Every period of our life is great in a unique way. Carefree childhood, fun college years, extensive travel cycles, the happiness of settling down, and so on.
Each stage also has its fair share of difficulties, and how to avoid burnout in college is a question many students ask at least once.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Ohio State University, 40% of students experience burnout regularly, and the pandemic only made things worse.
If you realize that your unwillingness to study goes beyond temporary laziness, you need to take time to sort this out. Your mental health should always be your top priority.
You could even resort to custom essay writing services, or other forms of professional help if necessary.
Above all, make sure you give yourself time to identify the symptoms and fully recover from them.
Symptoms of Academic Burnout
The onset of burnout can be insidious, and sometimes you won’t spot it until it’s too late.
That’s why practicing mindfulness and journaling are two great activities that help to assess your current mental state.
It’s also useful to have some basic knowledge about the main causes and symptoms of burnout to recognize it for what it is.
This article contains eight main burnout symptoms and a solution that corresponds to each of them. You’ll find ways to avoid burnout in college later on, but let’s begin with the symptoms.
There is a joke: before 30, you sleep like a dead person, and after 30, you wake up like a dead person (i.e., a zombie).
However, fatigue does not correlate with your age. Have you noticed waking up tired no matter how much you sleep? Or have you experienced insomnia? These are two common symptoms of burnout.
2. Lack of Motivation
The very thought of attending classes or doing your homework gives you a stomach-turning sensation?
This is very common among students experiencing academic burnout. This feeling pertains not only to students who naturally lack motivation to study. A-students often experience it too, and this languor often comes as a surprise.
3. Increased Irritability
Lashing out at others is a typical defense mechanism. You are not happy with yourself and you’re facing too many education-related deadlines, so you try to blow off steam.
If you’re naturally relaxed, but in recent weeks, you became increasingly angry with your fellow students or professors, it might be a sign that you have too many things on your plate.
4. Lack of Creativity
It becomes difficult to generate creative ideas and take part in class discussions.
Don’t blame this on your poor imagination. Every person has a huge creative potential. But burnout might put it on hold, and you need to get yourself free.
5. Loss of Self-Confidence
Mental exhaustion is insidious. It makes you doubt your academic skills.
Your ability to study and memorize information has not gone away. You’re only going through temporary issues that are affecting your levels of concentration.
6. Increased Tension in Your Body
Headaches, sore muscles, and jaw tension are physical manifestations of burnout.
No need to panic and make medical appointments. Once you treat the root causes of burnout, the tension in your body will be gone.
7. Losing Interest in Your Hobbies
Leisure activities that you used to enjoy do not attract you anymore. Everything seems dull. Remember: it is all in your head. Your attitude will change when you cope with the underlying problem.
8. Not Being Able to Meet Deadlines
Frustration and procrastination usually result in an inability to stay on track with deadlines. Putting off homework is tempting, but you can learn how to control this.
Avoid Burnout in College By Doing These Simple Things
Do you recognize the majority or all the above-mentioned symptoms? Proceed with these proven solutions to find out how to avoid each of them.
1. Give Yourself a Break
If spring, summer, or fall break is coming, take advantage of it. Otherwise, enjoy the upcoming weekend. Take a step back and avoid any mental activity.
Spend time with your family or friends, preferably on a short trip. Get away from the news, your phone, Netflix, and YouTube for a moment.
Spend some time in nature and reconnect with your true self. By consciously blocking external stimuli, you’ll find peace of mind required to take the next step on your academic journey.
2. Reignite Your Motivation
Start with your why. Being sure why you are in college is the most important ‘why’ to answer. If you reignite your inner motivation, you’ll be ready to start afresh.
For example, think about becoming a professional, being able to take care of your parents and future kids, or using your education to improve the world.
It does not matter how ‘noble’ your intentions are. As long as you have powerful personal reasons, you’ll be able to bounce back.
3. Embrace Positive Thinking
Anger and irritation deplete your energy, so change the pattern of your thinking. Read morning affirmations in front of your bathroom mirror.
Keep reminding yourself throughout the day that burnout will end. Do yoga or meditate in the evening. Put on your earphones and listen to relaxing music before going to bed.
It’s all about simple habits and practices that will help you recover one day at a time.
4. Get Inspired by Someone’s Example
Read biographies of successful people (preferably your heroes). Listen to motivational podcasts and improve your mental diet to avoid negative and depressing messages.
Listen to Beethoven’s music, keeping in mind that this genius composer was deaf for most of his life. You will notice that looking at examples of successful people will boost your creativity.
5. Set Realistic Goals and Deadlines
Give up the thought of dropping out of college. Instead of focusing on this idea, start setting yourself doable academic challenges, and make baby steps.
It is better than marking time. Remember – Rome was not built in a day. You need to give yourself time and stay patient.
6. Get Plenty of Physical Exercise
Burnout can sometimes result in a higher frequency of illness. To avoid this, boost your immune system and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
Go for a walk, for a run, or ride a bike. Go shopping at a big mall and check your step counter in the evening. It will surprise you how much progress you can make, even in a few weeks.
7. Start a New Hobby
If you temporarily lost interest in your previous hobby, try out something new (it doesn’t have to be related to education).
Check out extreme ironing, toy voyaging, or competitive dog grooming. Weird? Maybe. But definitely not boring.
8. Improve Your Time Management Skills
Do not buy into time management courses. You risk being late for the first lesson. You can work on developing proper time management habits yourself.
Prioritize tasks, set a schedule, and create a reward system to celebrate your accomplishments. These simple techniques will help you get back on track.
If you are lucky to be unfamiliar with burnout, this article can still be useful. Be aware of the symptoms to recognize and eliminate them before college burnout becomes a problem.
Use the tips in the second part of this article as preventative measures. It is always easier to avoid something than to deal with the serious consequences.