college life

Feeling burnt out from college? You’re not alone.

by Demitri Matenopoulos

I knew when I got into college as a freshman, I knew that one of my goals was to be as involved as I possibly could outside of playing football so that I could get the most out of my four years in college and never have any regrets of not getting more involved! And week by week I got involved in another organization or club and moved up into more important roles throughout the semester. Now I’m on the executive board or an officer in four or five clubs that I’m in. Although I enjoy being involved around campus at times it can be overwhelming because I feel like I have no free time to do anything but go to class, football, and club meetings. I learned during the pandemic that I can’t take things for granted because they can be ripped away at the snap of a finger. While I learned an important lesson it also made me feel like every opportunity that I come across I need to pounce on it because who knows if ill ever gets it again. This is a great skill but also you need to have limitations because one thing I didn’t take into account is with every new opportunity I get involved with that takes time away from things I like doing in my free time.

College burnout is a huge problem for college students across America, overloading their schedules to the point that they mentally fall apart. College burnout refers to a prolonged duration of severe exhaustion and lack of interest that frequently drops daily performance(2). Burnout can lead to subpar scholarly performance and a lack of excitement in social activities and events. As college scholars are used to large levels of stress, burnout can be hard to notice if you’re not looking for the signs. Some signs and symptoms of burnout are: loss of interest in social and extracurricular activities, suffering grades, having trouble meeting deadlines, lack of motivation, loss of enjoyment in daily activities, feeling more lonely than usual, and being increasingly dissatisfied(2). Some of the more major symptoms can include letting go of previously sought-out goals and relationships and feeling like nothing matters(2). If it gets bad enough, sometimes a negative coping method for people experiencing severe college burnout can be escaping the heart through increased use of alcohol and drugs(2). If left untreated, burnout can induce serious health problems, such as depression(3). Becoming overwhelmed is different for every college student. It can range from paying bills to family emergencies(3). Add that on top of classes, having a job, keeping up with clubs, and having a social life can be more than enough to push some students over the edge with stress. Although only 8% of students’ stress gets so critical they seek treatment for depression it doesn’t discount that 85% have said they’ve felt overwhelmed by all of their commitments in college(3). Burnout can also be initiated by poor time management and not having their priorities together. Some tips to prevent and treat college burnout can include having a good balance of nutrition and exercise which not only helps your physical health but also your mental health(2). Getting adequate sleep and spending time outdoors also improves your mood and reduces psychological stress(2). Setting time aside to decompress on busy days and developing a plan that makes even the most stressful days manageable can be the difference between light stress and burnout(2). But the most important thing is not to ignore warning signs, given the serious health issues that can result if left untreated don’t keep pushing yourself when warning signs become apparent(2).

The JED Foundation is a nonprofit that defends emotional health and deters suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults, supplying them with the skills, resources, and aid they need to flourish(4). JED operates straight with high schools, colleges, and universities serving millions of students to put practices, plans, and procedures in place to build a lifestyle of caring that defends student mental health, develops life skills, and makes it more probable that students will seek guidance and struggling students will be identified, united to mental health care, and backed(4). JED also partners with communities to form a society of caring, concentrated in more profound comprehension and decreased embarrassment and solitude, and to collaborate on boosting their positive impact while reducing potential harm(4). JED organizes campaigns and initiatives to inform and teach students, making them less likely to fall into toxic habits in the future(4). For Suicide prevention month JED put together infographics videos stories and links to tips and information for people who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or know someone who might be experiencing the same thoughts. JED and MTV have partnered to start a new mental health initiative called Mental Health Is Health which is designed to start online conversations and encourage people to share their stories and speak out about mental health so that we can all better understand one another and know that we’re not alone(4). JED created a project called Set To Go, which is a program that provides teens and young adults with tips, tricks, and learning resources to navigate the pivotal transition from high score to college or college to a career(4). JED partnered with artist influencers and stars in pop culture like Billie Eilish, Lauv, and Noah Cyrus to share their stories about mental health and give perspective to empower and to support friends who may be struggling Called Seize The Awkwardness(4). Over 4.6 million students attend schools that use JED programs(4). JED also provides resources for loved ones who want to seek help for someone they know, over 8 million people interact in these ways(4).

If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed or burnt out because of the stress of college then please visit The JED Foundations’ website “https://jedfoundation.org/” for resources on how to improve and strengthen your mental health. Also, educate and have conversations with your friends about the effects and symptoms of college burnout. Share all resources that you know of that are working to help the mental health of college students.

References
College Students Increasingly Report High Levels of Anxiety and Burnout During the Pandemic.https://www.healthline.com/health-news/college-students-increasingly-report-high-levels-of-anxiety-and-burnout-during-the-pandemic
What Is College Burnout?https://www.bestcolleges.com/blog/what-is-college-burnout/
How To Avoid College Burnouthttps://www.snhu.edu/about-us/newsroom/education/college-burnout
The JED Foundationhttps://jedfoundation.org/

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