As our first in-person year is coming to end, everyone has experienced burnout at some point. At the start of the semester, waking up and going to class seemed so productive and like a great way to start your day. Now I wake up and have to be dragged out of bed just to open a laptop. We all start every semester with bullet points and colorful calendars, excited to start our new classes and get a fresh start, but by mid semester we just want it to be over. Senioritis is common for everyone and it’s okay to rest now and then, but you must understand when it’s time to overcome and ignore it.
Recharging can be the easiest way to overcome a burnout. Every student goes through the phase where they are curled up in a cafe for hours, staring at their laptop, trying to down three coffees just to stay awake and finish a paper. But that shouldn’t be the ‘norm’ in college, sleep deprivation is such a big part of end-of-semester burnout. Honestly, I know it may sound silly, but my professor had sent me an Instagram account link the other day to The Nap Ministry account. This Instagram page empowers the concept of resting and describes it as “a form of resistance and reparations.” Being comfortable with knowing when you need to step back and take a breath and rest can be a big step in understanding when you’re burning out before it gets worse. So long story short, take a nap.
It sounds cheesy, but making plans with friends and going out is a great way to just restart your brain and take your mind off of school. Making plans with friends or just going out to brunch after class can be a great way to release some stress and focus on something else. It is important for us to recognize and spend time doing the things that give us energy. This is around the time that seasonal depression is finally going away and students can finally go outside or do something as simple as laying in the quad. Literally getting an hour of sunlight can boost your serotonin for the rest of the day and make you more motivated to keep going. So honestly, just go outside and get some sun or spend time with your friends.
Most of the time, people want to push aside how they truly feel about school and what’s going on, but to be honest letting out how you feel and what’s going on can be great therapy. Complaining about anything on your mind can help let go of some steam of what’s been bothering you about a class or an assignment so you don’t feel crazy or are bottling up what’s going on inside. Even just going out to brunch with a friend like I mentioned earlier and talking about what’s been bothering you can help get you out of the slump you were in and help create motivation again.
Subsequently, just remembering why you are putting in all of this work can be a recharge itself. After isolating yourself while typing papers and going over what you need to do on your checklists, you forget to remember why you’re putting yourself through all of this stress. It sounds cheesy, but you started all of this for a reason: your degree.
Lauren Flynn-Miller is a second-year Interdisciplinary Studies major with minors in American Sign Language and Journalism. LF954013@wcupa.edu