable tips but remember it is no substitute for professional mental health assistance. So seek help when you feel you need it.

For more content like this, check out our Lifestyle and General section.

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