Students’ Battle Against Burnout

A look into the struggles faced by college students dealing with burnout

Sixty percent of college students have experienced burnout, a concerning statistic revealed by a study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The APA Dictionary of Psychology defines burnout as a state of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and negative attitudes towards oneself and others. It's a harsh reality that many students like Kylee Johnson, a senior public health major, are all too familiar with.

"I've dealt with burnout a lot my senior year," Johnson shared. "I just don't feel like doing my work." Her sentiments echo those of many other college students who find themselves overwhelmed by the pressures of academic life. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, a staggering 70% of college students have felt depleted due to excessive stress.

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For Liz Heuser, a senior chemistry major, burnout has taken a toll not only on her academic performance but also on her social life. "Burnout definitely just makes me less present when I need to be," Heuser explained. "You know, because I'm so tired I don't have the energy to do stuff, not even just schoolwork, just like hanging out with friends."

The Impact of Burnout

Burnout is insidious, creeping into every aspect of a student's life when stress and pressure become too overwhelming. It doesn't just affect one's mental state but also influences how individuals perceive themselves and the quality of work they produce. The consequences can be far-reaching and detrimental if not addressed promptly.

An Instagram survey conducted among Kent State students further highlighted the prevalence of burnout on college campuses. Students shared their experiences, emphasizing the heavy workload as a significant contributing factor to their burnout. Many expressed feeling so swamped by schoolwork that they lacked the motivation to even begin their assignments. Even those who hadn't experienced burnout yet sensed its looming presence.

External pressures and difficulty in setting boundaries were also cited as triggers for burnout among students. Struggling to say "no" and juggling multiple commitments can exacerbate the stress of the semester, pushing students closer to the brink of exhaustion.

Preventing and Coping with Burnout

With four out of five college students experiencing burnout during their undergraduate careers, it's crucial to find ways to combat this pervasive issue. While it may seem like an uphill battle, there are strategies that students can employ to prevent or cope with burnout effectively.

"It's probably avoidable, but when life gets busy it's hard to stop and slow down when you have so many deadlines at once," Johnson reflected. "That's when I tend not to feel motivated to do things." Recognizing the warning signs of burnout and taking proactive steps to address them is key.

Liz Heuser shared her personal approach to combating burnout, stating, "I try to go to bed early. Earlier on, I realized that I was getting burnt out because I wasn't getting enough sleep." Adequate rest and self-care are essential components of maintaining one's well-being and preventing burnout.

Tips to Combat Burnout

As college students navigate the challenges of academic life, it's essential to prioritize self-care and mental well-being. By taking proactive steps to prevent burnout and seeking support when needed, students can strive towards a healthier and more balanced approach to their studies and personal lives.

Saadat Qureshi

Hey, I'm Saadat Qureshi, your guide through the exciting worlds of education and technology. Originally from Karachi and a proud alum of the University of Birmingham, I'm now back in Karachi, Pakistan, exploring the intersection of learning and tech. Stick around for my fresh takes on the digital revolution! Connect With Me