‘Everyone I Know Has It Difficult’: Students and Mental Health Experts Share Ways to Cope with Burnout After Mid-Term Sessions | New


As mid-term approaches, Colby Mitchell struggled to juggle his sophomore chemical engineering classes with his social life and extracurricular activities.

The stress of a busy college lifestyle came to a head when Mitchell took his first exam for one of his toughest engineering courses and quizzes for several other courses to prepare for. Besides the lessons, it was a rehearsal day for Tiger Band.

“All of these things add up and it’s really overwhelming to come out of it,” he said.

Because he has so much on his plate, Mitchell is forced to let go of other personal priorities: cleaning his room, doing the dishes and doing the laundry seem to be side tasks when faced with a mountain of other responsibilities. .

Mitchell is not the only one to feel the responsibilities of university life which weigh on him. Across campus, students feel exhausted from balancing the pressures of class hours, extracurricular activities, and a healthy social life.

An estimated 85% of students reported feeling overwhelmed with everything they had to do during the school year, while 30% said this stress had a negative relationship with their academic performance, study finds. of 2018 from Anxiety & Depression. Association of America.

As Archival graduate student Abbey Weselak finished two of her seven-week LSU online courses after spending a series of sleepless nights preparing for 3,000-word finals, she felt exhausted. The stress that so many other students reported reached him even after his undergraduate studies.

“I was taking two core courses that had nothing to do with my major, so it was really hard to get interested. It was difficult to get started in writing my papers, ”said Weselak. “It wasn’t the best.”

She said moving straight from undergraduate to postgraduate without a gap year added to her feelings of stress and burnout.

In addition to the crash courses that come with his online graduate courses, Weselak works four days a week as a student at the LSU Museum of Art.

It’s important to make time for it so that you don’t think about the stress of school and work, at least for a little while, Weselak said. She got into the habit of putting Sundays aside to reorganize after working at school two days a week and working four.

“I really, really need it,” she said. “It’s definitely important to take the time to reset. Even if it is only a thirty minute bath or doing yoga, it is necessary.

Raime Thibodeaux, director of mental health at the Student Health Center, agrees it’s important to give yourself time to refocus. Sometimes it’s as easy as going to the parade ground and “spending thirty minutes outside in the sun and listening to the birdsong,” she said.

Thibodeaux expressed the importance of support networks and other methods of care before seeking professional help for burnout. Among the coping methods she hopes to teach are the importance of getting enough sleep and the value of physical exercise.

“Getting into our physical body is really helpful in getting out of our own head,” she said. “The way not to think too much is to focus on more bodywork.”

Another way to deal with the brunt of college stress and burnout is a strong support system of friends and family, Thibodeaux said.

One of the main causes of Ianthe Davis’ burnout in anthropology is the lack of social interaction with his friends. Davis found that mid-term reviews robbed them of that much-needed support system.

“When everyone is studying it can’t really happen,” they said.

Although their exhaustion was less intense than in the first year, Davis has found that it is still incredibly difficult to deal with the stress of semesters, especially when their roommate is under the same stress.

Weselak went through something similar.

Her roommate works full time and her boyfriend is in his last year of his undergrad.

“I had the support and love I need to feel good about it, but everyone has their own issues, too,” Weselak said. “It’s a little tough when I’m in a fight, everyone I know is struggling.”

Thibodeaux found a solution to the lack of a prioritization support system.

She said organizing her life into three aspects can also help prioritize and reduce stress from classes and extracurricular activities.

Focusing on a task you need to do, a method of connecting you and your peers, and something that you simply enjoy goes a long way in coping with burnout, she said.

For Davis and Mitchell, the thing they love to do that gets them through overwhelming burnout is play video games.

“I usually play games where I can just browse anything like Assassin’s Creed or Kingdom Hearts,” Davis said. “I much prefer a fun type of stress that I submit to rather than the stress that I have to go through. I can decide when I have enough, but I can’t really do this for school.

Although he would like to take a good nap every now and then or play video games with his friends, Mitchell feels that his teachers who give him many lessons are preparing him for the future.

“Everyone passes [burnout] to some extent, ”Mitchell said. “A lot of jobs can push you to the limit. I think [professors] know it and they do their best to push you through.


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