How students deal with burnout
I, among probably many other students at this time of year, am completely burned out, to the point where I cannot even fathom being fully on top of things and able to move through life as a functional human being who is not constantly having an existential crisis or stress-induced migraines.
People told me that third year was going to be difficult, and you want to know what I decided to do? Take a full course load as well as maintain two jobs.
It’s almost as if I enjoy not being able to sleep at night, but getting so stressed during the day that I fall asleep in a library cubicle.
Burnout is described as a state of exhaustion that could be emotional, physical or mental, which is caused by prolonged stress.
It often happens when people feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet the constant demands that are placed on them.
I have read so many articles about the stages of burnout and how to counteract it, but clearly the people who are writing the ones I read are not in university.
These articles often say things like, “take a step back” or “get enough sleep”, but honestly, those two things are not possible for me to do.
The most stressful thing about burnout is that I feel as though I can do nothing about it.
My performance at school does not just impact myself, but also my lovely parents who are paying a portion of my tuition. I do not just take the hit of deciding to take a reduced course load after the deadline to drop a class, so do my parents.
I also need to work if I want to maintain my current lifestyle. Sure, I work nine to five jobs during the summer and save a lot of money, but that is not enough to live off of during the school year. So, I cannot just stop working if I want to be able to buy my groceries.
Also, I am in university, and in my final years I want to be able to enjoy myself and see friends and go out but I feel as though I cannot do that.
If I go out instead of doing my assignments or studying for midterms or picking up a shift, I feel guilty.
Burnout is something that is so difficult to battle, and that doesn’t change based on who you are. Everyone has probably experienced a form of burnout and not known what to do with themselves.
I know that when my burnout phases hit, I decide that instead of doing something about it, like working on my projects, I’ll sleep for three hours or I will accompany my friend to Michaels craft store.
I guess what I am saying is, is that burnout is unavoidable and also cannot be fixed by grinding at the library for one night.
Unfortunately, it is something that everyone needs to fix by taking action in ways that involve going against how the burnout makes you feel.
If that means you must take a night off and just sit in your bed and watch TikToks, then you should be able to do just that without feeling guilty.
Burnout has the power to make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself, but that is a notion that needs to be challenged.