Preventing College Burnout

September 29, 2021

Many college students face the challenge of balancing multiple classes, clubs, and other commitments while maintaining their mental and physical health. Unlike in high school, no one is around to hold you accountable, so it’s important to be conscious about what your needs are, and that you make sure they are met. Part of it is about being responsible for yourself, but it’s also about developing healthy habits.

Prioritize the Important Stuff

Unlike Hermione in Harry Potter, you probably don’t have a time turner you can use to make it to all of your classes, jobs, and clubs. There’s only so much time in a week, so it’s important to be able to prioritize. Choose the things you actually care about over the things that might just be padding for your resume. Generally, prioritizing school, a job you might have, and one or two other commitments is enough, though you will know your schedule and priorities best. Just keep in mind not to overbook. Overbooking with more and more commitments will not only tire you out, but also lessen your engagement with the commitments you have already made. It’s better to be part of one or two different clubs that you are heavily involved in, having leadership roles and impact, over just membership and participation.

Be Able to Say “No”

Saying no to things that will cause you more stress than they are worth is vital for preventing burnout. Learning to feel comfortable saying “no” to things is also an important skill to develop. Commitments will vary in the amount of demands they place on you, and being able to say no to things that may be more trouble than they are worth is an important ability to have. The word “no” comes in handy when you are in, say, midterm week and you have multiple tests and projects to complete and your schedule becomes overwhelming.

Have Healthy Outlets

Healthy outlets are important to release built up stress, anxiety, and frustration that can accumulate as the school year moves on. Getting enough exercise, social interaction, and time with your hobbies will greatly improve your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing while also improving your capabilities as a student. Moreover, being a part of a group and interacting with people with shared interests will better connect you to the campus community, giving you a support net for when you feel overwhelmed.

Get Good Rest and Good Nutrition

Good sleep and nutrition is vital. The amount of sleep people need varies based on different lifestyles. Some people can work on six hours of sleep, while others may need nine. What’s important is that you are listening to the needs of your body, making sure that you wake up each morning feeling ready for the day. Also, eating healthy and drinking enough water is important for preventing exhaustion. Make sure that you are eating breakfast, and something for lunch and dinner. Packing snacks to eat between meals and between classes will also help you stay focused throughout the day.

A Semester of Opportunities

College can be really tough, but by taking good care of yourself, you’ll be able to take control of the semester and overcome the hurdles that classes, clubs, and extracurriculars will throw at you. Burnout is a real issue that many students and adults face, but by prioritizing what’s important, being able to say “no,” having opportunities to release the pressure, and eating and sleeping right, you can keep your mind and body maintained throughout the school year, making the entire college experience more enjoyable and worthwhile.