Mendenhall: Support Students Experiencing Burnout


Storey McDonald

(Design by Storey McDonald | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Addison Mendenhall


College students are prone to burnout, excessive stress and lack of motivation. As a result, students are tired and drained, which leads to not prioritizing schoolwork or academics. It becomes harder to get yourself out of bed for class or study for finals. Student burnout doesn’t just affect school-focused activities. It can overlap with the workplace, social settings and day-to-day life. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed quickly by mundane tasks. When I feel burnt out, I have a hard time socializing with my family and friends. According to EduMed, many college students will likely experience college burnout to a certain degree prior to graduating. It is necessary to know how and when to support each other during these times. College students need to learn how to advocate for themselves and navigate their burnout.

The transition between high school and college can be rewarding, yet difficult. Some college professors make burnout easier for students to deal with through homework assigned, level of communication and expectations for late work. Throughout high school, I was told college professors would not be lenient and enforce strict deadlines. However, my own professors understand when personal conflict arises. Every professor that I’ve had worked with me to set realistic expectations as I navigated burnout.

Students who experience burnout also experience a decline in motivation. Learn to cut back and say no by setting boundaries and realistic goals early on in the semester. I have turned down many group study sessions because I study best by myself. If I have an easy day in class, I bring other assignments to stay on top of things. I’m strategic about what to prioritize and manage my responsibilities. When I feel the need to skip class, I ask myself if missing it will be less stressful than catching up on assignments, which tells me if my burnout will be helped or hindered by this decision.

Burnout can affect any area of life. Because burnout mainly consists of chronic stress and anxiety, these conditions have no boundaries. Students who experience burnout are more likely to stay home from social events, neglect relationships and lose interest in activities. But having a well-built support system can make a difference. Mental Health First Aid says having a supportive network of friends, family and fellow classmates can help burnt-out students get back on their feet at the end of a draining semester.

If you are experiencing burnout, please know you’re not alone. Many students experience burnout, and it is increasingly common among undergraduate students since 2019, according to the American Psychological Association. Asking for help does not make anyone less of a person, and there are many ways to navigate burnout. One of the ways we can protect ourselves is by taking full advantage of the mental health resources available on campus. Another helpful tool is learning to set boundaries, which can be effective in keeping yourself out of burnout mode. Setting boundaries can include refusing additional extracurriculars, allowing adequate time for sleep and setting realistic goals.

Burnout is a serious problem that nearly everyone will experience at some point in their lives, but there’s no need to be ashamed of it. Openly communicating that we all struggle sometimes is okay and must be normalized to support each other. By preparing ourselves for what could happen ahead of time, we can conquer burnout.


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